MSU (8-6 overall, 1-2 Big Ten) fell short in it’s attempt to win on the road against in-state rival Michigan (6-7 overall, 1-2 Big Ten), losing in four sets (20-25, 25-22, 24-26, 23-25).
It was a sloppy effort for both teams, who combined for 55 errors. MSU had 29 of those errors, 11 of which were service errors.
The Spartans kept pace in the first set but could not jump ahead of the Wolverines, who won the set 25-20.
MSU took advantage of their size advantage in the second set, forcing Michigan into errors and blocks at the net. The Spartans won the set, 25-22, despite a late 4-0 push by the Wolverines.
The third was a set of runs and the most exciting of the evening. MSU jumped out to a 10-5 lead but Michigan answered with a 15-8 run, taking a 20-18 lead. The Spartans fought off set point three times, tying the score at 24 but eventually lost the set, 24-26.
The fourth set was similar to the third set. The Spartans had a 13-10 lead but the Wolverines used a 10-3 run to take a 20-16 lead. MSU again tried to send the set into extra points but the comeback attempt failed short. U-M took the set, 25-23.
Sophomore outside hitter Chloe Reinig led the Spartans with 23 kills. Freshman setter Rachel Minarick had 43 assists and 11 digs. Senior middle blocker Jazmine White’s eight blocks tied a career high.
Defensively, three Spartans had at least ten digs. Senior libero Kori Moster totaled 22 digs, redshirt sophomore Kristen Muir had 10 and Minarick chipped in with 11.
The Spartans also out blocked U-M, 20-14.
MSU had a hard time containing sophomore middle blocker Abby Cole, who had 12 kills, hit at a .259 clip and had five digs.
With the loss, MSU and U-of-M are now tied with a 1-2 record in Big Ten competition.
The Spartans still lead the all-time series, 50-39-1. Michigan's win also snapped the four game win streak of road teams in the rivalry.
MSU and U-M will battle again Friday night The first serve is set for 7 p.m at Jenison Field House.
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