On Saturday No. 15 MSU volleyball played against in-state rival No. 17 University of Michigan. It was an even matchup between the Wolverines and the Spartans went on to win in four sets (25-23, 28-30, 25-23, 25-22). With this win, MSU has now won six straight games.
U-M started off with a 4-0 run and pressured MSU into making mistakes early on. The Spartans, however, were easy to rebound after the seventh point. Once the Spartans brought the deficit down, the teams kept the score close for the remainder of the set. Both the Wolverine and Spartan defense didn’t want to let balls go, the teams frequently had a response for the other making it so hard to score.
The second set was dominated by MSU for a majority of the set. At one point in the second set, the Spartans led by 7 points (10-3). With mistakes made by the Spartans, and powerful plays from the Wolverines, U-M overcame their deficit and the teams began battling to match point. Gridlock ensued, consisting of 13 ties in the set, which went all the way to 30 points in favor of U-M.
Junior outside hitter Autumn Bailey had a double-double after the second set, with 11 kills and 12 digs, resulting in 12.5 points. The Wolverine’s Abby Cole led her team after the second set with 7 kills, 3 blocking assists and 8.5 points.
The back-and-forth battle carried immediately into the third set, with 13 tied scores again. U-M’s, Claire Kieffer-Wright had four additional kills in the third set, totaling her to 10, she also had a single block, and five blocking assists to give her 13.5 points in the three sets played. Junior, Brooke Kranda brought her kill total for three sets to 9 with four kill as well, to accompany her 2 service aces and 11 points so far.
However, the coaches didn’t let anything go unnoticed, challenging several points on the court. U-M’s coach, Mark Rosen called for over two challenges on possible MSU net violations, which he ended up losing.
From beginning to end in the last set, it was all MSU. The Spartans tied their largest winning lead on the night twice during the fourth set and took a seven-point lead. MSU didn’t let U-M back into the match — middle blocker, Alyssa Garvelink was on fire during the last two sets. Garvelink finished the match with 9 kills, 8 blocking assists and 13 points.
With the win, the Spartans won their final home game in Jenison Field House. The win against U-M brings MSU’s Big Ten record to 11-4. The Spartans schedule for the rest of the regular season will include Minnesota on Nov. 18, Wisconsin on Nov. 19, U-M again on Nov. 23, and Iowa on Nov. 26 before the NCAA Tournament.
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