Oct. 21, 2005
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Northwestern staged a fantastic comeback in the third game Friday night against Michigan, staving off five-consecutive game points to win the contest and sweep the match at Cliff Keen Arena, 31-29, 30-27, 33-31.
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 12-7, 3-6 (Big Ten) on the year. Michigan falls to 9-9, 3-6 with the loss.
Every run made to start the match was answered immediately by the other squad. The Wildcats held the early 4-2 lead, before Michigan came back and led, 7-4. NU then tied the game, 8-8. Neither team held a lead bigger than three in a game that featured 17 ties.
With the score knotted, 25-25, senior Christie Gardner (West Bend, Wis./West Bend East) served up an ace for NU. A Michigan attack error and a block by junior Cassie McLaughlin (Cary, Ill./Cary Grove) and sophomore Lindsay Anderson (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) gave the Wildcats a 28-25 lead.
The Wolverines came back to knot the game again, 29-29, but two straight points, capped by a McLaughlin kill gave NU a 31-29 game one win.
Gardner finished the first game with 13 digs.
In the second game, Northwestern opened an 11-6 lead. The Wolverines repeatedly fought back, closing the gap to two several times before the Wildcats brought its lead back to five, 21-16, and UM called a timeout.
Northwestern extended its lead to seven, 27-20, but Michigan raced back into the match with a 7-1 run to make the score 28-27 in favor of NU and force a Wildcats' timeout.
Out of the break, McLaughlin killed a ball to give NU a game point, 29-27. Sophomore Stephanie Jurivich (LaGrange, Ill./St. Ignatius) then gave the Wildcats a 2-0 match lead with a kill for the 30-27 second game victory.
Northwestern sprinted out of the starting blocks in the third game, forcing a Michigan timeout after taking a 5-1 lead. The Wolverines again pulled themselves back into the game, eventually taking the lead in the contest, 13-12.
The Wildcats had trouble answering the UM surge, calling a timeout after falling behind by four, 20-16. Michigan eventually got to game point, 29-24, but Northwestern rallied.
A block by freshman Chelsy Hyser (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere) followed an Anderson block, then Gardner served an ace to make the score 29-27. A ball-handling error on Michigan pulled the Wildcats to within one, 29-28, before Hyser and sophomore Courtnie Paulus (Belgium, Wis./Ozaukee) combined on a block to knot the score, 29-29.
The Wolverines again took the lead, but then committed a lift to tie the game again, 30-30. Anderson then killed a ball to give NU its first match point. After Michigan tied the score, Anderson killed another ball before Hyser finished it with a kill of an overpass, 33-31, to give NU a 3-0 match win.
Gardner finished with 27 digs in the match, her season-best total for a three-game match. Anderson led NU with 14 kills, while junior Julie Purcell (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) added 13.
Northwestern returns to action tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. CT at Michigan State.