Sept. 5, 2003
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Michelle Kopka'a career-high 14 kills led Michigan State volleyball to a 3-1 win against host South Carolina in the first game of the 2003 Carolina Classic here Friday (30-19, 24-30, 30-17, 30-28). MSU is now 4-0 on the season, while South Carolina moves to 1-3.
Megan Wallin (Sarasota, Fla.) and Kim Schram (London, Ontario) each contributed 13 kills on the night, while Wallin also added two service aces. Setter Nikki Colson (Lincoln, Neb.) had a match-high 50 assists.
The Spartans easily handled USC in the first game, winning 30-19. MSU jumped out at a 10-6 lead before allowing USC to tie the game at 12-12, but Colson ran off three service points followed by a five-point service run by MSU's Emmy Miller (Okemos, Mich.) put MSU up 21-13. MSU maintained at least a seven-point lead for the remainder of the game. Diana Steplyk (Libertyville, Ill.) helped MSU to a team attack percentage of .389 (18K-4E-36TA), as she hit .500 with five kills on eight total attacks. The Spartans held USC to a .108 attack percentage (11K-7E-37TA) in the first game.
The teams traded the lead 11 times in the second game before South Carolina pulled out the win, 30-24. State was tied with the Gamecocks at 20-20 before USC went on a six-point run. MSU had five service errors in the game, and hit .244 (14K-4E-41TA) to South Carolina's .400 (22K-6E-40TA). Schram posted five kills in the game, while Kopka and Wallin each contributed six. Jenny Rood (Ada, Mich.) and Colson combined for two block assists each.
In game three, the Spartans again took control, winning 30-17. MSU and USC traded the lead six times in the first eight points of the match before the Spartans took the lead they would keep for the rest of the game at 8-7. Miller and Wallin rattled off a combined 11 points from the service line, while Stephanie Knopp (Cupertino, Calif.) added three points to give MSU its largest lead of the game at 27-11. Kopka added five more kills, hitting .571 (5K-1E-7TA). The Spartans hit .387 in the game, and held the Gamecocks to -.030 (7K-8E-33TA).
MSU won in a closely contested fourth game (30-28). MSU gained the advantage at 8-7, but the Gamecocks would not go away, as State never led by more than four in the game. Wallin added six kills in game four, bringing her total on the night to 13. Marley Bellwood (Battle Creek, Mich.) had 17 digs on the night.
Michigan State faces North Carolina (3-0) Saturday, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m. in its final game of the 2003 Carolina Classic.
MICHIGAN STATE 3, SOUTH CAROLINA 1
1 2 3 4
MSU 30 24 30 30
USC 19 30 17 28
TEAM ATTACK PER GAME MSU K E TA Pct. 1 18 4 36 .389 2 14 4 41 .244 3 16 4 31 .387 4 19 5 36 .389
USC K E TA Pct. 1 11 7 37 .108 2 22 6 40 .400 3 7 8 33 -.030 4 17 7 38 .263