Nov. 28, 2009
Site: State College, Pa. (Rec Hall)
Score: #1 Penn State 3, #12 Michigan 0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-23)
Records: U-M (24-9, 12-8 Big Ten), PSU (32-0, 20-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Regular Season Concluded
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Despite nine kills apiece from seniors Megan Bower (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) and Juliana Paz (Porto Allegre, Brazil/Iowa Western CC), the No. 12-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team fell to No. 1-ranked Penn State in three sets (25-21, 25-13, 25-23) Saturday night (Nov. 28) at Rec Hall. The loss marked the end of regular-season play for both teams with NCAA Tournament action beginning next week.
Junior setter Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) finished with 35 assists and Paz added 11 digs to pace the Wolverines.
In the deciding third set, U-M raced out to a 9-5 lead and pushed the advantage to 15-10, behind three kills by Bower before the media timeout. The lead grew to 16-10 out of the break on a kill from senior Veronica Rood (Temperance, Mich./Bedford) before two straight PSU points made it 16-12. The Nittany Lions tied the set at 19-all on a block and took their first lead of the match, 20-19, on a Wolverine error. Bower tied the set at 20-all with her ninth kill of the night before Paz put her eighth termination in the book to put U-M back up, 21-20, and force PSU to take a timeout. The Nittany Lions closed the set with five of the next seven points, taking the match on a service error by Paz, 25-23.
Set two was tight early with the two sides trading points to a five-all tie. The Nittany Lions went on a 12-5 run to go in front 17-10 and force the Wolverines into a timeout. Penn State pushed the lead to 11 before a Bower kill stopped the streak and a service ace from sophomore Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) pulled U-M back within nine at 21-12. Penn State closed the set by scoring four of the final five points in the 25-13 win. Penn State held the hitting edge in the frame, connecting at a .320 clip while Michigan, led by four terminations from Bower, hit -.029.
In the opening set, Michigan raced out to a 4-0 early lead as Hunt and Paz registered quick terminations before the Nittany Lions battled back, eventually grabbing a 15-12 lead en route to a 25-21 victory. Junior/sophomore Karlee Bruck (Elyria, Ohio/Elyria), Hunt and Paz each tallied four kills to pace Michigan.
With the regular season concluded, the Wolverines await their fate for the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The field of 64 will be announced Sunday (Nov. 29) at 3 p.m. ET live on ESPNews.
N O T E S
Michigan closes the regular season with a 24-9 record and 12-8 Big Ten mark and is currently in fourth place (pending other results from tonight) in conference play.
Megan Bower extended her U-M career record of matches played to 135.
Michigan will learn its assignment in the 2009 NCAA Tournament when the tournament bracket is announced at 3 p.m. ET Sunday (Nov. 29) on ESPNews.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
Opening statement ... "Everyone knows how good Penn State is. You don't win 96 straight without being an unbelievable team. I thought we fought well out there tonight, but we just made too many mistakes when it counted. They have so many different weapons they can go to, and just like at our place, Megan Hodge was huge for them tonight. My hat is off to them. Now, we must regroup and get ready for the tournament."
On the upcoming NCAA Tournament ... "We will have to wait and see if these losses this weekend did anything. I felt we were positioned well for one of the 16 seeds, but we have to wait and see how it shakes out. There are smart people in a room somewhere figuring that out. We will take whatever challenge the committee gives us and go with it. What we can't do is dwell on this weekend. We need to put it behind us and get ready to go again next week."
Contact: Matt Fancett (734) 763-4423