#23 Michigan Defeats Colgate, Eastern Michigan in Michigan Challenge

  0 Kaitlynn Bianconi | September 17th, 2016 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

#23 Michigan Drops Set to Unranked Colgate in 3-1 Victory


The Michigan Wolverines, #23 in the AVAC Coaches Poll, defeated the Colgate Raiders (FCS)  3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-9, 25-14) after dropping their first set in the Michigan Challenge.

Abby Cole, senior middle blocker, dominated the Wolverine offense with a new season-high 19 kills and 9 blocks.

Colgate’s power offense helped them take a 13-8 lead over Michigan, something unprecedented in the tournament this weekend. The Wolverines took a timeout to try to regroup, but the Raiders claimed the first set before Michigan could get it together.

The Wolverines claimed their first lead of the game early in the second set, but the Raiders caught up in no time. The teams played it close, point-for-point, until Colgate gained a 16-14 lead. A Michigan timeout helped the Wolverines to rally. Despite another tied score, three big kills helped the Wolverines claim the second set.

Michigan used its momentum to crush Colgate in the third set, not even allowing them to get double digit points. Almost every Wolverine had a kill during the game, and ended it quickly with a 25-9 victory.

The Wolverines continued their domination into the fourth set. The game was quickly tied 5-5, but Michigan’s six straight points allowed them to take a 11-5 lead. The momentum from that spree kept up throughout the rest of the final set to claim the Wolverines 11th win this season.


Courtesy of Michigan Athletics

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Despite falling behind 1-0, the No. 23-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team used a .421 team attack percentage to defeat Colgate by a 3-1 score (22-25, 25-23, 25-9, 25-14) in the Wolverines’ final match of the Michigan/EMU Challenge tournament on Saturday (Sept. 17) inside Cliff Keen Arena.

Overall, the Wolverines earned a .421 team kill percentage in the effort, committing just seven errors through four sets. The Maize and Blue also recorded a season-high 16 blocks, and almost every player tallied a dig in the outing.

Senior Abby Cole was the offensive spark plug for the Wolverines in the effort, recording a season-high 19 big kills at a .486 attack average and notching a season-high nine blocks. Junior Adeja Lambert followed her lead with a season-high 11 kills at a career-high .647 clip.

In addition to the offense from Cole and Lambert, junior Claire Kieffer-Wright tallied eight kills on the night, while senior Kelly Murphy and sophomore Carly Skjodt added seven apiece. Guiding that offensive showing was freshman setter MacKenzi Welsh, who totaled 47 assists.

Sophomore libero Jenna Lerg anchored the back row defensively, recorded her 12th double-digit dig outing of the season with 12, while eight players recorded a block from the front row in the victory. Along with Cole’s nine blocks, freshman Cori Crocker came up big with six, while Kieffer-Wright added five to the mix.

Colgate come out of the gate swinging hard offensively to take an early lead, stunning the Michigan offense and forcing the Wolverines to take a timeout when trailing 13-8. Despite a .306 attack average in the set and seven kills from Cole, it was the Raiders who took set one by a 25-22 score.

Trailing 1-0, Michigan jumped out to its first lead of the day at 4-3 in the second set, but Colgate quickly tied things up. From there, the teams played point for point until Colgate pulled away at 16-14, forcing a Michigan timeout. Following the stoppage in play, the Wolverines rallied to overcome the deficit and go ahead 20-18, but the Raiders responded to tie the score at 21-21 and force another Michigan timeout. Coming out of the huddle, big kills from Skjodt, Lambert and Kieffer-Wright propelled the Wolverines to a 25-23 second-set victory.

Despite a slow start, the Wolverines dominated the third set of the match with a .542 kill percentage, as both Lambert and Cole picked up four kills apiece. Nearly every Wolverine tallied a kill in the game, but it was the five team blocks that held the Raiders to -.087 attack average as Michigan took the set handedly, 25-9.

A 2-1 lead gave Michigan the momentum heading into set four, and the Wolverines took it in stride. A battle at the beginning of the set allowed the Eagles to tie the game at 5-5, but Michigan rattled off six straight points on a Lambert serving spree to go up 11-5. From there, the Maize and Blue offense was unstoppable, and the Wolverines used a .542 kill percentage in set four to take the game, 25-14.

The victory is Michigan‘s third straight and gives the Wolverines an 11-1 record heading into Big Ten Conference play next week. It is just the eighth time in program history that Michigan has begun the season with an 11-1 record or better.

Up Next: The Michigan Challenge concluded the non-conference part of the schedule, and the Wolverines will face No. 1 Nebraska Friday, September 30 at home at 7 p.m.

