For Juliana Paz and Veronica Rood, Senior Night was a fitting ending.

With Michigan and Minnesota tied at 25 in the third set of Friday’s volleyball game, Paz and Rood scored the Wolverines’ final two points in a three-set sweep of the Golden Gophers.

“To come back in game one and come back in game three against a legit team — and (Minnesota) beat us bad at their place — I’m just proud of how our kids played,” Michigan coach Mark Rosen said.

Throughout the entire match, Michigan (12-6 Big Ten, 24-7 overall) constantly shifted its offensive attack to combat Minnesota’s block on the outside, which ranks second in the conference. Early in the first set, the 12th-ranked Golden Gophers centered their blockers on sophomore Alex Hunt, the Wolverines’ hitting leader heading into the match.

Knowing that, the coaching staff wanted the team to “balance out the offense,” according to senior right side hitter Megan Bower.

Michigan did just that, catching the Gophers off guard with hits from the right side off of slide sets and back sets. Bower finished with six kills and Rood with eight.

In the third frame, the Wolverines were down 24-20 with the game on the line. But led by Paz and Rood, the team clawed its way back.

The duo was responsible for Michigan’s last seven points en route to its fifth consecutive win. After the sweep of Minnesota (13-5, 22-8), the two, along with Bower and senior Cassie Petoskey, were honored with a video tribute.

The Wolverines have two more regular-season matches on the road next week against Ohio State and Penn State. Rosen said his team is peaking at the right time as it heads into the final weekend of the regular season and the NCAA Tournament.

“We talk about this every year that the sign of a good team is playing your best volleyball at the end of the year, and we’re playing and competing the best right now,” Rosen said. “That tells me these kids are doing the right thing, and we’re going in the right direction.”

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