Monday, November 28, 2022

FINAL: Michigan State volleyball clocks third win in four matches

November 24, 2022
<p>MSU celebrates as they defeat Northwestern at the MSU vs. Northwestern game held at the Breslin Center on Nov. 12, 2022. MSU went 3-0 against Northwestern.</p>

MSU celebrates as they defeat Northwestern at the MSU vs. Northwestern game held at the Breslin Center on Nov. 12, 2022. MSU went 3-0 against Northwestern.

Photo by Zari Dixson | The State News

After a winless October, Michigan State volleyball has clocked its third win in two weeks following a 3-1 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Wednesday at the Breslin Center.

Across the roster, the Spartans were able to put up impressive season-high numbers.

Fifth-year middle blocker Rebecka Poljan had a night for the Spartans, leading with a season-high 15 kills, eight blocks and a .600 hitting percentage.

The Michigan native was followed closely by freshman outside hitter Maradith O’Gorman who had 12 kills. O’Gorman’s kills from the game against Rutgers put her in 10th place all-time for kills by a Michigan State freshman surpassing 1995 and 1996 All-American Dana Cooke.

Another stand-out performance came from senior middle blocker Emma Monks. Monks clocked double-digit kills for the fourth consecutive match with 11 kills and a .333 hitting percentage.

It was also a double-double night for graduate setter Zoe Nunez. Nunez logged just three points for the night, but managed a huge 41 assists and 14 digs.

The game was close throughout the entire match with the Spartans and Scarlet Knights tying it up on 22 separate occasions as well as eight lead changes.

Rutgers took the first set by three points after freshman outside hitter Evie Doezema got Michigan State on the board early.

Michigan State responded by taking the second set in a narrow 25-23 victory.

It was during the third set when the Spartans really started to pull away from the Scarlet Knights. Michigan State got the first points on the board and did not relinquish the lead once. MSU was able to defeat Rutgers by 10 points for a 25-15 win.

After the comfortable win in the third set, the fourth looked more like the tight game we had seen during the first two, but Michigan State was still able to pull off a 25-20 win.

Throughout the entire match, Rutgers redshirt freshman outside hitter Alissa Kinkela was causing problems for the MSU team. The Australian put up 21 kills and two block assists to lead her team by 8.5 points.

Despite Kinkela being a powerhouse for the Scarlet Knights, MSU had more players putting up decent numbers for the Spartans to sail to victory.

Michigan State will suit up one last time this season on Saturday at 2 p.m. as they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes at the Breslin Center.

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