Spartan volleyball improves to 7-4 in Big Ten play, sweep Hoosiers
No. 15 MSU volleyball team went on the road Friday and earned a win against Indiana in three sets. This is the 14th sweep of the season for the Spartans, and it allows them to add another win to their conference record, now 7-4 in Big Ten play. MSU has had a tough time playing on the road this season, so this win can signal a possible turn around for future away games.
The game was contested against the Hoosiers, especially in the first and last set. From the beginning, the teams stayed within a point of each other. Major kills from middle blockers, Alyssa Garvelink and Allyssah Fitterer gave the Spartans several advantages, but Indiana was consistent with responding. Indiana’s Taylor Lebo had back-to-back aces to give the Hoosiers the lead, 18-17, but with an error at the net from the host team, MSU took the first set, 25-23.
Set two was all MSU, as they outscored Indiana by 11 points, 25-16. A slow start in the beginning caused the Spartans to trail by two points, but after a well needed timeout, MSU’s intensity returned. Kills from team captain, Chloe Reinig, Bailey, and Garvelink, combined with a service ace from junior outside hitter Brooke Kranda, MSU began an 11-2 run. Garvelink showed her dominance that was missing on the road last week by leading the set with six kills.
In the final set the Spartans dealt with multiple Indiana runs, as the Hoosiers were trying to come back. Close to match point, Indiana gained their biggest lead of the night, leading 19-16. An ace from Fitterer and a major kill from Kranda allowed MSU to close out the match with a win, 25-22.
Key players in the win against the Hoosiers were Garvelink, Reinig, Fitterer, and Abby Monson. As starting libero, Monson had a match-best of eight digs and six assists on the court. While Fitterer tied her career best with three aces in a game, she added five kills, two blocks and a dig to her overall performance. Senior Reing received seven kills to end her night, hit .500 and scored 7.5 points.
In the game, MSU had some very notable mistakes that highlight their struggles playing on the road. Overall the Spartans were out-blocked 6-3, which ties the season low in team blocks for the second straight game. MSU being one of the leading teams in the nation in services aces, they have struggled with them the past two weeks.
MSU will have a quick turn around as they have another away game against Purdue on Saturday.