The electricity in the air was palpable as the Spartans took the floor in their first Big Ten home game at Jenison Field House this season.
MSU (9-6 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) wrapped up it’s home-and-home series with a 3-1 win (25-21, 29-31, 25-23, 26-24) against in-state rival Michigan (6-8 overall, 1-3 Big Ten) on Friday night.
“I thought we played with a lot more discipline and intensity,” head coach Cathy George said.
The lively crowd seemed to energize the Spartans early, as MSU won four straight points to start the game and went on to win the set, 25-21.
“I loved the fans,” sophomore opposite hitter Allyssah Fitterer said of the attendees, who set the record for attendance at Jenison field house for a non basketball event with 6,218 fans. “They bought energy, the atmosphere is crazy in here.”
Fitterer’s fellow sophomore hitter, Chloe Reinig established her dominance early, registering six kills in the first set. Reinig set a career high in kills tonight with 26.
The second set was back and forth but it looked like the Spartans would prevail as they led, 24-20. However, Michigan rallied with four straight points and sent the game into extras. The Wolverines were able to outlast the Spartans, winning the set, 31-29.
Like the second set, MSU led 24-20 in the third and then allowed U-M to come back.
Just when it looked like the set would go to extra points, Reinig slammed the door shut with a kill, sending the crowd into a frenzy. The Spartans won the set, 25-23.
The fourth set was another thriller as the Spartans matched the Wolverines point for point. With the score tied at 24, freshman setter Rachel Minarick won the game for MSU with back-to-back service aces.
Minarick finished with a team-high 44 assists.
“We stuck to the game plan so much better than we did on Tuesday,” senior libero and co-captain Kori Moster said. “We just played as more of a team and with a lot more confidence.”
Moster also had some stats to brag about after the win. The co-captain had 17 digs, moving her into the top ten all-time in the Big Ten conference.
The victory puts the Spartans back at .500 in conference play. MSU will have a week off before they face Nebraska next Friday at Jenison.