Nov. 19, 2010
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Result: #20 Michigan 3, Purdue 1 (25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 28-26)
Records: U-M (22-7, 11-6 Big Ten), Purdue (18-10, 9-8 Big Ten)
Next U-M Match: Saturday, Nov. 20 -- vs. Indiana (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior outside hitter Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) led four Wolverines in double-figure kills with 21 as the No. 20-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team upended Purdue, 3-1 (25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 28-26), on Friday evening (Nov. 19) at Cliff Keen Arena.
Redshirt sophomore right side Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) found the floor 14 times and the middle blocking tandem of junior Courtney Fletcher (Duluth, Ga./Northview) and freshman Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate) racked up 10 and 12 kills, respectively, to join Hunt in double figures on the evening. Senior setter Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) handed out 56 assists with nine digs and three kills in leading Michigan to a .326 attack percentage for the match. Junior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) recorded a match-high 17 digs to lead the Michigan backline.
Down 24-22 in the fourth, Michigan took advantage of a Purdue service error into the net, followed by a Fletcher kill as Purdue was whistled for a net violation to knot the set at 24-all. The Wolverines missed on their first two match points, coming at 25-24 and 26-25, before Cross' 12th kill of the evening on the quick set from Zimmerman ended the set in favor of Michigan, 28-26.
The Boilermakers got on the board with a 25-23 third-set victory, holding Michigan to a .211 attack percentage. The frame featured seven ties and three lead changes as Purdue took the lead for good on a U-M attack error to go in front, 19-18. Michigan staved off two set points but Purdue made good on the third, using a Michigan attack error to send the match to a fourth set.
U-M continued its hot offense in the second set, hitting .429 with just four attack errors in the frame. The Wolverines jumped out to a 3-0 advantage on a Fletcher kill and two Purdue attack errors, taking early control of the set. U-M never trailed in the 25-16 decision, using eight kills from Hunt on the outside and four from McElheny to hit the break up 2-0.
In the first set, the teams went point for point until freshman outside hitter Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) found the floor to put Michigan on top, 7-6. Two more quick points on a Fletcher kill and Purdue attack error put the Wolverines on top for good as Michigan held at least a two-point lead the rest of the set in a 25-15 victory. U-M held the Boilermakers to just eight kills in the set on a .069 attack percentage while hitting .371. Michigan took advantage of a balanced offense, with Hunt putting down five kills with Fletcher and Cross recording four each.
The Wolverines play their last regular-season home match tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 20) when they host Indiana at 7 p.m. U-M will honor defensive specialist Maggie Busch (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo Christian), Zimmerman and student assistant Jackie Nissen after the match as part of Senior Day. Fans can also use their Michigan football ticket for free admission at Cliff Keen Arena.
Michigan had its fourth consecutive sellout of Cliff Keen Arena this season.
Alex Hunt recorded her 11th match this season with at least 20 kills. She now has 13 career matches with more than 20 kills.
Sloane Donhoff reached double figures in digs for the 14th consecutive match.
Michigan won on a Friday for the first time since a 3-1 win over Northwestern on Oct. 15.
U-M had four players in double-digit kills for the first time this season.
The Wolverines picked up their third Big Ten sweep of the year. U-M also won both matches against Wisconsin and Ohio State.
The last time Michigan's middle blockers both had double-digit kills was at Purdue earlier this season on Oct. 23.
U-M has won four in a row against Purdue.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On getting a win tonight after splitting the last few weekends ... "I think that in the Big Ten, we look at each game independently. We didn't play well last weekend at Iowa and certainly not going to hide from that. But we have played well in some of the other matches that we did not win. I thought we played well tonight and that was our number one focus coming in, playing Michigan volleyball. There are certain qualities we look for in our team to see if we are playing the way we want to play, and we had those tonight. Last weekend, we did not. I thought today we got back to what we strive to do."
On how Purdue got back into the match ... "The biggest thing was that their defense got better. I did not think their defense was very good in those first two sets. All of the sudden they started doing a much better job in defense. We talk about how digs do not get you a point; it is what you do afterwards. We use the term "dig to kill." And they got really, really good at digging a ball and getting a kill. We were digging balls and giving them easy opportunities. Their setter got way more involved as the match went on. Our two setters are probably the most offensive setters in the country and Hart is just a big, physical setter. She took over in that third set. We had to pay more attention to her as the match went on, opening up other opportunities for their hitters."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423