On Wednesday No. 14 MSU Volleyball lost in three sets against No. 24 Illinois on the road. The Illini swept MSU in three sets, with the second set went into a marathon, with 32 points in favor of Illinois (30-32). The Spartans finished the game with a hitting percentage of only 14.5% compared Illinois' 31.9%.
The first two sets were lost by a close margin, the most being four points. MSU head coach Cathy George spoke with BTN Plus about her girls playing sharper, and by just doing that they can change the pace of the game.
“We need to do things a little sharper, a couple points here and there and it’s a different game," George said. "So we'd just have to make sure we’re playing real sharp. I think our blocking line just are a little off, I think we adjust those and make sure we’re lining up behind it the right way."
During the third and final set, MSU had the advantage and scored the first two points. But Illinois was ready to close out the match and fed off the momentum from the two previous set wins they began to open a steep margin against MSU, one the Spartans couldn’t recover from.
Once the score got to 11-15, the Spartans began to really lose touch with their do-or-die momentum. Illinois began making play after playing and the Spartans couldn’t contain them. MSU tried to close the gap to close to match point resulting in a 19-25 finishing score.
Outside hitter, Autumn Bailey received her fifth double-double of the season with 11.5 points and 11 kills. Bailey was tied for the second highest scorer of the night for the Spartans, and she also contributed 6 digs. Spartan middle blocker, Alyssa Garvelink also had 11.5 points to end her night, with 7 blocking assists and 8 kills.
Outside hitter, Brooke Kranda was the highest scorer of the night, contributing 13 points to MSU. Kranda had 11 kills, 2 digs, 1 blocking assist and 1 service ace. She recently just became the number one in the conference for services aces (.055) and she also ranks 8th nationally.
MSU volleyball has their second Big Ten game, Saturday, to kick off homecoming weekend by playing No. 3 Minnesota.
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