Sept. 23, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Michigan State volleyball team (11-2, 0-1 Big Ten) suffered a tough 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-18) loss to No. 13 Purdue (12-0, 1-0 Big Ten) on Friday, Sept. 23 to open the Big Ten slate in West Lafayette, Ind. Freshman Kori Moster led the Green and White with 13 digs against the Boilermakers.
Michigan State struggled in the opening set after taking the opening point of the match. MSU fell behind when it trailed by four at 3-7. The lead for Purdue grew to seven at the media timeout, 8-15. MSU took the next three points to pull back within four at 11-15, the closest the Spartans would be for the remainder of the set. The Boilermakers extended their lead to eight to force set point at 17-24, causing the Spartans to call their final timeout. Purdue wound up taking the opening set, 25-18. Senior Jenilee Rathje led the Spartans in the opening set with five kills.
The Green and White looked to tie the match up at one set each in set two, but were unable to pull out the late set rally. MSU kept it close for the first half of the set; however the Spartans were forced to call their first break of the set trailing, 9-13. After the next four points went to the Boilermakers, making their lead eight at 9-17, MSU called its final timeout of the set. The Green and White responded with its own 4-0 run to have Purdue call its first timeout of the match at 13-17. Michigan State continued to claw back, getting within one at 22-23, as the Boilermakers called their final timeout of the set. Purdue took set two by a score of 25-23. Rathje was joined by senior Kyndra Abron with a team-best four kills in set two.
Purdue took the first point of set three and never looked back, extending its lead to three at 10-7. Michigan State fought back to get within one at 14-15, but three straight fell in favor of the Boilermakers, causing the Green and White to call a timeout at 14-18. The Spartans took the next point following the break, but Purdue took the following two to push its lead to five at 20-15, forcing MSU to call a timeout. The Boilermakers claimed set three, 25-18, for the match.
Leading MSU offensively was Rathje with 13 kills. At the net, sophomore Alexis Mathews paced the team with three blocks. Both sophomore Kristen Kelsay and senior Natalie Emro continued their streaks of 10-plus assists a match with 15 and 13, respectively. Abron was second on the team with seven kills, while Mathews trailed with five.
Michigan State looks to rebound tomorrow (Sept. 23) when it travels to Bloomington, Ind., to continue the opening weekend of conference play at 7 p.m. against Indiana. Action will be streamed live on BTN.com.