Oct. 11, 2009

Courtesy of Michigan

MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Michigan volleyball team took the first set at Wisconsin on Saturday night (Oct. 10) only to see the host Badgers win the next three in a 26-28, 25-23, 25-18, 25-21 upset loss at the UW Field House. The loss marks the 17th straight for Michigan on Wisconsin's home court.

Sophomore Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) led the Wolverines with 15 kills in defeat, while seniors Veronica Rood (Temperance, Mich./Bedford) and Juliana Paz (Porto Alegre, Brazil/Iowa Western CC) tallied 14 and 12, respectively. Junior Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) dished out 54 assists, while three Wolverines reached double-digit digs led by sophomore Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) with 18.

The fourth and final set was a close affair with neither team holding more than a two-point advantage until Wisconsin put together a 5-3 run down the stretch for a 25-21 victory and a 3-1 match win. Paz put together her best attacking frame of the night in defeat, connecting for four terminations on seven swings.

In set three, the Wolverine defense faltered, allowing Wisconsin to attack at a .500 clip en route to a 25-18 win. Rood led Michigan with five kills, while Zimmerman dished out 12 assists as the Wolverines went down two sets to one for the second straight night.

Set two saw the Wolverines grab an early lead, only to see the Badgers reverse momentum and build a 14-10 lead of their own to force a U-M timeout. Wisconsin held its lead after the stoppage and pushed it to 19-15 before the Wolverines went on a run of their own, capped by a kill and service ace from Bower to get within one, 20-19. With the Badgers up 24-20, Michigan reeled off three straight points to draw back within one, 24-23, but could not get any closer as Wisconsin closed the set 25-23, tying the match at a set apiece.

In the opening set, the Wolverines raced out to a slim early lead in a stanza that was back and forth for the duration in a 28-26 Michigan win. Hunt led the way for U-M with six kills, while Rood and Paz each added four and Bower tallied three, including the winner.

The Wolverines return to action next Friday (Oct. 16) when they host No. 1-ranked Penn State at Cliff Keen Arena. Match time is set for 7 p.m. for the Las Vegas style Rock the House event. Live audio and live game stats will be available via MGoBlue.com with the match airing on tape-delay via ESPN2 Sunday (Oct. 18) at 2 p.m.


• U-M's loss Saturday night marked the 17th straight loss in Madison for the Wolverines. The last time U-M was victorious at Wisconsin was Oct. 3, 1992, a five-set victory.

• Lexi Zimmerman dished out 54 assists in a losing effort versus Wisconsin, one assist shy of her season high of 55 set vs. No. 12 Illinois (Oct. 3).

• Michigan is now 2-2 in five-set matches this season and 0-2 in Big Ten play on Saturdays.