(RV) Illinois Survives Massive Comeback From Michigan, Wins In 5

  0 Kyp Harasymowycz | November 05th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News


  • (RV) Illinois def. Michigan, 3-2 (25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 17-15)
  • Illinois improves to 18-7, 9-5 Big Ten; Michigan falls to 16-10, 7-7 Big Ten
  • Champaign, Illinois
  • Attendance: 2369
  • Box score

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Illinois needed two career nights from two key players down the stretch to escape Huff Hall with a 5-set victory over Michigan (25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 17-15). The Fighting Illini even needed three match points to put away the Wolverines in Michigan’s first five-set match of the season.

The one-up battle started from the beginning as two Hoosier natives squared off against each other. Avon, Indiana native Beth Prince led all attackers and finished with a career-high 26 kills for the Illini. Prince hit .270 on the evening to go along with 3 digs and 3 blocks. Senior libero Brandi Donnelly dug a match- and career-high 27 balls to run the floor defense Saturday night. Junior setter Jordyn Poulter notched yet another double-double by distributing 50 assists and 14 digs, her 8th double-double on the year and 18th in her career. Poulter also added a team- and match-high tying 6 blocks to the net defense.

Michigan had their own Indiana native lead the Wolverine attack. Junior outside hitter Carly Skjodt (pronounced: Scott), from Carmel, Indiana, led the Maize and Blue with 22 kills and brought a double-double of her own with 15 digs. It was the 18th time out of 22 matches Skojdt led the Wolverines in kills this season. Katherine Mahlke added 15 kills to the attack, followed by Claire Kieffer-Wright with 14 kills. Kieffer-Wright also had a team-high 4 blocks. MacKenzi Welsh finished with a match-high 61 assists, running the offense to a .219 hitting percentage. Welsh’s double-double included 11 digs. Libero Jenna Lerg ran the floor defense with a team-high 22 digs.


Courtesy of Illinois Athletics

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois volleyball team put together a gutsy team performance led by outstanding play from its upperclassmen in a thrilling five-set (25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 17-15) victory over Michigan on Saturday (November 4) night in Huff Hall.

Redshirt-sophomore Beth Prince, senior Brandi Donnellyand junior Jordyn Poulter were key in the victory for the Illini, who improve to 18-7 and 9-5 in the Big Ten. Prince paced all players with a career-high 26 kills, while Donnelly also turned in a career- and match-high 27 digs in the win. Poulter added her 18th career double-double and eight this season with 50 assists, 14 digs and team-high six blocks.

Sophomore Jacqueline Quade and freshman Megan Cooney joined Prince in double figures with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, while freshman Tyanna Omazic also notched a team-high six blocks on the night.

As a team, the Illini registered a .254 hitting percentage and outblocked the Wolverines (16-10, 7-7), 12 to seven.

After the Illini took an early 2-0 lead in the match, the Wolverines came back to tie things up and send the match to a fifth and final stanza. In a final set that saw 14 ties, neither team could grab more an a point advantage until kills from Quade and Prince put the Illini up at 11-9. UM battled back to knot things at 11-11 as the set went back-and-forth until a Prince kill set up the first Illini match point at 14-13. Michigan would go on to fight off two match points, until a Quade kill set up the third at 16-15 and an Omazic ace sealed the five-set victory.

The Illini jumped out quickly against the Wolverines, as a block from Poulter and Omazic put the home team ahead 11-5, before a Prince kill pushed the lead out to 14-6 in the opening set. Another Prince attack gave the Illini a 10-point advantage at 19-9, but the visitors used an 8-2 run to close within 21-17. Illinois responded by finishing out the stanza by taking four of the final five points – capped by a setter dump from Poulter – for a 25-18 set one win.

It was a side-out start to the second set as neither team could pull ahead until the Wolverines strung three-straight points together for a 16-13 edge. The Illini took little time to respond with four-unanswered point to pull ahead at 17-16 following a Quade and Omazic block. After the two teams went back-and-forth over the next several points, the Illini put together back-to-back points, including a block from Quade and junior Ali Bastianelli for a 21-19 advantage. Leading by one at 22-21, the Illini shut down the Wolverines with back-to-back Prince kills, before Poulter and Omazic combined for set-winning block at 25-21.

