Michigan Rallies for NCAA First-Round Victory over Baylor
Claire McElheny

Dec. 2, 2011

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Site: Palo Alto, Calif. (Maples Pavilion)
Event: NCAA Tournament (First Round)
Score: #22 Michigan 3, Baylor 1 (22-25, 25-11, 29-27, 25-17)
Records: U-M (21-12), Baylor (18-15)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Dec. 3 -- at Stanford - NCAA Second Round (Palo Alto, Calif.), 7 p.m. PST

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Spearheaded by a three players with double-digit kills, the No. 22-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team rallied for a 3-1 win (22-25, 25-11, 29-27, 25-17) over Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday evening (Dec. 2) at Maples Pavilion.

Senior Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) put down 17 kills and recorded 11 digs to lead Michigan in the contest. Sophomore Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) and senior/junior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) joined Hunt in double figures with 15 and 13 kills, respectively. Freshman setter Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) handed out 53 assists while going for 10 digs and a career-best six kills. Senior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) anchored the Michigan defense, recording 25 digs of the team's 79 digs.

After falling behind 20-17 in the first set, the Wolverines scored the next three points to tie the set and force a Baylor timeout. The teams traded the next four points and were tied at 22-22 when sophomore Ally Sabol's (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) serve found the net to put Baylor on top, 23-22. The Bears scored the next two points to take the first, 25-22. Michigan totaled just 10 kills in the frame, hitting .143 to Baylor's .211 attack percentage and 17 kills.

Michigan held a 7-5 lead in the second set before scoring the next six points for a 13-5 lead. The Wolverines closed the set in similar fashion, scoring the final eight points in the 25-11 win. The Wolverines never trailed in the set, putting down 18 kills to Baylor's seven.

With the Maize and Blue down 18-12 in the third, a Baylor service error ignited a 6-0 Michigan run, largely on the serve of sophomore Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park),to knot the set at 18-18. The teams traded points down the stretch as Michigan staved off three Baylor set points, using a kill from Toon to tie the frame at 27-27. Back-to-back kills from Dannemiller provided the final two points as the Wolverines grabbed a 29-27 victory.

Michigan jumped in front, 8-3, in the fourth to force an early Baylor timeout. The Wolverines kept at least a five-point cushion the rest of the way, taking a 25-17 decision on a Toon termination to end the match.

U-M will take on Stanford tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 3) at 7 p.m. PST for a spot in the Sweet 16.


• Michigan is making its 12th overall and sixth consecutive NCAA appearance. The Wolverines are now 13-11 in NCAA matches.

• This was the first meeting between Baylor and Michigan.

Molly Toon set a new career high with 15 kills, as did Lexi Dannemiller with six kills.

Sloane Donhoff recorded her eighth match of the season and 17th of her career with at least 20 digs.

Lexi Dannemiller handed out at least 50 assists for the 12th time this season.

Alex Hunt had her sixth double-double of the season (17 kills, 11 digs).

• Michigan advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years.

• U-M is 20-0 when recording a higher attack percentage than its opponents.

Lexi Dannemiller recorded her 14th double-double of the season (53 assists, 10 digs).


Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On his team's ability to fight back after dropping the first set ... "I thought we looked really nervous in that first set. We have a young setter and a few young players in important positions. I thought we looked tentative at first. I thought we did a good job in set two of jumping on them pretty quick. I was most proud about set three though, being down I think seven points and we fought our way back into it. That showed a lot of guts on our part."

On the play of Sloane Donhoff ... "I thought Sloane did a great job. She is a senior and is someone who has been in this scenario a lot. I kind of expect her to make the type of plays she made tonight. She did a really good job of anchoring our defense. It was a different tempo of team, a different style of team than we were used to playing. I thought the first set was a little tough to get in the rhythm of that, but Sloane did a great job of adjusting. She did a great job of staying on her feet and running down a lot of balls."

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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