Sports

Wolverines Upend No. 23 Illini in Four Sets

Orignally published on 2021-11-25 03:45:43 by mgoblue.com

» Jess Mruzik registered her third 20-plus kill performance of the season.

» Paige Jones added a double-double of 16 kills and 10 digs.

» Scottee Johnson tallied a double-double of 48 assists and 13 digs.

» The Wolverines out-hit the Illini .342 to .228.

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Score: Michigan 3, #23 Illinois 1 (25-17, 28-26, 23-25, 25-23)
Records: U-M (17-11, 10-9 B1G), ILL (19-11, 11-8 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Nov. 26 — vs. Northwestern (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Sophomore Jess Mruzik and senior Paige Jones led the Wolverines’ impressive attack as the University of Michigan volleyball team battled its way to victory over No. 23-ranked Illinois (25-17, 28-26, 23-25, 25-23) on Wednesday night (Nov. 24) in Cliff Keen Arena.

Mruzik led U-M with 20 kills, including six in the first set and seven in the fourth set. This was her fifth career 20-plus kill match and third of the season. The Livonia, Mich., native hit an eye-popping .378 for the match and also added 15 digs and two blocks (two block assists) to her great night. Jones was not far behind, adding 16 kills while hitting .298 with three total blocks (one solo block BS, two block assists) and 10 digs. Sophomore setter Scottee Johnson ran a first-rate offense as the Maize and Blue hit .342 behind her 48 assists.

Michigan got great contributions from its middle blockers on the night, as freshman Jacque Boney had a career-high nine kills and hit .500 in addition to four total blocks. Junior Jess Robinson also registered nine kills and had two total blocks. Junior right side May Pertofsky finished the night with eight kills and added two total blocks. Redshirt sophomore Hannah Grant led four Wolverines in double-digit digs with 19 digs.

U-M came out firing on all cylinders, winning eight of the first 10 points on its way to hitting .417 across the set. Michigan never lost the lead and rolled to an easy first set victory of 25-17.

U-M continued its great start by taking five of the first six points in the second set. Illinois stormed back to tie the match at five, and the two teams battled it out from there. The Wolverines and Illini had 12 ties and four lead changes in the set, with both teams having a chance to win it late. Michigan was able to pull it out after back-to-back kills from Jones and Mruzik to finish the set 28-26.

Set three was another tight battle, as neither team managed a lead bigger than three points the entire way. Ultimately, Illinois pulled out the third set 25-23 to deny the sweep for the Wolverines.

The fourth set was similar to the rest with the Wolverines taking an early lead. However, this time they never relinquished it and managed to hold of a late Illini comeback. Mruzik’s seven kills in the set including the final point propelled Michigan to a 25-23 set victory.

U-M held a decisive advantage in hitting on the night, posting a .342 mark while the Fighting Illini hit just .228. The Wolverines trailed Illinois in most categories including assists (59-55), aces (5-2), digs (67-66), and both teams had 62 kills. Michigan led in total blocks (8-4), and Illinois committed 26 total errors.

Michigan will conclude the regular season Friday (Nov. 26) at 7 p.m. against Northwestern on Friday at Cliff Keen Arena, with the match being streamed live on B1G+. The Wolverines will honor their four seniors — Jones, Abbey Malinowski, Grace Persson and Lizzie Sadilek — after the match with the Wildcats.

Orignally published on 2021-11-25 03:45:43 by mgoblue.com

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