Out of the break, the Wolverines came out fast for the 5-1 advantage in the third, but the Illini battled back to close within 8-7 on a kill from Cooney. UI continued to keep it close until Michigan used a 4-1 mini run to push its edge to 18-13. Illinois answered back as a 6-1 run brought the home team within one at 21-20 following a Poulter solo stuff. Three-straight points from the visitors then gave the Wolverines set point at 24-20. The Illini fought off a pair of points before a Carly Skjodt kill gave UM the 25-22 win and pushed the match to a fourth set.

Back-to-back kills from Cooney and Bastianelli broke an early 5-5 tie in the fourth to give the Illini a slight advantage at 7-5, but the Wolverines stormed back with a 7-0 run en route to a 12-7 edge. Back-to-back points from junior Blayke Hranicka then brought the Illini within 12-9, before five-unanswered points put the Illini ahead at 14-13 following back-to-back blocks from Prince, Poulter and Omazic. With the score tied at 17-17, Michigan forced a decisive fifth set after ending the fourth on an 8-2 run for the 25-19 set win.

Courtesy of Michigan Athletics

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — After falling behind two sets to none, the University of Michigan volleyball team rallied for back-to-back set victories before ultimately falling by a 3-2 score (25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 17-15) to the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday night (Nov. 4) inside Huff Hall.

The five-set match was Michigan’s first of the season, and the loss brings the Wolverines’ conference record to 6-8.

Junior outside hitter Carly Skjodt led the Wolverines in kills for the 18th time this season, totaling 22 on a season-high 64 attacks. Senior opposite hitter Katherine Mahlke finished the match with a season-high 15 kills, and senior middle blocker Claire Kieffer-Wright totaled 14 kills to finish as the third Wolverine in double figures.

Defensively, junior libero Jenna Lerg led Michigan with 22 digs, while Skjodt added 15 for her fifth double-double of the season. Kieffer-Wright led the Wolverines from the front row with four blocks.

Neither team could gain an edge in the fifth set until back-to-back kills put Illinois up by two at 11-9. With both timeouts gone, Michigan used kills by Skjodt and Mahlke along with an Illini attack error to launch a 3-0 run and force Illinois to call timeout. The set featured 14 tie scores and seven lead changes, and though Michigan hit for a .458 average and fought off two set points, it was Illinois that took home the 17-15 fifth-set victory.

Michigan took the first point of the match on a cross-court kill from senior outside hitter Adeja Lambert, but Illinois countered with a 10-4 run to force a Wolverine timeout. The Illini extended their lead to 10 points at 19-9 before the Wolverines used multiple scoring runs to close the gap at 21-17, but an .091 hitting percentage was not enough as Michigan dropped set one, 25-18.

The teams traded points early in the second set until a kill by Lambert tied things up at 11-11. Following an Illinois challenge that was ruled inconclusive, back-to-back kills by Kieffer-Wright and Skjodt put the Wolverines up by two and propelled Michigan to a 15-13 lead going into the media timeout. Despite the surge, a 3-1 run by Illinois tied the score at 16-16, and the Illini used another run late in the set to force a 21-19 lead. Holding the Wolverines to just one team block, Illinois took set two by a 25-21 score.

A big kill from Skjodt and a service ace from sophomore setter MacKenzi Welsh pushed Michigan to an early 5-1 lead in set three, but Illinois worked from behind to cut the deficit to one at 12-11. The Wolverines countered with a kill from Skjodt, however, and used an 8-3 run to go up, 20-14. Illinois responded with a 6-1 run to come from behind again and cut the Michigan lead to just one at 21-20. With six kills from Skjodt and four from sophomore Sydney Wetterstrom, the Wolverines rallied to take set three, 25-22.

The Wolverines took an early five-point lead in the fourth set, but the Illinois rallied for a 5-0 run and flipped the score for a 14-13 lead. The teams battled with nine tie scores and five lead changes until the Wolverines took a 19-17 lead on a kill from Mahlke and forced an Illini timeout. Using five total blocks and big kills from Skjodt, Mahlke and Wetterstrom, the Wolverines took set four, 25-19, and forced their first fifth set of the season.

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