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Thursday, November 20, 2014 | Last updated: 2:21pm


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Wicinski becomes all-time MSU kills leader in weekend split




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Senior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski cheers Nov. 1, 2013, during the game against Ohio State at Jenison Field House. The Spartans defeated the Buckeyes, 3-0. Julia Nagy/The State News



It’s no secret the MSU volleyball team is talented. In the past few weeks, it’s become more clear just how talented the roster is in a historical sense.

A week after junior libero Kori Moster became the all-time digs leader in MSU history, senior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski set the all-time career kills record against Iowa on Saturday.

Wicinski totaled 18 kills in the 3-0 sweep, giving her 2,304 for her career and helping her surpass Jenna Wrobel in the record books.

Wicinski now has the third-highest career kill total in Big Ten history and is 16th all-time in NCAA history.

The Spartans (20-8 overall, 9-7 Big Ten) had yet another 1-1 weekend, falling in straight sets to Nebraska (23-25, 13-25, 22-25) on Friday before bouncing back against Iowa on Saturday.

Wicinski had 17 kills, five digs and two aces. Junior outside hitter Taylor Galloway had nine kills, five digs and three blocks against the Cornhuskers.

Freshman middle blocker Autumn Christenson also had three blocks to go with five kills on .400 hitting.

Nebraska excelled offensively, as three players registered double-digit kills and hit north of .400. The Spartans hit .255 as a team.

The first set was close. After trailing, MSU trimmed Nebraska’s lead to one, 19-18. But Nebraska scored two more to push the lead to three and ultimately took the set, 25-23.

The second set wasn’t as competitive for the Spartans. Nebraska built a 10-point lead, 17-7, and eventually opened a 24-12 lead before taking the set, 25-13.

MSU took the lead on several occasions during the third set, but couldn’t close out the win. Nebraska took its first lead at 13-12, but the game tied again at 15-15. Nebraska went on a 4-0 run to take a 19-15 lead, but MSU clawed back to trim the lead to 23-21. The Spartans’ errors helped Nebraska score the last two of three points to take the match.

The Spartans snapped a two-game skid with a win over Iowa on Saturday, beating the Hawkeyes in straight sets (25-10, 25-23, 25-23).

Wicinski had seven digs, an ace and a block in addition to her 18 kills. Senior middle blocker Alexis Mathews had nine kills and two blocks. Christenson and Galloway each had three blocks, and Galloway added six kills, 11 digs and two assists.

The Spartans had complete control of the first set, taking an early 7-3 lead that ballooned to 20-7 late in the set. MSU went on to take the set, 25-10.

Iowa was competitive in the final two sets. In set two, MSU came back to tie at 15. After another tie at 18-18, the Spartans kicked it up a notch to take a 24-22 lead, going on to win the set, 25-23.

The third set had a similar rhythm as Iowa had a 15-12 lead midway through. MSU scored two out of a timeout, but Iowa came back to lead 17-14. MSU responded with a 5-2 run to tie the game, 19-19.

MSU broke a 22-22 tie by outscoring Iowa 3-1 down the stretch to complete the sweep.

MSU will return to action this week, taking on Wisconsin and Minnesota at home on Friday and Saturday. Both games start at 6: 30 p.m.


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