Volleyball Takes No. 14 Michigan to Five Games
Sept. 7, 2007
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Xavier volleyball team narrowly lost a five-game match, 3-2 (34-32, 30-28, 30-32, 29-30, 6-15), to No. 14 Michigan Friday evening in the nightcap of the Michigan/Pepsi Challenge at Cliff Keen Arena. The Musketeers are now 8-3 on the year while the Wolverines improved to 8-0.
The Blue and White was led by senior Jill Quayle who smashed out a new career-high 23 kills over the five-game contest. Quayle also posted an impressive .500 hitting percentage ( 23-3-40) and sophomore Kelly Ruth had a team-high 12 digs. Freshman Katie Russell tallied a double-double for the match with 11 kills and 10 digs. Quayle, Ruth and Russell were all named to the All-Tournament team for their performances.
The Musketeers started the match strong against the No. 14 Wolverines, jumping out to an early 3-1 lead. UM got ahead by 10, 19-9, after a kill by Sarah Draves and XU called a timeout. After talking it over and calming some nerves, the Musketeers fought back and was able to tie the game at 29-all off of two consecutives kills by Quayle and a subsequent assisted blocking effort by Quayle and junior Jenn Welsh.
Normally, the game would have been over with the next point as the first to 30 wins, but the winning margin has to be two points. Three ties later and a Wolverine attacking error put the Musketeers in postion to take the frame. Senior Jenni Horvath smashed out a kill to notch a game-one victory, 34-32.
Game two started out exactly the same with XU taking a 3-1 lead early. A 4-0 Wolverine blast would put the host team on top, 5-3, and they would retain the advantage until an assisted block by Ruth and Russell returned the lead to Xavier, 14-13. Michgan decided to take a minute to talk it over and the second half of the match would be a battle. The two teams exchanged points and leads but XU closed the frame with a 4-1 run to take the game, 30-28, and a 2-0 advantage into the third frame.
In the third game, the Wolverines jumped out to an early lead but a kill by Horvath knotted the two squads at four apiece. Xavier scored three consecutive points to move ahead by that same margin, 11-8, after back-to-back service aces from junior Megan Hellmann. Michigan continued to battle, retaking a one-point lead at 15-14 after a Musketeer ball handling error. Following a timeout called by the Wolverines, four consecutive XU kills stretched the Musketeers' lead to seven, 24-17. But UM was not out of the game yet.
An 8-2 run by No. 14 Michigan tied the game again, 25-25. Xavier would take at timeout down by one, 28-27, to talk it over. Out of the break, the two teams would take the game beyond the regulation 30-point barrier again after tying the game at 30-all. MU's Lyndsay Miller had a solo block and Beth Karpiak had a kill to end the frame, 32-30, and keep the Wolvines alive in the match with the Musketeers heading into the fourth game up, 2-1.
In the fourth frame, the Wolverines were determined and focused as they were able to tie the match at two games apiece with a 30-19 fame-four win. UM jumped out to an early lead and retained the lead for the entire frame as XU was unable to overcome the deficit. Michigan closed the fourth game with a 7-3 run to take the frame, 30-19.
The match would go into a deciding fifth-game race to 15 and Michigan took a 5-1 advantage early. Xavier called a timeout and after the break the Musketeers pulled within three, 7-4. A 4-0 run by UM stretched its lead to seven, 11-4, forcing XU's second timeout of the frame. After the break, Xavier would score two more points before Michigan was able to take the game, 15-6, and the match, 3-2.
For No. 14 Michigan, Katie Bruzdzinski smashed a match-high 32 kills and Stesha Selsky got under a match-high 41 digs.
The Musketeers return to action next weekend as they head out west for the San Francisco Invitational September 14-15. Xavier is set to open play against No. 17 Cal Poly on Friday and will face Sacremento State and host San Francisco on Saturday. Please continue to check www.GOXAVIER.com for the latest updates and stats.