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SPORTS UPDATE: Buckeyes pummel netters

November 9, 2002

Columbus, Ohio - The Spartans arguably had their worst performance of the season Saturday night.

MSU committed hit a dismal .164, committed, 11 service errors, and allowed Ohio State to tally 12 service aces en route to a 25-30, 31-29, 17-30 and 18-30 drubbing in St. Johns Arena.

“We gave up 23 points in serve-pass, that was the problem,” MSU head coach Chuck Erbe said. “We just got outplayed.”

The Spartans (15-9 overall, 7-7 Big Ten) had their second lowest hitting percentage on the season with the 164 mark. The 30-17 loss in game three also was MSU’s worst loss of the season.

With the win, the Buckeyes improved to 13-10 on the year and 7-7 in conference play.

In the opening game, the Spartans jumped to a quick 5-3 lead thanks to four kills by junior middle Jenny Rood. After that, the Buckeyes went on a six-point run and never let MSU regain the lead.

MSU did get within one at 15-16 but could never force Ohio State out of system and the Buckeyes cruised to the five-point victory.

Yet in game two, knowing a win was a must, the Spartans came out on fire. The Spartans jumped out to a quick 7-4 lead, holding the four-point advantage which caused Ohio State head coach Jim Stone to use a timeout at 11-7.

The Buckeyes eventually tied the score at 13 but could never grab the lead. MSU led by as many as five but allowed the Buckeyes to send the game into extra points with some late sloppiness.

However, the Spartans, who improved to 11-2 in games that go to extra points, picked up the 31-29 win.

Game three was disastrous for MSU. Ohio State recorded the first six points and 14 of the first 17 to take a 14-3 lead. But MSU head coach Chuck Erbe didn’t call a timeout until the Buckeyes held a 17-6 lead.

Despite hitting a horrid .188 for the game, the Buckeyes cruised to a 30-17 win thanks in part to MSU’s -.034 attacking percentage.

Despite a fiery pep talk from junior setter Nikki Colson, the Spartans couldn’t take control of game four. They didn’t even put up much of a fight, falling 30-18.

“We just have to move forward,” MSU assistant coach Todd Dagenais said. “Our goal is to win six of the next six matches.”

MSU next takes the floor at 7 p.m. Friday when Iowa comes to town.

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