U-M Cannot Build Off First-Set Win, Loses at Illinois in Four
Tiffany Morales

Nov. 17, 2012

Box Score

Site: Champaign, Ill. (Huff Hall)
Score: Illinois 3, Michigan 1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-16)
Records: U-M (21-11, 9-9 Big Ten), ILL (12-16, 6-12 Big Ten)
Attendance: 2,450
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, Nov. 21 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 6:30 p.m.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The University of Michigan volleyball team had three players in double figures in kills, but the Wolverines could not build off a first-set win and fell in four at Illinois on Saturday night (Nov. 17) at Huff Hall. Set scores were 22-25, 25-17, 25-23 and 25-16.

Junior Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) led Michigan's offense with 17 kills, while juniors Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) and Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ontario/Birchmount Park Collegiate) had 12 kills apiece. Freshman Tiffany Morales (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union) led the match with 21 digs, while junior Ally Sabol (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) added 14. Sophomore Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) dished out 48 assists and Cross and freshman Krystalyn Goode (River Hills, Wis./Nicolet) had five blocks apiece.

Michigan took the first set over the Fighting Illini after hitting .400 and committing just one error. The Maize and Blue went up 6-4 on an Illinois hitting error, but UI came back to tie the set at nine on an Erin Johnson kill. Fifth-year senior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf Prep) tied it at 12 with a kill, but back-to-back kills from Liz McMahon and an Annie Luhrsen ace put Illinois up 17-14. The Wolverines started their comeback after that, eventually tying the set at 19 on a kill from Toon. The Maize and Blue took a one-point lead on a block from Erwin and Goode. A kill from Cross put U-M up 22-21 and an Erwin kill and service ace gave the Wolverines the 25-22 win.

U-M could not come back from 10 errors in the match's second set as the Fighting Illini took a 25-17 decision. Illinois went up 11-7 on a Michigan service error and 15-9 on a kill from Jocelyn Birks. A Birks ace made it 17-11, part of a 5-0 run by the Fighting Illini. Toon's kill cut the lead to 20-13 and a solo block from Dannemiller made it 23-16, but Illinois closed out the set on a block from Jessica Jendryk and Birks.

The Wolverines fell behind, then came back but fell in the match's third set. An Ali Stark ace gave Illinois a 4-2 lead, but Michigan responded with a 4-0 run and took a 6-4 lead on an Erwin kill. Back-to-back kills from Toon gave the Wolverines a 9-7 lead, but the Fighting Illini came back to take a 14-13 lead off of a Birks kill. Another Birks termination made it 16-13 Illinois. The Maize and Blue began its comeback as an Erwin kill and Illinois attack error cut the Fighting Illini lead to 19-18. A kill from Cross tied the set at 20, but the Wolverines had back-to-back errors after that point. Illinois had set point at 24-21 after a McMahon kill, but a termination from McElheny and a Dannemiller ace cut the Illinois lead to 24-23. Illinois closed out the set as Jendryk came up with the kill.

Illinois hit .400 in the fourth set, taking a 25-16 decision. Illinois went up 10-6 on a McMahon service ace and took a 13-7 lead after back-to-back Stark kills. The Fighting Illini then went up 16-9 after a Wolverine attack error. A Dannemiller kill made it 19-11 and a three-point run at the end of the set was highlighted by kills from McElheny and freshman Ally Davis (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central), but a U-M attack error at 24-16 ended the match.

U-M hit .202 on the match, compared to .304 for the Fighting Illini. The Maize and Blue had eight blocks on the night and added four service aces.

Michigan heads to East Lansing, Mich., for a matchup with in-state rival Michigan State Wednesday night (Nov. 21) at 6:30 p.m.


• Michigan now trails 43-23 in the overall series with Illinois.

Lexi Erwin had 17 kills on the night. She led Michigan in kills for the 22nd time this season and has been in double figures in kills 27 times this year.

Jennifer Cross played in her 100th match tonight. She had 12 kills and five blocks.

Tiffany Morales had 20 or more digs for the fifth time this season; she had 21 on the night.

• Michigan falls to 3-5 in four-set matches.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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