Sept. 14, 2003
LINCOLN, Neb. - Nikki Colson (Lincoln, Neb.) led Michigan State volleyball (6-2) to a win against No. 13 Santa Clara (5-4) here in the teams' final match of the US Bank/Arby's Classic. Colson finished the match with 70 assists, 21 digs, two kills and six block assists, setting personal bests for digs and block assists. Game scores in the match were 30-26, 26-30, 26-30, 30-21, 15-11.
"This was a good match for us to finish on," said MSU head coach Chuck Erbe. "We were able to come out of a tough tournament with a win against quality competition. We'll go home, work on some things and prepare for next weekend."
Jenny Rood (Ada, Mich.) had a career-best nine block assists, topping her previous best of seven, set at Maryland earlier this season. Megan Wallin (Sarasota, Fla.) also had a career day, with 15 kills in the match. Kim Schram (London, Ontario) had a match-high 25 kills on .367 hitting. MSU's blocking, which had been off all weekend, returned, as it outblocked Santa Clara, 17-13.
Michigan State won the first game of the match and its first of the tournament, 30-26, outhitting the Broncos, .234 to .194. Megan Wallin (Sarasota, Fla.) had a team-high five kills in the game, while Michelle Kopka (Scarborough, Ontario) hit .429 (4K-1E-7TA). Wallin also added two block assists. Colson had 16 assists and seven digs to go along with one block assist. Rood contributed three kills on .429 hitting (3K-0E-7TA) and also had a service ace.
The Broncos controlled the second game from the start, winning 30-26. Despite being down as many as four (16-12), the Spartans came back to tie the game at 21-21, trailed again at 23-21 and tied the game once more at 23-23. MSU took its first lead at 24-23 on a kill from Schram, but a service error from Rood tied the game again. From there, the Broncos' Becky Biniek reeled off four serves, including one ace to give Santa Clara a 29-26 advantage. The Broncos closed out the game with a kill from Megan Pura. Rood had four kills and two more block assists, while Colson added 13 assists, three more digs and a block assist. Schram, who contributed four kills in the second game, also added two block solos and a block assist.
MSU dropped the third game, 30-26. The Spartans held a one to two-point lead for the first third of the match, but weren't able to recover once they fell behind, 13-12. Santa Clara went on to build an eight-point lead (24-16), which MSU was able to cut to two (25-23) on the basis of Wallin's four-point serving run. The Broncos ended up taking the game thanks to consecutive kills from Becky Potter. Schram posted six kills in the game, hitting .750. Colson added 15 more assists and two block assists, while Rood contribute two more block assists.
The Spartans took game four, 30-21. Colson reeled off seven straight serves to give the Spartans an eight-point lead (11-3). Santa Clara cut MSU's lead to as few as five, but the Spartans held on to force game five. Schram had seven kills in the game.
In game five, MSU had a two-point lead (5-3) before Santa Clara tied the match at 5-5. Kopka and Rood combined on a block to put MSU up, 6-5. Sara Villwock (Ft. Collins, Colo.) served MSU to a 11-6 lead. The Broncos cut State's lead to 13-10 with two consecutive service aces from Cassie Perret. From there, the Spartans hung on to win the game, 15-11, and hit .529 in the game (10K-1E-17TA).
State's last five-game win was against Tennessee on Aug. 30, 28-30, 26-30, 31-29, 30-28, 17-15. The Spartans are now 2-0 in five-game matches this season.
No. 10 Georgia Tech (7-0) faced No. 5 Nebraska (8-0) in the final match of the tournament in later action Sunday. The Spartans return to action Saturday, Sept. 20 at the American Volleyball Classic. Michigan State takes on San Diego (7-2) at 1 p.m. and either American or Loyola (Maryland) later next Saturday.