Wolverines Given Early Exit from NCAA Tournament by LSU
Jennifer Cross

Dec. 6, 2013

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Site: Seattle, Wash. (Alaska Airlines Arena)
Event: NCAA Tournament First Round
Score: LSU 3, #24 Michigan 2 (23-25, 9-25, 25-14, 25-19, 15-10)
Records: U-M (18-14), LSU (19-12)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete

SEATTLE, Wash. -- The 24th-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team won the first two sets, 25-23, 25-9, before dropping the final three, 25-14, 25-19 and 15-10, to LSU in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament on Friday night (Dec. 6) in the Alaska Airlines Arena.

Seniors Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) and Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ontario/Birchmount Park Collegiate), playing in their final matches in the Maize and Blue, recorded 15 and 14 kills, respectively. Cross also tied a career high with nine blocks, while Toon had a double-double with 11 digs and added six blocks. Michigan tied a season high and set a new school postseason record with 19 team blocks. Meanwhile, freshman Abby Cole (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) added 11 kills and had seven blocks, while sophomore Krystalyn Goode (River Hills, Wis./Nicolet) tallied six blocks, two of them solos.

Michigan had five players in double figures in digs, led by sophomore Tiffany Morales' (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union) 20. Junior Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) and senior Ally Sabol (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) each had 14 digs and fifth-year senior Brittany Lee (Indianapolis, Ind/Cathedral) added 10. Dannemiller also made it a double-double with 48 assists to go along with her 14 digs.

The Wolverines took an early 3-1 lead in the first set on blocks from Toon and Cross, but the Tigers came back to go up 7-6 and 9-7 on kills from Briana Holman. Cross' termination tied the set at 10 and a Toon kill put U-M on top 12-11. Dannemiller's solo block gave the Maize and Blue a 14-12 lead and a kill from Davis put Michigan ahead 15-13 headed to the technical timeout. A Davis solo block put Michigan up 16-14, but the Tigers went on a 5-1 run after that, as solo blocks from Cati Leak and Holman made it 19-17 LSU. The Wolverines scored the next three points as a Sabol service ace gave U-M a 20-19 advantage. Back-to-back terminations from Cross gave Michigan a 22-20 lead as the Tigers called timeout. An LSU ball-handling error and Cross kill gave the Wolverines set point. LSU fought off two set points, the last on a Helen Boyle kill. Cross picked up her sixth kill of the set as the Wolverines clinched the opening-set win.

Michigan had seven blocks and Toon picked up six kills as U-M made quick work of the Tigers in set two. Toon's termination gave Michigan a 4-1 lead. Morales service ace was followed by blocks from Cross and Toon as U-M made it 6-1 and the Tigers called time. A Toon service ace made it 8-2 Wolverines and kills from Davis and Toon put Michigan up 10-2. Blocks from Cross and Davis gave Michigan a 12-2 lead with the Tigers called their second timeout of the set. A Goode solo block gave Michigan a 15-5 advantage. Cole's kill put the Maize and Blue up 17-6 and Toon and Goode combined on a block for an 18-6 lead. Blocks from Goode and Cole made it 21-6 Wolverines. Cole's kill forced set point at 24-9 and Toon and Cross closed out the set on an assisted block for the 25-9 win. The Wolverines hit .538 in the set and had zero attack errors.

LSU scored the third set's first four points and never looked back in a 25-14 win. Cole's termination cut that lead to 5-2 and Michigan got to 6-5 on a Tiger error. LSU extended its lead to 8-5 on Boyle's kill and 12-7 on a U-M setting error. That was part of an 8-0 LSU run as a Wolverine attack error gave the Tigers an 18-7 lead. A Dannemiller kill cut the lead to 20-11 and Goode had a solo block at 24-14, but LSU closed out the set on a Wolverine attack error.

Blocks from Cole and Cross tied the fourth set at three. A Davis solo block knotted it at 6-all, but LSU went on a 6-0 run, capped by a Malorie Pardo block. The Wolverines rallied to cut that lead to 14-12 on blocks from Cross and Cole. The two teams traded points until a Cross termination made it 16-15 Tigers. Leak's kill extended LSU's lead to 18-15. A Pardo kill gave LSU a 20-16 lead. Michigan scored two straight points, capped by a Tiger net violation, but LSU closed out the set on a Holman kill.

LSU took a 5-1 lead in set five on a Leak kill. Pardo's kill gave the Tigers a 7-2 lead and an Elliott termination put LSU up 8-2 heading into the changeover. Michigan cut that Tiger lead to 12-9 after a Morales ace and LSU attack error, but would get no closer. The Tigers won the match after a kill from Leak and a Tiger block.

Michigan hit .178 for the match, with LSU at a nearly identical .179 hitting percentage. The Wolverines had four service aces and 79 digs in the match.

This match ends the U-M careers of Toon, Cross, Sabol, Lee and Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park), who have played a combined 582 matches for the Maize and Blue.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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