Wolverines rally past Ramblers to close Michigan Invitational with five-set win

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Michigan defeated Loyola Chicago in five sets to remain undefeated this season.
The Wolverines had three players with 15 or more kills.
» Maddie Dowd recorded his first double-double of the season with 49 assists and 11 digs.

To place: Ann Arbor, Michigan (Cliff Keen Arena)

Score: Michigan 3, Loyola Chicago 2 (25-23, 22-25, 28-30, 25-16, 15-9)

Recordings: UM (6-0), LUC (3-3)

Next UM event: Friday, September 9 — at Duke (Durham, NC), 6:30 p.m.

ANN ARBOUR, Mich.Kendall Murray, Jess Mruzik and jesse robinson combined for 52 kills to lead the way for the University of Michigan in the five-set victory (25-23, 22-25, 28-30, 25-16, 15-9) over Loyola Chicago on Saturday night (September 3 ) at Cliff Keen Arena during the Michigan Invitational Finals.

Murray led the way for Wolverines with 19 kills, while Dowd led the pack with 49 assists. Hannah Grant led Michigan in digs (22) and service aces (three).

In a first-set nailbiter, there were three lead changes and 10 deuces. Robinson hit 83% in the set, registering five kills from six attempts. A slam from Mruzik tied the set at 21 before the Ramblers took a two-point lead. Jacques Boney stepped up at the net to provide two massive blocks on the final four to push UM past Loyola Chicago to take the opening set.

The second set was just as close as the first, but this one went to the Ramblers. Loyola Chicago took a seven-point lead late in the set. Dowd made a five-point run on serve to pull Michigan in three, but Loyola capitalized on a few errors from Wolverine.

Michigan forced Loyola Chicago to 30 points to win the third set, which featured four lead changes and 15 draws, but the Ramblers got past UM to take the set and a 2-1 lead in the game. Murray did everything she could as she had 10 of Michigan’s 17 kills. The set fell to the wire before the Ramblers scored the final two runs on UM errors.

Michigan turned the tide in the fourth set, sailing to a nine-point margin of victory. Behind Grant’s efforts at the service line, Michigan took a six-point lead and never looked back. Robinson ended the set with a massive 10-foot slam.

The Wolverines kept that momentum going into the fifth set. With Michigan leading by one point at the start of the final set, Haley Hallgren served a dagger between two Ramblers to start a 6-0 service run. Mruzik also stepped up for UM, recording six of Michigan’s nine kills. Mruzik finished the game with an all-out slam to keep Michigan’s unbeaten streak alive.

The Wolverines outshot the Ramblers in the game, .296 to .253 while finishing with more kills (69-63), assists (65-56) and recoveries (68-56).

Mruzik finished the game with 18 kills, nine digs and two blocks. Robinson had 15 kills, hit 48% and led Michigan in blocks with five. The Wolverines recorded nine blocks and posted a .430 kill percentage.

UM will be back in action on Friday, September 9 when they take on Duke at 6:30 p.m. in Durham, NC. The match will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra.

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