On Saturday the No. 16 MSU volleyball team played the University of Illinois for the second time this season. When the Spartans traveled to Illini territory they were swept in three sets but this time returned to East Lansing to sweep Illinois in consecutive sets.
The Spartans seemed much more in control in this meeting against Illinois, compared to the last time the two teams met on October 12th. In the beginning of the first set, MSU showed an intense style of play that Illinois didn’t see on their home court. To end the first set Illinois only had a .057 hitting percentage, while the Spartans had six out of eight players that played in the first set get two or more kills.
In the second set the Spartans had two separate 5-0 runs, resulting in a 10-2 score early on. Outside hitters and middle blocker, Autumn Bailey, Chloe Reinig and Alyssa Garvelink both had 4 kills in the second set.
Even though the Spartans were on fire, Illinois wasn’t going down without a fight and their blocking showed that in the second half of the set. They chopped down a continuous eight point deficit to five points by the end of the set. Illinois’, Jordyn Poutler had 3 blocking assists while teammate Ali Bastianelli had two. Bastianelli led her team during the second set with both blocks and her 6 points scored.
The third set resulted the same as the two previous set. Illinois made a good effort on closing the gap, and trying to take over the match at the end of the set. The Fighting Illini pushed the Spartans to eight match point attempts before MSU closed out the game.
With these two wins No. 16 MSU Volleyball is now 21-5 overall on the season. The Spartans will have a short recovery this week, as they play Purdue for the second time this season on Wednesday.
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