Michigan Sweeps Northwestern 3-0 with Kills from 9 Players

  0 Braden Keith | October 13th, 2016 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

Match Stats

Despite no players in double-digit kills, the Michigan Wolverines swept the Northwestern Wildcats 3-0 on Wednesday in Evanston, Illinois.

What the Wolverines lacked in single-player stat-lines, however, they made up for with the breadth of scorers. 9 players got on the board offensively for Michigan – led by 9 on .318 hitting from Kelly Murphy – who just missed a double-double with 10 digs.

Northwestern’s Taylor Abbott paced the Wildcats in the loss with 15 of the team’s 32 kills – though she hit just .157 on 51 attacks.

“Symone is working hard in the gym, and we had good results tonight,” Northwestern head coach Shane Davis said. “She has been hitting different angles and working the block, and she has been getting out of her comfort zone.”


Courtesy Big Ten Network:

Press Releases

Courtesy Michigan Athletics:

EVANSTON, Ill. — The No. 18-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team clinched its 10th sweep of the season and second in Big Ten Conference play on Wednesday night (Oct. 12) with a 3-0 victory (25-17, 25-18, 25-13) over the Northwestern Wildcats inside Welsh-Ryan Arena.

With nine players tallying kills, Michigan earned a .314 team attack average for its highest kill percentage since a four-set victory over Colgate in mid-September.

Senior Kelly Murphy led the charge offensively in the win, totaling nine kills at a .318 clip. JuniorAdeja Lambert followed pace with another seven, while junior Claire Kieffer-Wright and senior Abby Cole picked up six apiece. Guiding the offense was freshman MacKenzi Welsh with 31 assists and three kills on six swings.

Defensively, Michigan tallied 10 team blocks for the first time since a victory over Iowa earlier this season. Cole and Keiffer-Wright each picked up four to lead the front row.

From the back row, Murphy and sophomore libero Jenna Lerg led all players with 10 digs apiece, while freshman Tiffany Clark added nine. Lerg has now earned double-figure digs in 17 matches this season and led Michigan in all 19.

The Wolverines took the first point of the day on a Northwestern attack error, and the following kill from Lambert gave Michigan a two-point lead. The Maize and Blue then rallied for a 12-8 lead to force a Northwestern timeout on kills from Murphy, Welsh, Lambert and junior Katherine Mahlke. Despite the stoppage in play, Michigan cruised on to a 25-17 first-set victory.

A kill from Cole continued Michigan’s run in the second set, but Northwestern kept pace early. Tied at 5-5, a service ace from Murphy and a kill from Lambert put the Wolverines up by two and forced a Wildcat timeout. From there, Michigan extended its lead slowly until a 5-1 run closed out the set with the Wolverines on top, 25-18.

Following the break, Michigan exploded offensively, going on a 9-3 run and burning both of Northwestern’s timeouts early. With no more opportunities to stop the Wolverine rally, Michigan used a .408 attack average and kills from seven different players in the third and final set to take the game, 25-13.

The No. 18-ranked Michigan Wolverines will return to play on Saturday (Oct. 15) when they host the visiting No. 1-ranked Wisconsin Badgers. The match, which represents Michigan’s second against a No. 1-ranked opponent this season, is scheduled for a 7 p.m. first serve inside Cliff Keen Arena.

Courtesy Northwestern Athletics:

EVANSTON, Ill. – Junior outside hitter Symone Abbott kept up her blistering pace with a match-high 15 kills Wednesday night against No. 18 Michigan at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

“Symone is working hard in the gym, and we had good results tonight,” head coach Shane Davis said. “She has been hitting different angles and working the block, and she has been getting out of her comfort zone.”

Abbott ranked third in the Big Ten entering Wednesday in kills per set with 4.06. She notched five per set against Michigan and was a thorn in the Wolverines’ side the entire match.

“Tonight I knew I had the ability to put the ball down,” Abbott said. “It helped my confidence a lot and reassured that I [can] do this.”

The Wildcats lost to the Wolverines in three sets.

Taylor Tashima handed out 27 assists and recorded nine digs for the Wildcats, while Maddie Slater notched five kills with a .417 hitting percentage. Slater continues to be on pace to set the program record for career hitting percentage with her .314 mark. The record currently stands at .313.

Rafae Strobos started at libero for Northwestern for the third match in a row. She notched a team-high 10 digs for her fifth double-digit dig game of the season. Eight Wildcats recorded digs overall.

Abbott paced Northwestern in the first set with seven kills as Northwestern hung tough with the Wolverines until the visitors pulled away at the end, 25-17. The ‘Cats hit an impressive .310 in the second set but fell 25-18, and Michigan finished the third set 25-13 to take the match.

Northwestern is back in action on Saturday when it travels to Champaign, Ill. to face Illinois for the second time this season.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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