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No. 20 Buckeyes upend Spartans in 4 sets

October 21, 2012
Junior setter Kristen Kelsay attempts to set the ball over the net during the game against Ohio State on Saturday at Jenison Field House. MSU, after losing the game 3-1, is due to play Indiana on Oct. 26. Danyelle Morrow/The State News
Junior setter Kristen Kelsay attempts to set the ball over the net during the game against Ohio State on Saturday at Jenison Field House. MSU, after losing the game 3-1, is due to play Indiana on Oct. 26. Danyelle Morrow/The State News —

The MSU volleyball team displayed its top performance of the season against Michigan last week, but on Saturday, the players’ efforts weren’t enough, as they fell to Ohio State in four sets (26-24, 22-25, 23-25, 22-25).

The No. 20 Buckeyes (15-7 overall, 6-4 Big Ten) came into East Lansing looking to snap their two-match losing streak and prevailed, as they survived multiple late-set rallies by the Spartans (16-6, 4-6).

The match featured back-and-forth play from both teams, and every set ended with a strong offensive push from the Spartans. Unfortunately for the Green and White, the Buckeyes built big enough leads earlier in the sets to render the Spartans’ late rallies ineffective.

The Spartans, just like last Wednesday in their 3-0 victory against Michigan, came out with an aggressive attitude that, at times, seemed absent in previous matches.

“We came out aggressive in set one,” junior setter Kristen Kelsay said. “And if you look at every set, it was (in the 20s for both teams), and they just made more plays than we did and executed better.”

Although the tenacious mindset was there for the Spartans, the cooperative play and teamwork weren’t as prevalent.

“I don’t think we had production all across the board; we played a little one-dimensional,” head coach Cathy George said.

Junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski, however, had an eyebrow-raising game, throwing down a season-high 29 kills for the Spartans. Wicinski, who has 69 kills in the last three games, saw the same one-dimensional play from the Spartans on Saturday.

“It’s harder to deal with adversity when some people aren’t playing well, and I think that was the difference; we just didn’t fight enough to get back in it,” Wicinski said.

The Spartans hit the road for their next two games, as they face Indiana this upcoming Friday and then travel north to take on Purdue on Saturday.

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