Sunday, October 25, 2020

FINAL: Volleyball Elite Eight bound after beating Illinois, 3-1

December 8, 2017
Senior setter Rachel Minarick (12) and senior middle blocker Alyssa Garvelink (17) react during the game against Michigan on Oct. 18, 2017 at Jenison Fieldhouse. The Spartans secured a 3-1 win against the Wolverines.
Senior setter Rachel Minarick (12) and senior middle blocker Alyssa Garvelink (17) react during the game against Michigan on Oct. 18, 2017 at Jenison Fieldhouse. The Spartans secured a 3-1 win against the Wolverines. —
Photo by Sylvia Jarrus | The State News

The volleyball team is moving on to the Elite Eight for the first time in 21 years, after beating the Illinois Fighting Illini, 3-1, in the Sweet 16 on Friday night.

This was the second matchup this season between the Spartans and Fighting Illini, with the first matchup being a 3-0 MSU victory on Nov. 10.

After MSU won the first set 25-23, Cathy George’s team fell to the Fighting Illini in the second set, 25-18. However, the Spartans bounced back in the third set winning 25-17, and took care of business in the fourth set in a nail biter, winning 29-27.

Outside hitter Brooke Kranda led the way for MSU, killing 27.8 percent of her attacks while picking up two digs and two aces. Fellow outside hitter Autumn Bailey was also a main contributor, as Bailey killed 13 of her 36 attacks while collecting nine digs and five aces. MSU would kill 25.5 percent of its attacks on the evening.

The Spartans will now face off against the No. 1 seed Penn State Nittany Lions Saturday night at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. MSU lost both of its games against PSU this season by a score of 3-1.

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