Thursday, February 9, 2023

Michigan State volleyball swept by Michigan for second time this season

October 30, 2022
<p>Sophomore outside hitter Aliyah Moore(13), going for a spike in the MSU v. Michigan game held at the Breslin Center on October 14, 2022. The Spartans ultimately fell to the wolverines 3-0.</p>

Sophomore outside hitter Aliyah Moore(13), going for a spike in the MSU v. Michigan game held at the Breslin Center on October 14, 2022. The Spartans ultimately fell to the wolverines 3-0.

Photo by Denille Reid | The State News

Despite a chance to split wins with its in-state rival, Michigan State volleyball fell on the road to Michigan 3-0 for the second time this season. 

The teams met previously in East Lansing on Oct. 14, when Michigan swept MSU 3-0.

The Wolverines dominated offensively for the majority of the game, hitting .250 to the Spartans’ .128.

Graduate middle blocker Rebecka Poljan led the team in scoring with 10 kills and four blocks while hitting .500. Freshman outside hitter Selin Aslayan and sophomore outside hitter Aliyah Moore racked up eight kills, respectively. 

Freshman outside hitter Maradith O’Gorman outside finished the match with seven kills and two blocks. Freshman middle blocker Nil Okur had three blocks of her own. Junior libero Nalani Iosia racked up a match-high 18 digs. 

Set 1

Michigan dominated MSU in the first set, at one point obtaining a nine-point lead. U-M ultimately took set one, 25-17. 

The Wolverines finished the set with 18 kills and a .371 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, the Spartans earned eight kills and hit .129.

MSU's highest number of kills from a single player was two, while Michigan’s Allison Jacobs had five.

Set 2

MSU struck first in set two, but it was quickly followed by a 5-0 scoring run from Michigan. The Spartans got into a groove, managing to keep up with the Wolverines after struggling in set one. Halfway through the set, MSU trailed Michigan by two, 12-10. 

Just when it looked as though Michigan State was able to keep up with Michigan in set two, the Wolverines went on a 3-0 scoring run, giving them a 16-11 lead. 

The Spartans failed to keep up with the Wolverines in the second half of the set, never trailing less than five points. 

Michigan ultimately pulled away with an eight-point lead, winning the set 25-17. 

Poljan led the team in set two with five kills and a block, while O’Gorman picked up four kills of her own. 

Set 3

Michigan State led early in set three after struggling in the first two sets. Much like set two, set three consisted of lead changes and back-and-forth between the rivals. 

MSU held its largest lead of the match at 8-5, but Michigan answered with a 5-0 scoring run to come back on top. 

The Spartans fought to stay in the match and cut the Wolverines’ lead to three, 21-18. MSU railed late to trail Michigan by one and forced U-M to call a timeout. 

An ace from graduate senior Zoe Nunez tied the set at 23-23, drawing another Michigan timeout. A kill by Moore kept the Spartans in the match, as they attempted to force a fourth set. 

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MSU’s late attempt at a comeback dwindled as Michigan scored two straight points, winning the set 26-24. 

What’s next for the Spartans

Sunday’s loss extends MSU’s losing streak against Michigan to 10. The Spartans have not defeated Michigan in Ann Arbor since Nov. 27, 2013.

MSU returns home to the Breslin Center for four straight conference matches versus Purdue, Ohio State, Illinois and Northwestern. 

The Spartans now sit at 10-13 overall and 1-11 in the Big Ten, with the loss to Michigan extending their losing streak to nine.

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