Friday, December 2, 2022

Volleyball opens up Big Ten play with split

September 23, 2012
Volleyball head coach Cathy George hugs former outside hitter Jenilee Rathje while being honored for being named an AVCA third team All-American before the game against Purdue on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Family and friends attended the game to cheer for Rathje. Julia Nagy/The State News
Volleyball head coach Cathy George hugs former outside hitter Jenilee Rathje while being honored for being named an AVCA third team All-American before the game against Purdue on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Family and friends attended the game to cheer for Rathje. Julia Nagy/The State News —
Photo by Julia Nagy | and Julia Nagy The State News

The No. 25 MSU volleyball team (13-1, 1-1 Big Ten) opened up Big Ten play over the weekend with a split between No. 17 Purdue and Indiana.

The Spartans were a perfect 12-0 after nonconference play heading into their matchup with the Boilermakers on Friday night, but were unable to capitalize on early momentum and fell, 3-2.

MSU took the first and third set but failed to finish off Purdue, as the Boilermakers squeaked by in a close fourth set and would go on to take the fifth set, 17-15.

Senior outside hitter Amy Dentlinger and junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski led the way with 16 kills apiece against Purdue.

MSU didn’t have much time to dwell on the loss, with Indiana visiting Jenison Field House the following night.

Looking to bounce back from the season’s first loss, MSU swept the Hoosiers in straight sets, 3-0. MSU took the first set 25-21 and the final two by the same margin of 25-17.

MSU again was led by the strong play of Wicinski, whose 14 kills put her at 30 for the weekend. Junior middle blocker Alexis Mathews added nine kills as well in the winning effort against the Hoosiers.

“I thought that we rebounded from a tough loss on the night before; it was difficult for us to go through,” head coach Cathy George said. “That long match on Friday night, a lot of emotion, a lot of hard play, we just wanted to come out here today focused and come out intense, but also relaxed and play the game that we know we can play.”

Next for the Spartans is a trip to traditional power No. 3 Nebraska on Wednesday night. The game starts at 8:00 p.m. and will be one of two MSU games televised this year on Big Ten Network.

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