Sept. 12, 2003
LINCOLN, Neb. - No. 17 Michigan State volleyball (5-1) suffered its first loss of the season to No. 10 Georgia Tech ( 6-0) here Friday night, 3-0. Game scores were 20-30, 16-30,25-30 in the opening match of the US Bank/Arby's Classic.
"Georgia Tech is a superior team," said head coach Chuck Erbe. "They played almost flawless volleyball. They're well-coached, executed at a very high level and were the better team on the court. This is an experience our team needs. If we're going to play with the teams I call the "big dogs," then we need to take this experience and redeem ourselves tomorrow."
The Yellow Jackets outhit MSU .455-.218 in the match, including posting .500 attack percentages in both the first and second games of the match. Tech's Lynnette Moster had a match-high 20 kills on .600 hitting (20K-2E-30TA) in the match, while Jenny Rood (Ada, Mich.) led MSU with 10 kills. MSU's Nikki Colson (Lincoln, Neb.) contributed 37 assists and five kills (5K-3E-9TA) in her first match in Lincoln since her senior year of high school. Megan Wallin (Sarasota, Fla.) had eight kills in the match, while Marley Bellwood (Grand Rapids, Mich.) reached double-digit digs for the fifth match this season, with 10.
MSU lost the first game of the match, 30-22. State and Georgia Tech were tied at 12-12, and the teams traded points until Tech went on a five-point run, gaining a 25-16 advantage. The Spartans couldn't overcome the deficit, despite strong hitting from Diana Steplyk (4K-0E-5TA) and Jenny Rood (6K-1E-8TA). The Yellow Jackets outhit the Spartans, .500 (20K-3E-34TA) to .237 (16K-7E-38TA) and outblocked MSU, too, four to none.
In the second game, MSU just couldn't keep up with Tech, falling behind early, 4-1, and wasn't able to close the gap to more than four points (8-4) the rest of the game. The final score of 16-30 marked the second-worst single-game loss for MSU in the two years of rally scoring in the NCAA. Service errors haunted the Spartans, as MSU had five in the game. Tech again hit .500 in the game (15K-2E-26TA) to MSU's .105 (12K-8E-38TA).
Sara Villwock (Ft. Collins, Colo.) kept MSU close throughout the third game before the Spartans fell, 25-30. Villwock posted seven kills in the game, hitting .500 (7K-1E-12TA). Georgia Tech hit .390 in the third game, on 21 kills, five errors and 41 total attacks.
The Spartans' 5-1 record marks the second consecutive year they've started the season at 5-1.
Michigan State faces No. 5 Nebraska (6-0) Saturday at 3 p.m. (CDT). Nebraska faced No. 13 Santa Clara (5-1) in later action Friday. "The top level teams will take the environment we're going to be in tomorrow, playing a higher ranked team on their home court in front of a sell-out crowd and learn to manage it," Erbe said. "This is about the long haul, not the short-term."
GEORGIA TECH 3, MICHIGAN STATE 0 1 2 3 #17 MSU 20 16 25 #10 TECH 30 30 30
TEAM ATTACK PER GAME MSU K E TA Pct. 1 16 7 38 .237 2 12 8 38 .105 3 18 5 43 .302 TOTAL 46 20 119 .218 TECH K E TA Pct. 1 20 3 34 .500 2 15 2 26 .500 3 21 5 41 .390 TOTAL 56 10 101 .455