Oct. 10, 2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -

Courtesy of Michigan Athletics

Led by senior setter Lexi Zimmerman's (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) triple-double (43 assists, 13 digs and 13 kills) and 19 kills from junior outside hitter Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph), the No. 18-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team upset No. 6 Illinois on Saturday night (Oct. 9) at Cliff Keen Arena.

Redshirt sophomore right side Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) joined Hunt and Zimmerman in double digits with 10 kills, while junior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) led five Wolverines in double-figure digs (22) to go with three service aces.

Michigan never trailed in a fourth-and-deciding set that featured four ties. Down 18-11, the Illini scored seven of the next nine points to climb back within two points, 20-18, before a McElheny kill put U-M back up by three. The Wolverines missed on their first match point when Hunt's serve sailed long, but the ensuing Illini service error and a termination by freshman outside hitter Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) gave U-M its 26-24 win.

The Illini led wire to wire in the third set, taking a 4-0 lead en route to a 25-19 win. Illinois was keyed by 3.0 total blocks and a .282 attack percentage compared to Michigan's .143 clip.

Tied at 8-8 in the second, an Illini attack error gave the Wolverines a lead they kept the rest of the set. Illinois climbed back in the set at 17-15, but Michigan scored eight of the next 12 points for a 25-19 triumph. Four kills from Hunt and three from Zimmerman paced the Wolverine attack as Michigan hit .273 compared to .065 for Illinois.

Michigan had three set points in the first set, taking a 24-21 lead, before the Illini ripped off three straight to tie the set. Illinois grabbed its own set point on a service ace for a 26-25 lead, but kills from Hunt and Zimmerman coupled with an Illini attack error resulted in a 28-26 Michigan win.

The Wolverines will remain at home for a midweek contest, hosting in-state rival Michigan State on Wednesday (Oct. 13). The 7 p.m. contest will air live on the Big Ten Network.