MSU defeated No. 7 Wisconsin 3-1 on Saturday afternoon, their second victory over Wisconsin this season. The Spartans officially are 5-1 in the Big Ten Conference
This is the first time since 2014 that Wisconsin has traveled to East Lansing. The last time the Spartans swept the Badgers was back in 2012.
“It’s just Big Ten volleyball,” head coach Cathy George said. “If you’re going to do anything in this league, you’re going to have to beat a lot of top ten teams. I felt good that we were able to beat Wisconsin two times this year already and even though it’s weird to have it so close, back-to-back.”
Redshirt senior outside hitter Autumn Bailey and senior outside hitter Holly Toliver led the match with 16 kills. Senior middle Alyssa Garvelink lead the team with four blocks. Redshirt senior outside hitter Brooke Kranda tallied six aces throughout the match.
In five of the six Big Ten matches, Toliver has double-digit kills beating her season best of 13 kills against Notre Dame.
“It felt really great,” Garvelink said. “I feel like we bounced back really fast and that’s what we needed to do. We served really aggressive and got them out of system a lot. We passed really well, so our offense was in system and flowed really well.”
On Wednesday night, the team took their first loss in the Big Ten Conference against No. 4 Nebraska with a match of 3-1.
Even though it was a lost, Toliver feels that the team took it very differently this season compared to last season with coming in with a new mindset.
“Our mindset is the same,” senior outside hitter Holly Toliver said. “We’re not wavering like last year where we did a lot of ups and downs rollercoaster stuffs. We had a good season, but this season is very different.”
The Spartans lost the first set of the match with a score of 25-22. Garvelink led the set with only four kills and Kranda had a total of three aces.
After losing the first set, George was not too pleased with how the team played, but felt her team was able to regroup going into the final three sets to take the victory.
“A little bit unhappy with the execution and the patience that we showed in that game one,” George said. “I don’t think we’re staying on the course that we needed to. I was pleased with how we responded and how we did after that.”
The Spartans will head back on the road on Saturday to face Penn State at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
“Just focus on exploiting their weaknesses and really doing well at what we’re good at,” Toliver said.
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