Volleyball goes 1-1 over first weekend of Big Ten play
MSU (8-5 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) opened the conference portion of the season with a split in it’s two road games in the state of Indiana this past weekend.
The Spartans defeated the Indiana Hoosiers (10-4 overall, 1-1 Big Ten), in four sets (25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 25-21) on Friday night and loss to No. 15 Purdue on Saturday night, 3-1 (22-25, 22-25, 28-26, 25-23).
“We came out strong and really focused, did a lot of nice things in game one and two,” head coach Cathy George said about the win over Indiana. “We had too many unforced errors in game three.”
Coming out victorious in Bloomington was nothing new for the Spartans, who have defeated the Hoosiers in six of their last seven meetings.
The ability to contain Indiana's star senior hitter, Morgan Leach, was a key to victory for the Spartans.
“We did a nice job on Morgan,” George said. “In the process we let some other kids get some looks that we didn’t want to allow.”
Leach, who leads the Hoosiers in kills, finished with just five and a .050 hitting percentage.
MSU’s star players answered the call against Indiana. Sophomore hitter’s Chloe Reinig and Allyssah Fitterer led the team with 13 kills apiece.
“We’re pleased with some of the things we saw,” George said.
Defensively, the Spartans out blocked the Hoosiers 14.5 to 9. Senior libero Kori Moster had a team-high 14 kills.
Purdue was a little too strong for MSU on Saturday night, besting the Spartans in four close sets.
Saturday's loss marked the eighth straight time the Boilermakers have defeated the Spartans.
“We were within two or three points in every game,” George said. “I thought we played very competitively.”
MSU used a balance attack offensively against Purdue, the Spartans had three players finish with ten or more kills. Reinig had a team-high 15 kills, Fitterer had 13 and senior outside hitter Taylor Galloway had 11.
Defensively, every Spartan who played had at least two digs. Moster led the team with 23 digs.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Spartans, who travel to Ann Arbor for a Tuesday night contest against U-of-M (5-7 overall, 0-2 Big Ten).
Michigan also played Indiana and Purdue over the weekend, losing to both schools in five sets.
Tuesday’s game can be seen on the Big Ten Network at 8 p.m.