Nov. 23, 2011
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Result: #22 Michigan 3, Michigan State 1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-19)
Records: U-M (20-11, 8-11 Big Ten), MSU (21-10, 10-9 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Nov. 25 -- vs. Ohio State (Crisler Arena), 7 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 22-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team used 17 kills from senior Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) and 13 from senior/junior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) to knock off in-state rival Michigan State, 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-19), on Wednesday night (Nov. 23) at Cliff Keen Arena.
Hunt and McElheny paced the Michigan offense to a .252 attack percentage, with senior Courtney Fletcher (Johns Creek, Ga./Northview) and sophomore Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate) each chipping in nine kills. Freshman setter Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) handed out 45 assists and senior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) and sophomore Ally Sabol (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) each recorded double-figure digs with 15 and 12, respectively.
With the first set tied at 14-14, Michigan State went on a 6-1 run for a 20-15 lead. Michigan cut the lead to four points twice, but the Spartans hung on for the 25-19 victory. Fletcher put down four kills in the frame to lead the offense, but U-M could not combat Michigan State's .306 attack percentage in the set.
Michigan jumped out to an early 10-5 lead in the second, using two Hunt aces to key the spurt. The Wolverines' lead swelled to nine points at 18-9, before the Spartans slowly chipped away to force a Michigan timeout at 23-18. U-M grabbed set point on the ensuing kill from sophomore Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) and ended the set on a Michigan State attack error in the 25-20 win.
Michigan fell behind 9-5 in third set and was forced to burn an early timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Wolverines scored 12 of the next 17 points for a 17-14 lead, resulting in an MSU timeout. The stoppage did not deter the Maize and Blue, which held at least a two-point lead the rest of the way in a 25-19 victory. Hunt put down seven kills on 11 swings to lead the Wolverines in the frame.
U-M raced out to an 8-3 lead in the third set, before Michigan State closed the gap to a point at 14-13. The teams traded points down the stretch, but an MSU attack error staked Michigan a 19-17 lead and proved to be the turning point. U-M closed the set on a 6-2 run, ending the set when Fletcher found the floor on the quick set from Dannemiller for the 25-19 win.
Michigan will conclude the regular season on Friday (Nov. 25) against Ohio State. The match will be at 7 p.m. at Crisler Arena. Tickets are available for $2.
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423