Oct. 15, 2010
No. 15 Michigan 3, No. 20 Northwestern 1
Site: Cliff Keen Arena Ann Arbor, Mich.
Records: Northwestern (15-3, 5-2 Big Ten); Michigan (18-2, 7-1 Big Ten)
Up Next: at Michigan State Saturday, Oct. 16 5:30 p.m. CT
Northwestern at Michigan Box Score
2010 Northwestern Volleyball Statistics
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- 20th-ranked Northwestern struck first at 15th-ranked Michigan, taking the opening set 25-23. But the Wolverines responded on its home court, taking the next three and handing the Wildcats a 25-23, 22-25, 21-25, 24-26 defeat at Cliff Keen Arena.
"We gave up way too many points early, and ended up playing from behind practically the entire night," said head coach Keylor Chan. "You can't do that against a team like Michigan, especially on their home court. I give a lot of credit to our girls, who never felt like they were beaten and found a way to get back into every match, but we just didn't get the key points when we needed them."
The senior middle blocking duo of Sabel Moffett (Temecula, Calif./Chapparal) and Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) each finished with 12 kills on the night to lead the Northwestern attack, with Johnson adding six blocks and Moffett recording four of her own.
Stephanie Holthus (Burlington, Ill./Central) recorded nine kills, seven digs and four blocks for Northwestern on the night with Christina Kaelin (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) adding eight of her own. Julie Chin (Naperville, Ill./North) recorded 16 digs defensively for the Wildcats, complemented by 11 from Alex Ayers (Playa del Rey, Calif./Marymount).
With first-place in the Big Ten on the line, set one played out as it should between two of the top teams in the conference. Northwestern and Michigan combined for 16 ties and seven lead changes, as neither team was able to build more than a two-point edge. Trailing 22-20, the Wildcats did what they have done all year - finish strong. Northwestern recorded five of the last six points, capped by a block from Kaelin and Johnson, to take the opener 25-23.
Michigan responded with a quick start in set two, building a four-point advantage at 13-9. But Northwestern wouldn't go down quietly, posting a 7-1 run to take the lead at 16-14 and forcing a Wolverine timeout. Michigan would regroup and held strong on its home court, using a methodical 11-6 run down the stretch to take the set 25-22 and tie the match at one at the intermission.
Behind a 7-0 run off the serve of Alex Hunt early in set three, Michigan once again took control early with an 11-4 advantage. Northwestern would stage another rally pulling to within two a handful of times, but were never able to overtake the Wolverines, dropping set three 25-21.
Northwestern was able to avoid falling into an early hole in set four, holding a slim lead for the majority of the opening stretch. Michigan, however, would rally late in the set, using a 9-4 run to take the lead at 22-19. The Wildcats staged one last rally, pulling to within one at 22-21 and fighting off three match points, but ultimately couldn't make it over the hump, falling in set four 26-24.
Northwestern looks to regroup with a short trip to East Lansing, Mich., facing Michigan State Saturday evening. The Spartans are 10-8 on the year and 2-5 in Big Ten play, falling 3-1 at Michigan Wednesday evening. Opening serve at Jenison Field House is set for 5:30 p.m. CT.
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