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Volleyball rebounds from loss to Purdue, defeats Indiana in straight sets

September 22, 2012

After a tough first loss of the season on Friday against Purdue, the No. 25 MSU volleyball team regrouped to beat Indiana in straight sets, 3-0 on Saturday night at Jenison Field House.

“I think we wanted to come out here and get a victory since we didn’t get one last night,” MSU volleyball head coach Cathy George said. “We knew what we had to do but we wanted to show the maturity after coming back from a loss and regrouping and getting back on track.”

The first set went back-and-forth early, with MSU eventually pulling away, 25-21 after eight straight points with Indiana only trailing 14-13 before the run occurred. Junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski’s led the Spartans with four kills in the opening set.

After trailing most of the second set, MSU took the lead at the 11-10 mark and never looked back, taking the second set 25-17. Similar to the first set, Wicinski led the team by adding seven more kills to her total.

Wicinski finished the night with a total of 14 kills to lead the Spartans. Junior middle blocker Alexis Mathews was second on the team with nine kills of her own.

The Spartans never trailed in the third set breezing to a 25-17 finish and completing the sweep of the Hoosiers.

Wicinski said she’s proud of her team’s performance and of how the team bounced back from the tough loss the night before.

“As a team, I think we did well rebounding and coming back from a loss; I think we were faster at anticipating things like we didn’t get caught up on those tips or like certain service errors,” Wicinski said. “I think we did well executing things.”

This was the first of two meetings between these two teams with MSU traveling to Bloomington, Ind. on Oct. 26.

Friday’s loss didn’t appear to take any toll on MSU — quite the contrary, actually. Mathews said it fueled the team to come out and get the victory.

“I think it defiantly played a part,” Mathews said. “We had to bounce back and make sure we were hitting everything so that we could come out and beat Indiana and just prove that we won’t just roll over, we couldn’t come out tired and I think we did a good job of doing that.”

The win on Saturday puts George only one shy of 500 wins for her career. She would become the 34th active coach to reach thus milestone.

The win improves MSU to 13-1 on the season and 1-1 in Big Ten play and with traditional power No. 3 Nebraska ahead, it appears the road only will get tougher for the Spartans.

The game starts at 8:00 pm and will be one of two MSU televised games by Big Ten Network. However George doesn’t believe much change is needed for the Spartans to be successful in Lincoln, Neb.

“I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel,” George said. “I think we need to do what we do well and we need to make sure that we’re getting the proper rest, we’ll do video reviews and get ready for them and look at what areas we are trying to look at to control their side of the net and what we can do offensively to score as well. It’s just a little bit more studying and a little bit more practice two days before we get out there.”

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