Dec. 7, 2012
Site: Berkeley, Calif. (Haas Pavilion)
Event: NCAA Tournament (Regional Semifinals)
Score: Michigan 3, Michigan State 0 (25-16, 26-24, 26-24)
Records: U-M (26-11), MSU (25-10)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Dec. 8 -- vs. Stanford - NCAA Regional Final (Berkeley, Calif.), 8:30 p.m. PST (TV:ESPNU)
BERKELEY, Calif. -- The University of Michigan volleyball team blew past Michigan State in three sets (25-16, 26-24, 26-24) on Friday night (Dec. 7), clinching its second-ever appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight. U-M will face second-ranked Stanford in the regional final Saturday (Dec. 8) at 8:30 p.m. PST at Haas Pavilion.
Michigan, making its second regional final appearance in four years, was led on offense by junior Lexi Erwin's (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) 17 kills. Classmate Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ontario/Birchmount Park Collegiate) added 12 kills and five blocks. Sophomore Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) dealt 30 assists, while freshman Tiffany Morales (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union) had 19 digs. Freshman Krystalyn Goode (River Falls, Wis./Nicolet) registered five blocks, while Erwin tossed in four block assists.
Michigan started strong in the first set, taking a 3-1 lead on a Goode kill and compiling a 5-2 advantage on a block from Goode and Erwin. U-M went up 7-3 on another block from Goode and Erwin. Michigan State cut the lead to 8-5, but a Cross kill off an MSU overpass put the Wolverines up 10-5. A Spartan rotation error put U-M up 12-5 and Erwin's kill gave the Maize and Blue a 13-7 lead. A kill from the setter Dannemiller put Michigan on top 16-7, and a back-row kill by Erwin gave the Wolverines an 18-10 advantage. A Spartan service error followed by an MSU attack error gave U-M a 22-13 lead. The Wolverines closed out the set on a Cross kill, giving the Maize and Blue the early lead. Michigan hit .300 in the first set, while Morales had 10 first-set digs.
The second set featured 17 ties and 12 lead changes. Michigan took an early 3-2 lead on a Dannemiller service ace and went up 6-5 on Erwin's kill. Michigan State went up 8-7 on a Wolverine error and built a 10-9 lead on a service ace. Michigan retook the lead at 11-10 on a Cross service ace. Back-to-back Spartan blocks put MSU up 14-11. The Wolverines rallied to tie the set at 15 off an MSU attack error, then U-M took a 16-15 lead on a Goode kill off an overpass. Michigan State then went on a 4-0 run, but a block from Cross and Goode cut the U-M deficit to 19-18 and the Wolverines tied it at 19 on a kill from Erwin. Back-to-back Cross kill tied the set again, this time at 21. Cross then had a big block, giving U-M a 22-21 lead. The Wolverines went up 23-21 on a Spartan error, but Michigan State battled back, tying it at 23 on a block. An Erwin kill set up a U-M set point, which the Spartans answered. Cross then had a kill for a second set point, and a Spartan attack error gave the Wolverines a 2-0 advantage.
Michigan took a 5-4 lead in the third set off an Erwin kill, then U-M went up 7-5 on a Spartan block error. MSU scored the next three points and took an 11-9 lead on a Wolverine attack error. Michigan chipped away, eventually tying the set at 13 on an Erwin kill and taking a 15-13 lead on a Cross kill. Erwin gave U-M a 17-15 lead with a termination, and her back-row kill made it 18-16. A Spartan service error put the Wolverines up 20-18 and Erwin's kill gave the Maize and Blue a three-point cushion. An MSU service ace cut the Wolverine lead to 21-20, but Erwin came right back with a kill. A Michigan error tied the set at 22, but Michigan State followed suit, giving the Wolverines the one-point lead. Erwin's kill gave U-M match point, but MSU fought it off. A Spartan kill tied the set at 24, but Erwin answered again with a kill to force another match point, and Cross' kill sent Michigan to its second-ever regional final appearance.
Michigan hit .261 for the match, compared to .160 for the Spartans. U-M held a 9.5-7.0 advantage in blocks, while both teams had three service aces.
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423