UM’s rally not enough this time

Wolver­ines bat­tle vs. Texas, but come up short in four sets

The Detroit News - - Sports - BY TONY PAUL The Detroit News

It wasn’t just rem­i­nis­cent of the sec­ond-round NCAA Tour­na­ment vic­tory over Pitts­burgh. It re­minded Michi­gan head vol­ley­ball coach Mark Rosen of a lot of the Wolver­ines’ games.

They came back, and strong. But Michi­gan’s sea­son came to an end Fri­day af­ter­noon, in a 3-1 loss to fifth-seeded Texas in the Sweet 16. The Longhorns won, 25-10, 27-29, 29-27, 25-19.

“That’s one thing this team has a done a great job of, they’re never out of it,” Rosen said Fri­day night, af­ter ar­riv­ing back at the team’s ho­tel in Provo, Utah, not far from the BYU cam­pus where the match was played. “Not only the Pitts­burgh game, but a lot of the games played this year. They were ma­ture enough to un­der­stand if you lose one set, it’s just one set.

“Our team hard.”

Texas (23-4), the Big 12 reg­u­lar-sea­son cham­pion, started with a bang in racing out to a 10-0 lead in the open­ing set.

But Michi­gan (24-10), which lost the opener at Pitts­burgh last round be­fore ral­ly­ing to win in five sets, stormed back to win a thrilling sec­ond set.

It was the third set that, as it of­ten does, proved most piv­otal.

Michi­gan had things in com­mand with a 17-12 lead, then 2014,

fought

re­ally be­fore Texas ral­lied. Still, the Wolver­ines’ four times faced a set point to win the match, and all four times the Longhorns sur­vived and even­tu­ally won. That was a crusher.

Michi­gan then dropped the fourth set. That was the sea­son.

“It’s such a dif­fer­ent po­si­tion to be up 2-1 as op­posed to be­ing down 2-1,” Rosen said. “It was a lit­tle de­flat­ing. We had the lead in that one, had some control, and to have them pull it out, it was hard to come back from.

“You’re down now and your back’s against the wall, against a very good team.”

Se­nior Carly Skjodt led Michi­gan with 16 kills, fresh­man Paige Jones had 12 and junior Kata­rina Glavinic had nine. Junior Mackenzi Welsh had 40 as­sists, and se­nior Jenna Lerg (Farm­ing­ton Hills Mercy) fin­ished with 17 digs.

For Texas, which will play BYU in the Elite Eight to­day, Micaya White had 21 kills, and Lo­gan Eg­gle­ston had 17.

Michi­gan ath­let­ics

Michi­gan se­nior libero Jenna Lerg (Farm­ing­ton Hills Mercy) records a dig dur­ing the Wolver­ines’ Sweet 16 loss to Texas on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

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