Friday, June 14, 2024

MSU volleyball defeats Indiana in Big Ten opener

MSU Volleyball began the Big Ten season with a victory over Indiana Friday night. The Spartans swept the Hoosiers in the three straight sets to improve to 9-3 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. The win bolsters their win streak to six straight matches making Sept. 5 the last time the Spartans have lost a match.

The opening set began with back and forth action with the Hoosiers and Spartans trading points. Tied at 6-6, the Spartans began to take over on 5-1 run with kills from Alyssa Garvelink, Brooke Kranda, Rachel Minarick, and Megan Tompkins. Sitting at 11-7 the Spartans came out of an Indiana timeout and poured on the pressure but it wasn’t enough to keep the Hoosiers at bay as they pulled within a point making it 20-19. 

A kill from Hoosier, Chante George on an assist from Megan Tallman tied the game at 20 a piece. Back-to-back kills by Kranda from Minarick, put the Spartans up 22-20 and it was a lead they would not relinquish. Tompkins delivered the final kill from Halle Peterson and the Spartans took the first set 25-21.

The second started with a flurry of energy but saw the Spartans fall behind 11-9, mainly on attack and service errors. However four straight points by the Spartans forced an Indiana timeout and the timeout seemed to work as the Hoosiers came out to tie the match at 13. An attack error on the ensuing serve, an attack error by Indiana’s Amelia Anderson put the Spartans up for good. Down 20-16 the Hoosiers pushed the Spartans to within one and forcing an MSU timeout. Up 20-19 the Spartans would go on a 5-1 run to close the set out and win 25-20.

The final set saw the Spartans flip from a strong defensive stand to offensive firepower. Though it started out with two teams trading points the Spartans eventually ripped out to a 16-10 lead. In the final stretch of the game, the Hoosiers couldn’t to pull closer than three points and an Allyssah Fitterer blast of a kill from the back of the court that fell out of range of two Hoosiers sealed the deal for the Spartans.

The Spartan victory came in front 2,795 fans and was their first home victory since the Spartans defeated Butler 3-2 on Sept. 4, 2015. During the sixth game win streak the spartans have only lost one set but yet as the coach always does, she will demand more from her players next game.

“I think we need to play better than we did tonight," MSU head coach Cathy George said. "I don't know that we were in rhythm as much as I like to see us. You go into one match and win that well you’ve got to get back to business real quick.”

The Spartans take on the 20th ranked Purdue Boilermakers Saturday at Jenison Field House at 7 p.m. 

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