U-M Takes Down Oregon in Four to Move to Round of 16

Dec. 2, 2016

What You Need to Know
» Leading the way for Michigan, Claire Kieffer-Wright recorded a career-high 20 kills on the night while also recording a career-high .720 attack average.
» Barring a Texas loss, Abby Cole, Ally Davis and Kelly Murphy played their final Michigan career home games with back-to-back NCAA Tournament wins.
» With the 3-1 win, the Wolverines will advance to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012 and will play Creighton.

Box Score | Photo Gallery 
Tournament Page | NCAA Bracket

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Event: NCAA Tournament (Second Round)
Score: #17 Michigan 3, #19 Oregon 1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17)
Records: U-M (24-10), UO (21-10)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Dec. 9 -- vs. Creighton - NCAA Sweet Sixteen (Location TBD)

• Kornacki Postgame Feature: U-M Feeds Off Crisler Crowd to Reach Sweet 16

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Trailing 1-0 after the first set with the season on the line, the No. 12-seeded University of Michigan volleyball team came from behind to pull off a gritty 3-1 win over Oregon (22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17) on Friday evening (Dec. 2) inside Crisler Center. The Wolverines will now advance to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament and face off against Creighton.

Oregon jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in set one, before U-M used a monster double-block from freshman MacKenzi Welsh and junior Claire Kieffer-Wright to tie the score at 3-all. From there, the teams played nearly point for point until Michigan used a 4-0 run to gain a two-point lead at 9-7. Oregon tied the set at 14-all on a three-point rally, and despite trailing by just one point at 23-22, Michigan dropped the first set by a 25-22 score.

Down by one set in the match, Michigan used an aggressive 9-1 run to jump out to a 12-4 lead in the second set. The closest Oregon got was within four, at 21-17, but five kills on five swings from Kieffer-Wright and a .481 team attack percentage allowed the Wolverines to tie the match at 1-1 with a 25-17 second-set victory.

NCAA SECOND ROUND

Michigan took the first point in set three, but the Ducks quickly responded and after a short back-and-forth spurt, Oregon took its largest lead of the set at 12-8. Thanks to a serving run from sophomore Jenna Lerg, however, the Wolverines rebounded with a 3-0 run to close the gap. From there, Oregon hoped to slip away again, but Michigan refused to bow down, tying the game again at 16-all. A powerful swing from senior Abby Cole then evened the score at 19, and the score was knotted three more times, before Michigan strung together back-to-back points to take the set, 25-23.

With the 2-1 set advantage, Michigan fell under an aggressive offensive attack from the Ducks early on as Oregon rallied for four straight points, before the Wolverines got on the scoreboard. After falling behind, 6-2, U-M used kills from redshirt senior Kelly Murphy, Welsh and Kieffer-Wright to battle back to tie the score 6-all. The Maize and Blue then garnered a three-point lead. The Ducks threatened later, coming within two at 18-16, before a block from sophomore Carly Skjodt shut them down, as 13 kills on just two errors propelled Michigan to a 25-17 fourth-set win.

Michigan has come from behind three other times this season after dropping the first set, including a four-set win over Illinois (Nov. 4).

Five Michigan players registered five-plus kills on the night for an impressive .344 team kill percentage. Leading the charge with double-figure kills was Kieffer-Wright, who tallied a career-high 20, while Cole added 11. Skjodt (9), Murphy (8) and freshman Cori Crocker (7) added their kills to the mix. Guiding the Wolverine offense to success was freshman setter Welsh, who totaled 43 assists in the victory.

For the sixth-straight match, Lerg led the Wolverines defensively, recording 12 digs. Murphy also added 11 for her fifth career double-double. From the net, Kieffer-Wright led Michigan in blocks, totaling seven, while Crocker added six, and Cole and Skjodt recorded four apiece.

Tweet of the Match

With the victory, Michigan will advance to the Sweet Sixteen round for the first time since 2012 and the fifth time in program history. The Wolverines continue their NCAA Tournament run on Friday, Dec. 9, when they will face Creighton. The location of the match is still to be determined, as the highest seed remaining in the Texas region will host.

Communications Contact: Katie Gwinn Hewitt


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