Wolverine Stats

Abby Cole (19 kills, 2 digs, 9 blocks)
Adeja Lambert (11 kills, 2 digs, 1 block)
Claire Kieffer-Wright (8 kills, 1 dig, 5 blocks)
Jenna Lerg (5 aces, 12 digs)

How to Follow

Keep up with the Wolverines on Facebook, @umichvball on Twitter and @umichvball on Instagram

Courtesy of Colgate Athletics

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Colgate volleyball team opened its match against No. 23 Michigan by winning the first set, but the Wolverines claimed the final three to earn a 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 9-25, 14-25) victory Saturday night in the Michigan/EMU Challenge.

The Raiders were just the fourth team this season to take a set off the nationally-ranked Wolverines (11-1). Prior to tonight’s match, eight of Michigan‘s 10 wins were 3-0 sweeps.

The Raiders got out to a quick 4-1 lead in the first set and never looked back. Michigan got within two of Colgate at 10-8, but kills from Katie Stebbins andKathleen Harris helped string together a 4-0 run that stretched the Raider lead to 14-8. Colgate extended its lead to seven at 17-10 following a solo block from Taylor Flaherty and held onto that seven-point advantage at 22-15. The Wolverines responded with a 6-1 stretch to pull within two at 23-21, but kills from Harris and Jaelah Hutchison eventually locked up a 25-22 set-one victory.

The second set, a tight back-and-forth battle, was deadlocked on 11 different occasions until Michigan used a 3-0 run to turn an 18-17 deficit into a 20-18 advantage. Three kills from Harris helped the Raiders work the score to 22-22, but the Wolverines scored three of the final four points to grab a 25-23 set-two victory and even the match at 1-1.

Michigan got out to a quick 8-1 lead in the third set and Colgate was never able to recover. The Wolverines hit .542 in the third frame en route to a 25-9 victory that gave Michigan a 2-1 match advantage.

The fourth and final set was tied at 5-5 early on, but Michigan put together a 6-0 streak to jump ahead 11-5. Kills from Harris, Stebbins and Flaherty helped the Raiders narrow the gap to three at 13-10, but it would be as close as Colgate would get the rest of the way. The Wolverines responded with a 6-1 stretch that extended their lead to 19-11 and Colgate wasn’t able to catch up as the Raiders fell 25-14 and Michigan claimed a 3-1 match victory.


  • Michigan 3, Colgate 1 (25-22, 23-25, 9-25, 14-25)


  • No. 23 Michigan improves to 11-1 on the season.
  • Colgate falls to 3-7 overall.


  • Harris led the Raiders with 15 kills and a strong .303 hitting percentage. She also contributed nine digs, just missing a double-double.
  • Stebbins chipped in 10 kills, while Stansbury pitched in nine.
  • Molly Smith dished a team-high 22 assists and Lauren Sanderson added 19 helpers.
  • Madison McAndrews registered a team-best 16 digs.


  • The Raiders finished the match hitting .205 as a team, highlighted by a .400 clip in the first-set victory.
  • The Wolverines hit .421 as a team.

Head Coach Ryan Baker

  • “For two sets, it was quite possibly our best volleyball of the season and quite possibly in my entire tenure at Colgate. Raider Nation has a lot to be proud of. What I’m most happy about is that we aren’t satisfied after a great performance. This team has their heads on.”
  • Michigan made some great adjustments and we couldn’t answer their 6’5 All-American rightside hitter.”
  • “I thought our entire team stepped up and it showed.”


  • The Raiders wrap up the Michigan/EMU Challenge Sunday against Eastern Michigan.
  • First serve from Ypsilanti, Mich. is set for 1 p.m.
  • Information on how to follow can be found at Game Central.

Raider Stats

Kathleen Harris (15 kills, 9 digs, 2 blocks)
Katie Stebbins (10 kills, 1 dig, 2 blocks)
Katie Stansbury (9 kills, 9 digs, 1 block)

Follow Colgate on Facebook, @Colgate_VB on Twitter and @colgatevball on Instagram


Michigan Sweeps Neighbors Eastern Michigan in 3


No. 23 Michigan Wolverines volleyball team defeated their neighbors, Eastern Michigan University, in 3 (25-15, 25-18, 25-21) in the Michigan/EMU Challenge today.

Proving their dominance once again, the Wolverines improved their nearly spotless record to 10-1 over their Mid-American Conference opponent.

Claire Kieffer-Wright and Katherine Mahlke reached new career-high attack percentages, with Kieffer-Wright hitting .667 and Mahlke with a .500 kill percentage.

Two errors from the Eagles gave Michigan an early 3-0 lead, and a dominating 6-3 run from the Wolverines forced an EMU timeout but didn’t help their cause. Kelly Murphy’s five kills in the first set helped to end the first set quickly with a 25-15 win.

Eastern Michigan took their first lead of the match in the second set, and stayed within a point of the Wolverines, trailing 7-6. Although the Eagle offense stepped up their game, they couldn’t overpower Michigan, and didn’t earn a lead for the rest of the second set.

