Michigan Holds Home Court in Five Setter against Illinois (RV)

  0 Wendy Mayer | November 11th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News


  • Michigan def. Illinois (RV) 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 15-25, 15-13)
  • Michigan moves to 17-11, 7-9 Big Ten; Illinois falls to 18-9, 9-7 B1G
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Attendance: 1,700
  • Box Score 


ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The third time was the charm for the Michigan volleyball team, as the Wolverines held on for a five-set win over Illinois, in their third straight five-set affair.

The victory leveled the season series with the Fighting Illini, which won a Nov. 4 five setter in Champaign, Illinois.

The Wolverines won the match despite being outhit .311 to .263 and being outblocked 16-10 and outscored overall 88-83. Both teams managed 68 kills and Michigan boasted a 5-4 edge in aces.

Four Michigan players turned in double-digit kill tallies, led by junior outside hitter Carly Skjodt. Senior middle blocker Claire Kieffer-Wright (15), senior opposite Katherine Mahlke (13) and sophomore outside Syndey Wetterstrom (12) rounded out the group. Kieffer-Wright paced the team at the net with six blocks, while junior libero Jenna Lerg led the backcourt defense with 17 digs.

Sophomore outside Jacqueline Quade downed a match-high 21 kills, while hitting at a .541 clip, with just one error in 37 swings. Quade also put up five blocks and added five digs. Junior setter Jordyn Poulter added 11 kills, while hitting .529 and dishing out 52 assists. Freshman outside Megan Cooney notched 10 kills and six blocks, while junior middle Ali Bastianelli chipped in eight kills and a team-best 10 stuffs. Senior libero Brandi Donnelly notched a match-high 20 digs.

The decisive fifth set saw the teams split the first 26 points, tying at every point 1-13, before a Mahlke kill and Lerg ace capped the 15-13 Wolverine win and the match. Five Illini miscues and kills by five different players contributed to the Michigan effort. For Illinois points came on two kills a a block by Cooney, three Quade kills and four Wolverine errors.



Courtesy: Michigan Athletics

Four double-figure kill performances propelled the University of Michigan volleyball team to its first five-set victory of the season Saturday evening (Nov. 11), as the Wolverines defeated the Fighting Illini by a 3-2 score (25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 15-25, 15-13) inside Cliff Keen Arena.

The five-set match is Michigan’s third straight and the first to result in a victory. The win also marks the Wolverines’ second win over a team recognized in the AVCA poll, as Illinois is currently the third team out of the Top 25 with 16 points.

Michigan had four players total double-digit kills for the first time since a 3-1 victory over Ohio State (Sept. 29) earlier this season. Junior outside hitter Carly Skjodt led the effort with 18 kills, while senior middle blocker Claire Kieffer-Wright totaled 15 at a .310 clip, and senior opposite hitter Katherine Mahlke added 13 behind a team-high .348 attack average.

Sophomore outside hitter Sydney Wetterstrom also tallied 12 kills to come within one of tying her career high, and freshman middle blocker Kiara Shannon set a new career best with six kills. Sophomore setter MacKenzi Welsh guided the offense with a season-high 61 assists and added four digs and two kills.

Defensively, Michigan totaled 10 blocks, and Kieffer-Wright led the charge with six. From the back row, junior libero Jenna Lerg registered 17 digs to mark her 22nd double-digit dig performance this season.

Both teams worked efficiently in the fifth set, as the Wolverines posted a .385 attack average and the Illini hit at a .375 clip. The set featured 13 ties and four lead changes, and neither team could gain more than a two-point lead until a kill by Mahlke and a service ace by Lerg propelled Michigan to the 15-13 fifth-set victory.

Back-to-back kills from Welsh and Skjodt jump-started the first set, and the Wolverines then used a 7-3 run to go up by six and force an Illinois timeout. The Illini inched back to cut the deficit to two at 13-11, but Michigan maintained a lead and used a .355 attacking percentage along with five kills from Skjodt to take set one, 25-20.

Illinois jumped out to an early lead in the second set, but the Wolverines rallied to tie the score at 7-7 on a kill from Mahlke before taking a lead at 9-7 and forcing an Illinois timeout. The Illini then rallied to tie the score once more at 15-15, but a kill by Mahlke and back-to-back Illinois attack errors put the Wolverines up by three. Despite a 21-20 Wolverine lead late in the set, the Illini used a 6-1 run to come from behind and earn a 25-22 second-set victory.

