Spartans Open MSU Showcase with 3-0 Victory over Milwaukee
Sept. 12, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The 2008 Spartan volleyball team turned in a 3-0 (26-24, 25-14, 25-15) victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee in game two of the MSU Showcase on Friday afternoon at Jenison Field House. With the win, the Spartans improve to 4-3 on the season and are currently riding a four-match win streak. Sophomore Beccca Zlabis (Wheaton, Ill.) hit a career best .409 with 11 kills to pace the Spartans.
The Spartans dominated through much of the first set, jumping out to a 9-6 lead after two consecutive Panther hitting errors. Leading the way for the Spartans early, was both Vanessa King (Spring Lake, Mich.) and Jenilee Rathje (Mount Pleasant, Mich.). Both King and Rathje tallied two kills apiece on the way to extending their lead. The Panthers would rally to take a lead late at 22-21, but could not overcome several attack errors as the Spartans would take the first set 26-24.
From that point on, MSU would dominate, holding to the Panthers to under 15 points in the final two sets. After hitting .273 in the first set, the Spartans would hit .385 and .423 in the second and third set, respectively. Five Spartans hit over .350 for the match as Mischelle Nelson (Naperville, Ill.) led the team hitting .800 with four kills.
The third set saw freshman defensive specialist Carli Wieler (Oak Lawn, Ill.) make her return to the court, seeing her first action since the Nike Sooner Legends Invite during the opening week. Wieler would prove to be an instrumental part in the final set as she served nine consecutive points. With the score tied at five, Weiler came in and helped the Spartans run off nine straight points to put the set out of reach.
After earning most valuable player honors at last week's Asics Delaware Invitational, King picked up where she left off tallying eight kills while hitting .429. Freshman Natalie Emro (Wildwood, Mo.) added 30 assists in the match, averaging 10 per set, her career best.
The Spartans will return to action tonight as they take on Connecticut at 6 p.m in the third game of the MSU Showcase. Live audio and video featuring the voice of Spartans John Kreger, along with live stats, will be provided at www.msuspartans.com.
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