The Wolverines earned an early 11-5 lead over Eastern Michigan, but the Eagles fought back with a 9-6 run. With a closer game at 17-14, EMU forced Michigan to take its first timeout of the entire match. The short break was enough for Michigan to pull together and quickly end the first set 25-21.



Courtesy of Michigan Athletics

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Led by 11-kill outings from juniors Claire Kieffer-Wright and Katherine Mahlke, the No. 23-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team swept Eastern Michigan (25-15, 25-18, 25-21) in the Michigan/EMU Challenge on Saturday (Sept. 17) at Cliff Keen Arena.

The Wolverines improved to 10-1 on the year with the victory, tallying their fourth sweep in the last five matches and eighth sweep overall this season.

Kieffer-Wright and Mahlke finished the match with new career-high attack percentages. Hitting at a .667 clip, Kieffer-Wright made just one error on the day and added a block assist, while Mahlke’s .500 kill percentage came on 20 swings, and she had two blocks to tie her season high.

Seniors Ally Davis and Kelly Murphy were also solid offensively in the sweep, as Davis finished the match with eight kills and Murphy added seven. Murphy also finished the day with a .312 kill percentage, while Davis tallied a season-high .412 attack average.

Despite not starting for the first time this season, freshman Cori Crocker led Michigan defensively at the net with four blocks. From the back row, sophomore libero Jenna Lerg again tallied double-digit digs with 12 to lead the Wolverines for the 11th straight match.

Michigan jumped out to an early lead in the first set on a kill from Murphy and two consecutive Eagle errors. Up 3-0, Michigan rattled off a 6-3 run to go up 9-3 and force an Eastern Michigan timeout, but the Wolverine offense refused to slow. A .394 team attack percentage and five kills from Murphy as well as four from Kieffer-Wright and Davis propelled the Maize and Blue to a quick 25-15 first-set victory.

Eastern Michigan took the first point of game two, and the teams played point-for-point until a kill from Kieffer-Wright on a Murphy serve put the Wolverines up at 7-6. Despite a scrappy Eagle offense, Michigan never lost the lead from there, as five kills on a .714 clip from Mahlke propelled the Wolverines to a 25-18 win in the second set.

A 2-0 lead gave Michigan an easy confidence in set three, and the Wolverines jumped out to an 11-5 lead to force an EMU timeout. A 9-6 run by the Eagles then closed the gap a 17-14, which encouraged the Wolverines to take their first timeout of the entire match. The stoppage in play was enough for Michigan to regroup and quickly surge ahead to a 25-21 set victory.

The victory marks Michigan‘s second straight and signals the Wolverines’ 10th of the season.

Up Next: The No. 23-ranked Wolverines will wrap up the Michigan/EMU Challenge on Saturday night (Sept. 17) when they host Colgate in the tournament finale. First serve for the match is slated for 7 p.m. inside Cliff Keen Arena.

Wolverine Numbers

Claire Kieffer-Wright (11 kills, 1 block)
Katherine Mahlke (11 kills)
Jenna Lerg (4 aces, 12 digs)
Ally Davis (8 kills, 2 digs)

How to Follow

Keep up with the Wolverines on Facebook, @umichvball on Twitter and @umichvball on Instagram


Courtesy of Eastern Michigan Athletics

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team traveled across Washtenaw County into Ann Arbor to square off with the University of Michigan Saturday, Sept. 17, when they took on the No. 22-ranked Wolverines (10-1) in the Eagles (4-7) first match of the Michigan Challenge. EMU fell in three sets at Cliff Kean Arena, 25-15, 25-18, 25-21.

Senior Devon Murray (Shelby, Ohio-Shelby) was a bright spot for the Eagles firing off a team-high 11 kills with just one error in 24 tries, good for a .417 attack percentage. Sophomore Alyssa LaFace (Allen Park, Mich.-Allen Park) was Eastern’s leader on the defensive side of the ball, picking up 19 digs in three sets. Redshirt sophomore Mallory Rajewski (Midland, Mich.-Midland)and freshman Riley Taylor (Indianapolis, Ind.-Perry Meridian) handled the setting duties, finishing with 17 and 11 assists, respectively. As a team, the Eagles hit at a .141 clip, but could not keep pace with the Wolverines’ blistering .347 attack percentage.

Up Next: The Green and White continue the Michigan Challenge tonight, inside the Convocation Center against the Tigers of Auburn University. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

Eagle Stats

Devon Murray (11 kills, 2 blocks)
Alyssa LaFace (1 ace, 19 digs)
Jordan Smith (10 kills, 4 digs)

Track the Eagles on Twitter @EMUVolleyball, Instagram @easternmichigan and on Facebook

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