By Seth J. Walker
Ann Arbor, Michigan- The 19th-ranked Michigan Wolverines improved to 10 this season with a sweep over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 25-22, 25-17, 25-18. While Wolverines play most of their home games at the Cliff Keen Arena for volleyball, this marquee matchup took place at the Crisler Center, in front of a very boisterous and partisan crowd which cheered the Wolverines to victory.
All 10 of the Wolverines wins have been sweeps, but this match against Irish didn’t initially look like it would go that way. The Wolverines found themselves down 10-4 in the first set before head coach Mark Rosen called a timeout. Afterwards, the Wolverines outscored the Irish 21-12 the rest of the set.
“I think it was honestly just nerves,” senior outside hitter, Carly Skjodt said. “This is our first game in Crisler this season and Notre Dame’s a good team, probably the best team we’ve seen so far this season. I think nerves just got to us a little bit, but we just composed ourselves and fought through that first set.”
With the Wolverines losing to the Irish in football this year, the volleyball team was able to get a measure of school revenge with this win.
“It feels great,” senior outside hitter, Skjodt said. “The Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry is a thing in all sports so it was great getting that win today against them.”
Freshman outside hitter, Paige Jones led the Wolverines with 13 kills to go along with 10 digs. Skjodt also added a balanced effort with 12 kills and 10 digs. Junior outside hitter, Sidney Wetterstrom added 10 kills while senior libero, Jenna Lerg, led the defensive effort with 18 digs. Junior setter, MacKenzi Welsh had 32 assists and 10 digs.
The Wolverines will face the Irish again in the second half of a home and home series this year.
“I just think we fought really well tonight and we’re going to carry that to South Bend on Sunday and bring the same energy even though it’s not in our gym.”
Sunday’s match will be in South Bend.