MADISON, Wis. — The No. 14-ranked Michigan volleyball team dropped the first set of a Sunday matinee match but rallied to win the next three as the Wolverines defeated the No. 5-ranked Wisconsin Badgers, 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22) inside historic UW Fieldhouse.
The win is Michigan's second over a team ranked in the AVCA top 25 this season and first over a top five team since 2015.
Senior Carly Skjodt led all players with 23 kills in the effort, marking her sixth 20-kill performance of the season. She finished with a .321 hitting percentage. Freshman Paige Jones added 10 kills for her 15th double-figure kill effort this year.
MICHIGAN WINS! pic.twitter.com/IdJonNZgF9— Michigan Volleyball (@umichvball) November 4, 2018
Defensively, senior libero Jenna Lerg totaled 20 digs en route to her 10th 20-plus dig performance of the year and the 29th of her career. Junior setter MacKenzi Welsh finished with 15 digs and 43 assists for her 10th assist-dig double-double of the season.
At the net, Skjodt and freshman Kayla Bair led the Wolverines (19-6, 8-6 B1G) with three blocks apiece. In her first appearance since Sep. 30, redshirt junior Cori Crocker totaled two blocks to go with four kills.
Michigan took the first point of the match on an overpass kill from Skjodt, but back-to-back points gave Wisconsin the lead before a 3-0 scoring run put the Badgers up, 9-5, and forced a Wolverine timeout. Wisconsin maintained the lead from there as Michigan hit for just an .094 team-attack average, and though the Wolverines fought off three set points, the Badgers took set one, 25-19.
CROCKER BLOCK!— Michigan Volleyball (@umichvball) November 4, 2018
S3: We're tied up, 22-22!! pic.twitter.com/AxUc8K8m5g
Kills from Skjodt and Crocker jump-started the second set, and the Wolverines held the lead until the Badgers inched back to tie the score at 15 with back-to-back blocks. Following a Maize and Blue timeout, however, the Wolverines used a 3-0 run to regain the lead, 18-15, and force a Badger timeout. Wisconsin cut the Michigan lead to one, 19-18, but seven kills from Skjodt and a .229 team hitting percentage allowed Michigan to clinch the second set, 25-20, and even the score.
Neither team gained a significant edge in the third set until a 5-1 run allowed the Badgers to grab hold of a 10-6 lead. The Badgers then extended their lead to six, 16-10, but a 4-0 Michigan run allowed the Wolverines to cut the deficit to two and force a Wisconsin timeout. The Badgers then extended their lead to four twice more, but a big rally from the Wolverines allowed Michigan to come from behind, down 22-18, and score seven unanswered points for a 25-18 third-set win.
A kill from Crocker and an overturned Michigan challenge gave Michigan a two-point lead to begin the fourth set before Wisconsin evened the score. After a Badger attacking error tied things up at 8, Wisconsin used a 5-1 scoring run to force a 13-9 lead and a Michigan timeout. A kill from Skjodt then sent senior Maddy Abbott to the service line, and she helped tie the score at 13.
Michigan fought to tie the score six more times before a big double-block from junior Katarina Glavinic and Skjodt gave the Wolverines a 20-19 lead. The momentum was with the Maize and Blue from there, as the Wolverines rallied to clinch a 25-22 fourth-set victory and their second win over a ranked opponent this season.
Michigan will return home on Wednesday, Nov. 7 for a midweek Big Ten matchup against Maryland. First serve is at 7 p.m.
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