After a close loss against No. 2 Minnesota, No. 13 MSU volleyball made the trip to play another top-five ranked team, No. 3 Wisconsin on Saturday.
MSU has had frequent road play trouble before their four straight home games, continuing with a Friday night loss in a close five-set match to No. 2 Minnesota, which gave the impression that the game against Wisconsin could also go either way.
The Spartans had trouble hitting on the court against the Badgers, with an overall hitting percentage at a season-low of 10.3 percent. In every previous loss, the Spartans allowed opponents to hit at least .300; Wisconsin didn’t meet that criteria, but still got the win with a 22 percent hitting clip.
The Spartans were outmatched all throughout the night individually and as a team. Wisconsin only scored 56 points, the other 19 points were from errors made by MSU. Outside hitter Brooke Kranda had seven errors, junior setter Rachel Minarick had 25 assists while the Wisconsin setter Lauren Carlini had 38 assists.
Wisconsin's freshman outside hitter Molly Haggerty gave the Spartans some serious problems on the court. Haggerty scored 15.5 points with 14 kills, seven digs, one service ace and one blocking assist. Following her lead was junior Lauryn Gillis with 10.5 points, nine kills, two assists, six digs and three blocking assists.
Though the Spartans lost, MSU lived up to being one the best serving team in the Big Ten with four service aces, two from Kranda and the remaining from junior Holly Toliver. The team also out-blocked Wisconsin with 13 total team blocks, 22 blocking assists, and two block solos.
Leading the Spartans with 11.5 points was junior Alyssa Garvelink. Her hitting percentage was 35.3 percent with nine kills, five blocking assists, and two digs. Junior Autumn Bailey scored 10 points, with 10 kills and eight digs. Minarick had a team-best hit rate with a 40 percent hitting percentage and had three kills and five points.
No. 13 MSU Volleyball will take a few days off, and play U-M on Wednesday. The last two regular Big Ten games of the season will be the second time MSU will be playing U-M and the University of Iowa.
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