Sept. 23, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Michigan State (9-5, 0-2) couldn't pull off its late third - game rally to force a game four against Ohio State Sunday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio. The Spartans dropped games one and two 30-21 and 30-22, respectively, before coming together and playing a stronger game three. Ohio State capitalized on its two-game lead and clinched the match 3-0 with a 31-29 win in the final game .
Ashley Schatzle, Jenilee Rathje and Vanessa King each contributed nine kills for MSU , which was led by Ashley Johnson 's team-high 11 kills. Schatzle also proved to be a factor in the backcourt with a team-high 12 digs, leaving her just one kill shy of a double-double. Rathje led the Green and White with a .389 hitting percentage, while King totaled four blocks.
Even though the Spartan offense seemed to be alive with 14 kills, Ohio State was able to chip away and make several multiple-point runs. Mid-match , the Buckeyes were ahead 16-10 and led by as many as ten in the eventual first game win, 30-21.
Again in game two, OSU went up 16-10 but turning things around for Michigan State, Schatzle gave a solid effort making precise digs, allowing Lauren O'Reilly the opportunity to feed Katie Johnson and Vanessa King, who each picked up three kills to cut the lead to four. But MSU gave up three points in ball handling errors, two in service errors and five in attack errors as Ohio State won game two 30-21.
Leading by more than one point for the first time today, the Spartans managed a n early 10-8 lead, built by Schatzle in the backcourt and the Johnson-King tandem at the net. From there , the score teetered between one - point MSU leads and ties down to the end. With the game tied at 29-29, the Spartans couldn't rally to stay alive and force a game four. Ohio State earned its first conference win with the 31-29 game three victory.
Michigan State returns home next weekend, continuing Big Ten action hosting Illinois Friday, Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. and Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m.