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SPORTS UPDATE: Volleyball team sweeps Purdue in return home

October 26, 2002

The Spartans played like they were happy to be back home in East Lansing.

No. 25 MSU welcomed Purdue into Jenison Field House by sweeping the Boilermakers, 30-23, 30-23 and 30-19. It was the first match in East Lansing for the Spartans since Oct. 5.

“We needed a home game,” redshirt freshman middle Megan Wallin.

“Personally, I just had more intensity and it’s always nice to play in front of our own fans.”

Junior setter Nikki Colson spread the wealth with her 43 setting assists. She was supported by five Spartans who tallied more than eight kills.

Senior middle Angela Morley, who said Colson did a great job setting, helped out the setter by recording 12 kills. Sophomore outside hitter Kim Schram was right behind with 11. Wallin mounted 10 kills in just her fifth start on the season.

Junior Jenny Rood, who moved from middle to outside hitter last week, picked up eight kills from the left side while senior outside hitter Kyla Smith added eight.

“We had a lot of fun out there tonight,” Morley said. “We played with a lot of heart.”

The win bumped the Spartans to 13-6 overall, 5-4 in the Big Ten while Purdue fell to 9-12 overall, 0-9 in the conference.

The Spartans didn’t have many troubles in game one. MSU jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead thanks to a couple of Kyla Smith kills.

MSU wouldn’t let Purdue get closer than two the rest of the way, leading by six points for most of the time en route to the 30-23 win.

In game two, the Spartans didn’t have an easy road, but MSU continued to battle the entire way. MSU was trailing 7-4 in the early going before finally knotting up the score at nine.

Finally, the Spartans pulled ahead at 12-11 on one of three Colson tip-on-two kills on the night. The Spartans never trailed the rest of the way, picking up another big win, 30-23.

Game three was a cupcake for the Spartans. With MSU up 8-7, the Spartans turned up their games.

Five straight MSU points forced a Purdue timeout at 13-7. Some scoring exchanges continued until MSU said enough was enough. At 25-17, the Spartans recorded three straight kills highlighted by a back-row attack by junior defensive specialist Emmy Miller.

For the match, MSU hit a solid .328 compared to Purdue’s dismal .142 hitting percentage. The Spartans also out-dug and out-blocked the Boilermakers 63-51 and 11-4, respectively.

“I knew coming into this matchup they were going to have some real problems matching up against us,” MSU head coach Chuck Erbe said.

“But as long as we play with this kind of balance, we’re going to be hard to beat.”

The Spartans play host to the Fighting Illini at 3 p.m Saturday.

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