Michigan sweeps Michigan State to advance to quarters for second time
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Michigan blew past Michigan State in three sets (25-16, 26-24, 26-24) on Friday, clinching its second-ever appearance in the national quarterfinals.
Michigan, making its second regional final appearance in four years, was led on offense by junior Lexi Erwin's 17 kills. Jennifer Cross added 12 kills and five blocks. Sophomore Lexi Dannemiller dealt 30 assists, while freshman Tiffany Morales had 19 digs. Freshman Krystalyn Goode registered five blocks, while Erwin had four block assists.
Michigan started strong in the first set, taking a 3-1 lead on a Goode kill and compiling a 5-2 advantage on a block from Goode and Erwin. UM went up 7-3 on another block from Goode and Erwin. Michigan State cut the lead to 8-5, but a Cross kill off an MSU overpass put the Wolverines up 10-5. A Spartan rotation error put UM up 12-5 and Erwin's kill gave the Maize and Blue a 13-7 lead. A kill from the setter Dannemiller put Michigan on top 16-7, and a back-row kill by Erwin gave the Wolverines an 18-10 advantage. A Spartan service error followed by an MSU attack error gave UM a 22-13 lead. The Wolverines closed out the set on a Cross kill, giving the Maize and Blue the early lead. Michigan hit .300 in the first set, while Morales had 10 first-set digs.
The second set featured 17 ties and 12 lead changes. Michigan took an early 3-2 lead on a Dannemiller service ace and went up 6-5 on Erwin's kill. Michigan State went up 8-7 on a Wolverine error and built a 10-9 lead on a service ace. Michigan retook the lead at 11-10 on a Cross service ace. Back-to-back Spartan blocks put MSU up 14-11. The Wolverines rallied to tie the set at 15 off an MSU attack error, then UM took a 16-15 lead on a Goode kill off an overpass. Michigan State then went on a 4-0 run, but a block from Cross and Goode cut the UM deficit to 19-18 and the Wolverines tied it at 19 on a kill from Erwin. Back-to-back Cross kill tied the set again, this time at 21. Cross then had a big block, giving UM a 22-21 lead. The Wolverines went up 23-21 on a Spartan error, but Michigan State battled back, tying it at 23 on a block. An Erwin kill set up a UM set point, which the Spartans answered. Cross then had a kill for a second set point, and a Spartan attack error gave the Wolverines a 2-0 advantage.
Michigan took a 5-4 lead in the third set off an Erwin kill, then U-M went up 7-5 on a Spartan block error. MSU scored the next three points and took an 11-9 lead on a Wolverine attack error. Michigan chipped away, eventually tying the set at 13 on an Erwin kill and taking a 15-13 lead on a Cross kill. Erwin gave UM a 17-15 lead with a termination, and her back-row kill made it 18-16. A Spartan service error put the Wolverines up 20-18 and Erwin's kill gave the Maize and Blue a three-point cushion. An MSU service ace cut the Wolverine lead to 21-20, but Erwin came right back with a kill. A Michigan error tied the set at 22, but Michigan State followed suit, giving the Wolverines the one-point lead. Erwin's kill gave UM match point, but MSU fought it off. A Spartan kill tied the set at 24, but Erwin answered again with a kill to force another match point, and Cross' kill sent Michigan to its second-ever regional final appearance.
Michigan hit .261 for the match, compared to .160 for the Spartans. UM held a 9.5-7.0 advantage in blocks, while both teams had three service aces.