It took the Michigan volleyball team one game to warm up, but the Wolverines rolled over Central Michigan, 3-0, in their first match of the adidas/Michigan Challenge.
Michigan won the first game 25-23 before winning the final games 25-11 and 25-15.
The Wolverines started five underclassmen on Friday, playing without redshirt senior right side hitter Claire McElheny, the team’s only senior. It was junior outside hitter Lexi Erwin who led Michigan, though, recording 10 kills, nine digs and four aces.
The first game began with Central Michigan jumping out to a quick 5-1 lead following a 4-0 run. Michigan fought back, trading points until the Wolverines put together a run of their own to tie the game at nine.
Michigan grabbed its first lead when Erwin’s solo block made the score 11-10. The game would continue to go back-and-forth until both teams tied at 23. Sophomore setter Lexi Dannemiller’s kill forced the Chippewas to take a timeout, but that just prolonged the set-clinching kill from Erwin.
Dannemiller ended her night with 28 assists to go along with three block and five assists.
The second game featured a 12-0 run by the Wolverines early in the game to pull ahead 15-3. After a Michigan error, the Wolverines regrouped for another push, putting together a 6-1 run following several violations by Central Michigan. The Chippewas attempted to comeback, but it was ultimately freshman outside hitter Kelly Murphy’s kill that capped the game.
Michigan picked up where it left off in the third game, piecing together a 4-0 run that featured an Erwin kill right down the line and a 5-0 run. Junior outside hitter Molly Toon’s two kills highlighted the last run for the Wolverines, making the score 13-4.
Central Michigan answered back with a 5-0 run of its own, but Michigan’s lead proved to be too much. Another Toon kill forced the Chippewas to take a timeout, down seven points. Dannemiller added a kill before freshmen defensive specialist Lindsey Lerg served an ace to win the game.
Freshman libero Tiffany Morales totaled nine digs to tie Erwin for the team lead. Junior middle blocker Jennifer Cross added eight kills and four block assists.
The Wolverines continue play on Sunday, with games against UMBC at 11 a.m. and Arkansas at 7:30 p.m.