Volleyball: Season Ends in Seattle

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on December 3rd, 2010 at 7:46 AM

theteamtheteamtheteam

L, 0-3 (22-25, 17-25, 16,25)

The volleyball team was swept in the opening round of the NCAA tournament last night at the hands of #11 Washington. The #23 Wolverines were missing Alex Hunt due to an injury, and adding more youth to an already young lineup didn't help Michigan's cause.

Michigan beat itself almost as much as Washington. The team had 13 service errors on the night, which for those of you not into volleyball, that's a lot. Basically 1/6th of all of Washington's points were scored because Michigan couldn't serve the ball into the court. It's not unusual for Michigan to have quite a few service errors, around 6-8, due to our aggressive mentality, but 13 is definitely on the high side.

Coach Mark Rosen via the Daily:

"It's funny because I thought the stuff we did the worse was what they have no control over, which was serving," Rosen said. "It's the one part of the game that they do not have an effect on. The ironic part is that it's such a big part of our game and who we are. We haven't had a match like that all year; it was completely out of the blue."

Michigan also hit just 0.137 as a team. Again, for those of you not familiar with volleyball speak, this describes how many of the attacks land. You get negative points for attacking out of bounds or being blocked, positive points for getting a kill. A good game has a team hit above .300. A meh game has you hit at least .225.

Without Hunt in the lineup, Washington was able to spread their block around much better. The Huskies posted 10 total blocks (3 solo, 14 assists), shutting down much of Michigan's offense. Karlee Bruck was held to a -0.091 hitting percentage.

lexi aceSo with this loss, not only does Michigan's season come to an end, so too comes an end to the Lexi Zimmerman era. Lexi became Michigan's all time appearance leader with last night's game, making her 140th straight start, edging out Megan Bower's 139th appearance made in last year's NCAA tournament.

U-M Senior Lexi Zimmerman
On playing her final match at Michigan ... "I am very proud to have been a Michigan Wolverine for four years. I would have never chosen any other program."

Lexi has been the heart and soul of the Michigan team over the last two years, and she leaves as arguably the greatest player ever to wear the Maize and Blue. She came when the program was just in it's re-building stage. Michigan hadn't been that dominant. She leaves the program after making 4 straight appearances in the NCAA tournament, including one trip to the Elite 8.

Lexi will be missed.

But behind Lexi and fellow senior Maggie Busch, there is much to look forward to next year. All-Big Ten outside hitter Alex Hunt will return from the ankle she rolled over in the final game of the regular season. Michigan will also return sophomore right side Claire McElheny, freshmen middle Jennifer Cross, and freshman hitter Lexi Erwin, who lead the team with 13 kills last night.

There's a lot of young talent on this team as Michigan has become a program that reloads instead of rebuilds under the coaches Rosen. So while it's going into the long off season for volleyball and Lexi leaves us, there's still much to look forward next season.

Comments

MGoAndy

December 3rd, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

This team was doomed from the start on the road without Alex.  

Sad to see Lexi's career come to end, but it was an awesome experience covering Michigan's all-time best.

WolverineBlue

December 3rd, 2010 at 1:55 PM ^

Was at the match last night and the service errors were definitely killers. It seemed that every time the team began to build a little momentum, it was snuffed out by a weak serve right into the net. Otherwise, it was a game effort under difficult circumstances and the team seemed to remain upbeat throughout the match.

JustGoBlue

December 3rd, 2010 at 3:48 PM ^

will be missed, greatly.  I don't think there's even really much question that she was the best volleyball palyer Michigan has ever had.  She came in very highly recruited and I don't think she ever disappointed, from her first match to her last.  It's too bad the team was so young this year, but she still led them to the ¡best start in Michigan history! and though they trailed off a TON towards the end, they still had a pretty darn good season.

Also, you mentioned our returning players, but you forgot to mention our two highschool All-Americans coming in (http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/w-volley/spec-rel/111710aaa.html).  Including a new, pretty highly recruited setter, from the midwest, named Lexi (Dannemiller) and an all-around hitter Lauren Teknipp.

I'm not sure if either of them are good enough to play much ahead of the incumbents, but even if not, they should be really good for us down the road.

Also, Catherine Yager, our setter who will be a junior next year, was pretty highly-touted herself, the #41 overall player coming out of highschool and with two years of coaching and playing under Lexi, she should be pretty good by now (though obviously, probably not as good as Lexi).  Try and tell me it won't be fun to yell, "Yager bomb!"  Everytime she gets a kill.

jamiemac

December 3rd, 2010 at 5:33 PM ^

Classy bunch of women. A great team.

And, if I dont say so myself, the single best looking team in the country.

They've really been fun to watch these last couple of years. I'm really glad folks like FA and OC pointed a lot of us fans in their direction.

lues

May 11th, 2011 at 4:27 AM ^

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