Michigan blows by No. 10 Minnesota in three sets for fifth win in a row
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Fifth-year senior Claire McElheny closed out her Michigan home career in style as the Wolverines defeated No. 10 Minnesota in three sets Saturday night in front of a sold out crowd (1,800) at Cliff Keen Arena. Michigan hit a season-high .460 and won its fifth consecutive match, by scores of 25-23, 25-19 and 25-13.
McElheny hit a sizzling .900 (9-0-10) in her final home match on Senior Night. Juniors Lexi Erwin and Molly Toon had 15 and 14 kills, respectively, to pace the Wolverine offense. Sophomore Lexi Dannemiller had 42 assists, her second consecutive 40-plus assist mark in a three-set match, and junior Jennifer Cross and freshman Krystalyn Goode each had five total blocks on the night.
Michigan hit .364 to take the match's first set 25-23. The Wolverines jumped out to an 8-4 lead on a Dannemiller service ace. Minnesota clawed back and eventually tied the set at 11 on a Tori Dixon kill. The set featured seven ties, the last coming at 17-all on a Toon kill. Michigan scored the next two points as Goode assisted on a block and had a kill. Michigan then went up 22-18 on blocks from Goode and Erwin. Minnesota cut the lead to 23-22 on a Katherine Harms termination, but Erwin's kill gave Michigan set point. Minnesota fought off one set point, but Cross' kill sealed it for the Maize and Blue.
Toon had six kills in the second set as U-M went to the locker room with a 2-0 advantage. The set was tight early, but an Erwin kill gave Michigan a 10-7 lead as the Golden Gophers used a timeout. Cross' kill put U-M up 14-10 and back-to-back kills from Toon made it 18-14 Wolverines. Michigan scored four of the last five points, headlined by a block and a kill from Toon to take the set 25-19.
Michigan hit a blistering .654 in the match's third and final set, winning 25-13 and securing its fifth consecutive victory. The Maize and Blue scored the set's first four points and never looked back. Toon's kill gave U-M a 10-2 lead and a Goode strike put the Maize and Blue up 13-5. An Erwin termination made it 18-9 and McElheny's kill put Michigan up 20-10. The Wolverines closed it out with back-to-back blocks, two coming from Goode.
U-M had nine total blocks in the match and had four service aces. The Wolverines also outdug Minnesota 33-26.