It was quite the weekend for the Michigan volleyball team which came into Friday night’s match with Ohio State on a two-game losing streak after dropping its first two Big Ten games.
The Wolverines set a record during Friday’s win over the Buckeyes and then evened up their Big Ten record with Saturday night’s victory over the visiting Cornhuskers. U-M had dropped in the top 25 rankings following tough road losses to top five ranked teams Minnesota (No. 1) and Wisconsin (No. 5) but should reverse course after getting back on course over the weekend.
A 15-kill outing and a .500 attack average by senior middle blocker Claire Kieffer-Wright helped lead the No. 23-ranked Wolverines to a four-set victory over Maryland (25-19, 19-25, 25-15, 25-21) on Saturday night inside Cliff Keen Arena. The Maize and Blue improved to 8-0 when playing at home this year and has lost just three sets in Ann Arbor.
Michigan served tough, totaling a season-high 10 aces to Maryland’s three. Senior outside hitter Adeja Lambert led the charge and set a career high with five. Kieffer-Wright led the offense in the four-set win, posting 15 kills and committing just two errors for a .500 kill percentage. Junior Carly Skjodt finished with 14 kills, all after the first set.
The Wolverines also out-blocked their opponent for the second straight match, totaling 12 team blocks. Kieffer-Wright finished with a match-leading seven, and freshman middle blocker Kiara Shannon set a career high with five (three solo).
On Friday night, the Wolverines hosted Ohio State at Crisler Center and defeated the Buckeyes 25-15, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22 in front of a record-setting 8,137 fans.
Numerous Wolverines recorded career-best numbers in the effort. Kieffer-Wright ended with a career-high nine blocks, while freshman Natalie Smith earned a career-high three service aces. Shannon added a career-high two kills and three block assists in the first start of her career.
Michigan totaled a season-high 15 blocks in the win.
Junior libero Jenna Lerg posted a match-high 25 digs to aid the Wolverines on defense, and all but one Michigan hitter recorded a block.
U-M (12-4, 2-2 B1G) plays at Iowa on Wednesday before hosting Minnesota at 1 p.m. on Saturday.