Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Badgers end Spartan winning ways; spikers go down 3-1

September 22, 2001
Michigan State outside hitter Erin Hartley bumps the ball as teammate Emily Engel cheers her on. The Spartans lost the match at Wisconson 1-3 on Friday. —

Madison, Wisc. - After seven straight wins, the Spartan volleyball team\'s winning streak came to a screeching halt Friday, as the Wisconsin Badgers rolled through MSU 3-1.

"They didn\'t do anything I didn\'t expect," Spartan head coach Chuck Erbe said.

The Badgers (7-2, 1-0) used various rallies throughout the four game match to break down the Spartans en route to the home victory winning 30-24, 30-18, 25-30, 30-20.

The Spartans (7-1, 0-1) tried to control their poor passing and serve receiving in an effort to keep the match close, but the Badgers were too much.

Outside hitter Erin Byrd led the Badgers with 20 kills and 11 digs, claiming her fourth double-double of the season.

Middle blocker Sherisa Livingston also added 19 kills for the Badgers, but fell short of spectacular with 11 attack errors.

Senior outside hitter Erin Hartley and junior outside hitter Kyla Smith led the Spartans with 13 kills each. Junior Jenny Rood ended the night with nine kills and a team-high 10 digs.

The first game was tight throughout, with the teams exchanging one point leads for the majority of the game.

With the score knotted at 22, a foot fault on junior defensive specialist Emily Engel\'s jump serve gave the Badgers a lead they wouldn’t lose. They eventually won the match by blocking Smith.

Erbe was not pleased with his team\'s six serve receive errors, he said.

"You can\'t compete if you make that many errors," he said. "We had six service errors, they had none and we lost thirty to twenty-four. "

The second game was all Wisconsin and closed with seven straight Badger points. The Spartans continued to struggle with passing and receiving.

MSU’s eight team kills equaled its eight attack errors.

"By making mistake after mistake, all we\'re doing is making it very easy on them," Spartan sophomore setter Nikki Colson said. "All they basically had to do was step onto the court and let us make mistakes, and they win the game. "

The Spartans surged in game three, after battling back from a 5-1 deficit to start. The team took the lead at 12-11 on a solo block from Colson. It added another point immediately after on another Colson solo block.

MSU didn’t relinquish the lead and exploded towards the end with five straight points to win 30-25.

The game provided a sliver lining for the team\'s loss, Hartley said.

"I think that proves that we can play with them, and we should play with them," she said.

But the errors returned in the Spartan’s fourth game, as MSU missed its timing, had poor communication and suspect ball-handling.

"They just outplayed us and we folded," Hartley said. "We made a lot of errors we shouldn\'t have been making."

Erbe said the bottom line of the match was the Spartans lack of execution.

"You have to play better than your opponent does and we did not play better," he said.


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