By Denise Spann
In the official halfway point of the season, No. 11 MSU went to Columbus, Ohio to play No. 19 Ohio State University. The Spartans, who have had trouble on the road this season, were swept by the Buckeyes in straight sets on Saturday.
MSU is now 6-4 for conference play, while OSU picked up their fourth conference win.
OSU established an early lead against MSU in the first set. Heading into the game, the Spartans led the Big Ten in service aces but finished the set with three services errors. As MSU established their rhythm outside hitters, Autumn Bailey and Brooke Kranda got major kills to put them back to the mix. Bailey led the set with five kills, hitting .714. However, the MSU offense wasn’t as present the closer the set got to match point.
In the second set, MSU was able to compete with the Buckeyes and came out with a high level of intensity and enthusiasm. MSU, however, had a hard time controlling OSU’s Taylor Sandbothe. Sandbothe had several kills during the set that were unreturnable. MSU led the entire game until the 19th point.
In the final set it OSU led from start to finish, causing an even more confusion for MSU on the court. At the end of the night, Bailey led MSU with only nine kills compared to OSU’s 13. The Buckeyes had three girls with more than 10 kills, and OSU’s Taylor Hughes had seven kills, but shot .778 to finish her game.
The Spartan middle blocker, Alyssa Garvelink, didn’t show her dominate presence on the court. It was thought Sandbothe and Garvelink would battle during the match, but it didn’t turn out that way. Garvelink ended her night with six kills, one block, and two digs, which was very unlike her 23.5 point performance against Minnesota.
The No. 11 Spartans are back in action as they have two back-to-back road games against Indiana and Purdue, starting Friday.