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Monday, August 31, 2015

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Spartans split weekend trip


Junior setter Kristen Kelsay celebrates a point on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 at Jenison Field House as the Spartans secure a point in late set five. MSU defeated IPFW, 3-2. Justin Wan/The State News

The MSU volleyball team started its weekend with a win, but it ended in heartbreak, as the Spartans finished their four-game road trip Saturday.

The Spartans (15-3 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) traveled to Madison, Wis., and beat the Badgers (14-5, 2-4) on Friday in four sets.

The Spartans came out of the gates early, grabbing a 7-1 lead to kick off the first set. The set was brought to a 22-21 margin, but a service ace by junior setter Kristin Kelsay gave MSU its 25th point.

The second set never had a margin greater than two points until the Spartans went up 24-21, and it ended on a block by junior middle blocker Alexis Mathews and senior outside hitter Amy Dentlinger.

After a slipup in the third set, the Spartans buckled down and won the match in another back-and-forth set.

The match with No. 10 Minnesota (14-3, 5-1) started off in MSU’s favor, with the Spartans taking a 2-1 advantage.

With one set needed to capture a marquee victory, the Spartans found themselves in an ideal position to beat the Gophers, hanging on to a 20-15 lead.

The Gophers rattled off five-straight points to tie it up at 20. The Spartans worked the set back to a 23-23 game, but the Gophers found themselves on top in the fourth set after a block to seal the game.

The deflated Spartans then fell in the fifth set 8-15, leaving them at a loss for the day.

The Spartans head home for a two-game weekend, starting against Northwestern (12-5, 1-5) at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Jenison Field House.

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