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Weekend games leave Spartans with first loss of season

September 12, 2005

The MSU volleyball team didn't hang its heads long after suffering its first lost of the season in the Pizza Hut Jayhawk Invitational against host Kansas on Friday.

The Spartans bounced right back on Saturday, defeating Virginia Commonwealth (6-4) in an intensive five-game match 3-2.

The Rams jumped out to an early lead in game one, with several key kills from junior outside hitter Ludmila Francescatto.

Despite having a .122 hitting percentage and a poor performance from the front court, the Spartans kept it close, tallying 16 digs to the Rams' 10, but Virginia Commonwealth eventually took control, winning the first game.

In the second game the Spartans got out to an early 6-2 lead. Sophomore libero Nicole Colaluca had three straight service aces later in the game to give MSU a 28-21 lead. The MSU front court had a turn-around performance from game one and evened the match one game apiece.

With the Spartans gaining momentum, the Rams went back to the game plan they used in game one. The Spartans' front court went back into a slump, only hitting .075 percent.

Sophomore outside hitter Katie Johnson had seven kills and senior setter Mickey Davis added 11 assists. The Spartans couldn't close out game three, and the Rams took two of the first three games.

The Spartans did not roll over though, as they came back to win game four and force a decisive game five.

The Spartans took a 10-0 lead in the fifth game and their defensive response was too much for Virginia Commonwealth, as Johnson had five kills, giving her 33 kills for the night, the third-highest kill total for a five-game match in MSU history.

The Rams only scored two points, losing the match 15-2.

Johnson and Colaluca were both named to the All-Tournament Team.

In MSU's second game of the Invitational, the Spartans were handed their first loss of the season by host team Kansas (7-1). The Spartans had trouble getting things going the whole game, and ended up being swept 3-0 by the Jayhawks.

MSU opened the invite by defeating Temple 3-1 and marked their fifth straight win to open the season.

The Spartans jumped out to a 2-0 lead overall before Temple picked up their lone win. MSU bounced right back, however, and finished the job, winning game four as well as the overall match.

The Spartans will continue action on the road when they travel to Coral Gables, Fla. for the Orange and Green Challenge on Friday.

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