The third set mirrored the second, as neither team could gain a significant lead and keep the momentum. With the teams playing nearly point for point, the score was tied late at 23-23 before a kill from Wetterstrom and a double-block by Mahlke and Kieffer-Wright clinched the third set, 25-23.

Illinois took an early lead in the fourth set of the evening, but back-to-back kills from Skjodt and a service ace by Welsh tied things up, 6-6. From there, however, the Illini launched a 10-3 run that burned both of the Wolverines’ timeouts and put Illinois up, 16-9. Using a .447 attacking percentage and holding Michigan to just a .158 clip, the Illini claimed a 25-15 fourth-set win.

Michigan will get back in action on Wednesday night (Nov. 15) when the Wolverines host in-state rival Michigan State in a midweek Big Ten matchup. The contest is slated for a 7 p.m. first serve inside Cliff Keen Arena, and fans can watch the match streamed live on BTN Plus (subscription required).


Courtesy: Illinois Athletics

In a back-and-forth match, the Fighting Illini volleyball team fell just short in a five-set (20-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-15, 15-13) battle to Michigan in Cliff Keen Arena on Saturday (November 11) night.

Sophomore Jacqueline Quade led all players with just her second 20-kill career match and totaled 21 kills on a .529 hitting percentage to pace the Illini (18-9, 9-7), while junior Jordyn Poulter registered her 19th career double-double and ninth of the season with a career-high 11 kills on a .529 hitting percentage, 52 assists, five digs and three blocks. Freshman Megan Cooney joined the duo in double figures with 10 kills and six blocks against the Wolverines (17-11, 7-9).

As a team, the Illini totaled 16 blocks to Michigan’s 10, with Marysville, Michigan native Ali Bastianelli posting her seventh career double-digit block outing with a season-high 10 stuffs on the night.

Defensively, senior Brandi Donnelly led the Illini with 20 digs – her 31st career match with 20 digs or more.

Trailing 2-1 in the match, the Illini dominated the fourth set to force a fifth and final stanza. In a back-and-forth set that saw 13 ties, neither team had more than a point advantage until the Wolverines broke a 13-13 tie with a Katherine Mahlke kill, followed by a service ace for the 15-13 set win and 3-2 match victory.

The Wolverines jumped out to a quick 10-3 edge in the opening set, but the Illini fought back with four-straight points, including back-to-back Poulter and Bastianelli blocks to cut the lead to 13-11. Back-to-back UM points slowed the Illini rally, before a block from the home team pushed the score to 20-15. UI used a 4-1 run to close with 21-19 on a Bastianelli and Quade stuff, but the Wolverines returned the favor and finished off the first with a 4-1 run of their own for the 25-20 win.

It was the Illini with the hot start in the second as a Bastianelli kill made it 6-3 in favor of the visitors, but a 7-1 run from the Wolverines pushed the home team ahead at 10-7. After back-to-back kills gave UM a 12-8 edge, the Illini cut the advantage to one at 13-12 with two-straight Quade kills, before a Donnelly service ace knotted things at 15-15. UM answered back with three-straight points to go ahead at 18-15, but a 9-3 Illini run propelled the visitors to a 24-21 advantage, before a Quade kill gave the Illini the set at 25-22 and tied the match at 1-1.

In a tightly contested third set it was the Wolverines that held an early 11-8 edge, but the Illini came back as freshman Kylie Kuyava-Deberg came off the bench to tie the set at 15-15 with her second kill of the night. After UM pushed its edge back to 19-16, an ace from freshman Tyanna Omazic tied the score at 19-19 as the two teams sided out over the next several points. With the score knotted at 23-23, the Wolverines took the set and the 2-1 lead in the match with back-to-back points.

It was all Illini in the fourth with an early 5-2 lead, before the Wolverines came back to tie things at 6-6. A Prince kill gave the edge back to the Illini, which the visitors would not relinquish as an 11-3 run pushed the advantage to 20-10. UM cut the edge to 21-14 with a 4-1 run, but the Illini then scored four of the final five points for the 25-15 set victory to force a decisive fifth set.

The Illini return to Champaign for their final three-match homestand in Huff Hall this season, starting next weekend as the Orange and Blue host No. 10 Wisconsin on Friday (November 17) and No. 5 Minnesota on Saturday (November 18). First serve for both matches is set for 7 p.m. CT.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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