It was Breast Cancer Awareness night at Jenison Field House and the MSU volleyball team showed their support by wearing pink. The No. 11-ranked Spartans sweeped Rutgers for the second time this season on Wednesday. Five out of MSU's six hitting errors were made in the third set. There is never a night off in Big Ten volleyball and MSU showed that they’re always ready to work.
The Spartans had a slow start to the first set, there were a total of 12 tied scores, and 4 lead changes during that time. But once the Spartans scored about 12 points, and won the first set by 10 points (25-15). Team captain Chloe Reinig finished the set with the most kills (4), 2 digs and 5.5 points.
MSU asserted themselves on the court from the beginning during the second set. The Spartans were going for every long ball. Junior setter Rachel Minarick got in a tricky and for Rutgers, unexpected, kill during the set that the stadium on their feet. The Scarlet Knights were down from the very beginning, with the gap resulting in a 12 point loss (25-13) in the second set.
In the final set of the game, MSU started off with a few hitting errors that allowed Rutgers to tie up the game for the first time since the first set. Rutgers tried to keep the gap closed this time by trying to find some hole in the Spartans’ game plan. This game was much closer than the previous two sets, as Rutgers kept the deficit to about 5 points for majority of the game.
The last time MSU played Rutgers they held them to a 6.7% hitting percentage, which is the lowest of any team they’ve played the season. However when playing MSU this time Rutgers held up an 11.9% hitting success.
Junior Holly Toliver finished the night with 10 kills, 1 service ace, 3 digs and 11 points. Other play makers from the night were junior middle blocker, Allyssah Fitterer and senior defensive specialist, Kristen Brashear. Fitterer had 6 kills, 2 services aces, 2 digs, 1 blocking assist and scored 8.5 points. Brashear filled in the missing pieces for the Spartans with her 3 service aces and 5 digs.
After MSU’s win against Rutgers, the Spartans will be heading to Columbus, Ohio to play No. 19 Ohio State for the second time this season.
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