By Troy Jefferson
MSU volleyball survives and advances in NCAA Tournament
MSU defeats Loyla Marymount to advance in NCAA Tournament
Two sophomores came to the rescue for the Spartans Friday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Thanks in large part to opposite hitter Allyssah Fitterer and outside hitter Chloe Reinig, MSU (19-13 overall) defeated Loyola Marymount (23-8 overall), 3-1 (25-15, 25-19, 21-25, 25-21) in Palo Alto, California on Standford's campus.
Fitterer and Reinig combined for 35 of the Spartans’ 59 kills.
MSU will play the winner of No. 1 Stanford and CSU Bakersfield on Saturday night.
The Spartans’ offense came out firing in the first set, hitting at a .609 clip en route to a 25-15 set victory.
Defensively, the Spartans held the Lions to a .148 hitting percentage in the first set.
Sophomore outside hitter Chloe Reinig led the way in the opening set with seven kills.
A quick start in the second set was the key to victory for MSU, who took the first four points and never trailed in the period.
The Spartans won the set, 25-19.
Loyola Marymount made the contest interesting, winning the third set, 25-21.
It was the first time MSU lost a set in three games.
The Lions carried the momentum into the fourth set as they took four of the first five points.
After trailing 8-13, MSU went on a 6-0 run to get back in the set.
Another 5-0 run gave the Spartans a 20-18 advantage, which would be the difference.
Fitterer’s 16th kill of the night capped the victory and sent MSU to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Freshman middle blocker Alyssa Garvelink joined Fitterer/ Reinig with double digit kills, registering 10 in the game.
Garvelink has recorded double digit kills in three of her last four games.