Dec. 3, 2010
Site: Seattle, Wash. (Hec Edmundson Pavilion)
Event: NCAA Tournament First Round
Result: #11 Washington 3, #23 Michigan 0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-16)
Records: U-M (23-10), Washington (22-8)
Next U-M Match: Season Complete
SEATTLE, Wash. -- The No. 23-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team saw its season come to end with a 3-0 loss (25-22, 25-17, 25-16) at No. 11 Washington in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night (Dec. 2) at the Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
Freshman outside hitter Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) put down a career-best 13 kills to go with six digs to lead the Wolverine offense that was without junior outside hitter Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph), who missed the match due to injury. Redshirt sophomore right side Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) went for eight kills and freshman middle blocker Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate) had seven as the Wolverines hit just .137. Senior setter Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) handed out 30 assists and recorded eight digs, with junior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) digging up 12.
The Wolverines fell victim to seven service errors in the first set, dropping the opener, 25-22. After falling behind on the opening point, the Wolverines eventually grabbed a 17-all tie off a Zimmerman kill. The Wolverines' next serve missed, giving Washington the lead for good. Erwin led the U-M offense with seven kills in the frame, with Zimmerman handing out 12 helpers as U-M hit .211 to Washington's .292.
U-M got off to a slow start in the second set, falling behind 4-0 in the early going. UW kept at least a two-point lead throughout the rest of the set en route to a 25-17 win. The Wolverines were outhit, .375 to .125, as Washington had just two attack errors. Cross put down four kills in the set, but U-M missed five serves that allowed UW to keep its cushion throughout.
The Wolverines grabbed an 11-10 lead in the third set on a block by Erwin and Cross before Washington went on a 9-1 run to put the set out of reach, 19-12. The Wolverines closed the gap to five at 20-15, but UW won five of the next six points in a 25-16 victory. The Huskies had just three attack errors in the frame, while the Wolverines had eight in recording a .062 attack percentage.
The loss marks the end of Michigan's 2010 season, with Zimmerman and senior defensive specialist Maggie Busch (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo Christian) playing in their final match as Wolverines.
Junior outside hitter Alex Hunt did not dress for tonight's match, snapping a playing streak of 91 consecutive matches.
Lexi Zimmerman became the program leader in matches played tonight, starting her 140th consecutive match. Coming into the match, she was tied for first with Megan Bower (2006-09) at 139 career appearances.
It is the first time since 2006 that Michigan did not advance out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Lexi Erwin set a new career best in kills in the past two matches. She had 12 at Northwestern before her 13-kill performance.
Michigan has a 12-11 overall record in the NCAA Tournament.
Washington, ranked No. 11, is the highest ranked first-round opponent the Wolverines have ever faced.
Michigan finished the season 3-5 against ranked opposition.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
Opening statement ... "I think Washington did a great job tonight, had a really smooth match. Only seven attack errors, that says a lot about their efficiency. I am really proud of our team tonight, obviously with all the personnel adjustments we had to make. Obviously, we weren't good serving tonight; it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I liked how we battled in a lot of areas in the game, especially with the amount of changes we had to make. It is frustrating that this has to be the last match with this team, but I am proud of how they approached it."
On what Washington did tonight to affect the Wolverines ... "It is funny because I thought the stuff we did the worse was what they have no control over, which was serving. It is the one part of the game that they do not have an effect on. The ironic part is that it is such a big part of our game and who we are. We have not had a match like that all year; it was completely out of the blue. And it was one thing that was not affected by our personnel change of having Alex out. She is a good server, but that does not affect anyone else's serve. It just became viral tonight (missing serves). In game three, we just had to put the ball in play. And against a team like Washington, you can't just put it in play and hope to win, but that was all we could do."
U-M Senior Lexi Zimmerman
On playing her final match at Michigan ... "I am very proud to have been a Michigan Wolverine for four years. I would have never chosen any other program."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423