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Michigan Athletics | October 9, 2021

Michigan volleyball rallies to upset No. 8 Minnesota in five sets

2021 NCAA volleyball bracket predictions, 50 days from selections

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Michigan volleyball team upset No. 8 Minnesota on Friday night (Oct. 8), rallying from down two sets to one to win in five (25-13, 13-25, 24-26, 25-14, 15-11) on Volleypalooza night at Crisler Center. The win also avenged its early-season loss in Minneapolis.

The win snaps an eight-match losing streak to the Golden Gophers and gives the Wolverines their first victory over a top-10 team since 2018. Michigan (10-4, 3-2 Big Ten) and Minnesota (8-5, 3-2 Big Ten) have played five-set thrillers in three of their last four meetings.

Sophomore Jess Mruzik led the way for the Wolverines, finishing with a game-high 20 kills on a career-high 66 attacks. She completed the double-double with a career-best 15 digs. Senior Paige Jones added a double-double of 11 kills and 13 digs, while junior May Pertofsky had 11 kills, four aces and three total blocks. Fellow junior Jess Robinson had nine kills and a match-high six total blocks (one solo block, five block assists), and sophomore Scottee Johnson had 44 assists and tied a career high with 19 digs.

U-M came out strong, taking early control of set one, during which it led by as many as eight points. Michigan went on a 5-0 scoring run to seal the 25-13 win. Jones' six kills combined with three kills each from Mruzik, Pertofsky and Robinson helped the Wolverines outhit the Gophers .316 to .108.

The Golden Gophers flipped the script on the Wolverines in the second set, putting the home team down by as many as nine halfway through. After Michigan held Minnesota to just .108 in the first set, they allowed the visitors to hit .359 in the second on the way to a 25-13 setback.

Michigan led the majority of the third, but the Gophers' late comeback allowed them to take set three. After trailing by four at 17-13, Minnesota came back to tie the Maize and Blue at 23 apiece, one of 13 ties in the set. With the match point on the line, Jones delivered a critical kill to send the set into extra points, but the Gophers came back to win it 26-24.

BRACKET SZN: Here is the 2021 NCAA volleyball bracket predicted 50 days from selection

Looking to take the match into a fifth set, the Wolverines found their groove midway through the fourth, going on a 6-0 run. With only one lead change, Michigan never looked back, extending its lead as to as many as 12 points. Freshman Jacque Boney registered four blocks in the set (3 BS, 1 BA) to help lead the Wolverines to a dominant fourth set victory, 25-14.

Tied at two sets apiece, the two teams battled back-and-forth through the first 20 points, tied up at 10. The Wolverines got a lift from their bench when senior Abbey Malinowski made just her second appearance on the season and had two digs and picked up a crucial kill. Michigan went back-and-forth with the Gophers, changing leads five times before going on a 5-0 run to complete the upset on a stuff block from Pertofsky and Robinson to seal the victory at 15-11.

U-M heads to Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday (Oct. 10) to take on rival No. 7 Ohio State at the Covellli Center. The 1 p.m. match will be streamed live on B1G+.

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