Sept. 24, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Michigan State volleyball team (12-2, 1-1 Big Ten) posted its first win of conference play with a 3-1 (15-25, 25-14, 25-15, 25-18) victory over Indiana (8-6, 0-2 Big Ten) on Saturday, Sept. 24 in Bloomington, Ind. The win snapped MSU's road losing streak against Indiana as it tallied its first win over the Hoosiers on the road since Oct. 12, 2007. Senior Kyndra Abron paced the team with 15 kills on the night.
The Spartans came out flat in the first set after dropping the opening point of the match. The Green and White fell into a bigger rut as it trailed, 1-8, causing the first timeout of the match. Indiana pushed its lead to 11 with the Spartans trailing, 2-13, as they called another timeout. The Hoosiers held their largest lead of the set, 12, with the score 16-4, but MSU got back within nine at 12-21. Michigan State was unable to get any closer as IU took the set, 25-15. Abron had a team-best four kills to open the match.
MSU rebounded in set two with a solid performance. After taking the first point, the Spartans took to the driver's seat and put its lead to five at 9-4, causing IU to call its first timeout of the match. The Green and White continued to push the tempo with the lead becoming eight, just as the Hoosiers called their final timeout at 16-8. Michigan State never let up offensively, taking set two, 25-14, to tie up the match. Senior Jenilee Rathje had four kills in the Spartans' victorious second set.
Using the momentum gained from the second set, the Spartans took the initial point of set three. The Green and White continued its offensive dominance as the lead became seven at 11-4, as IU called its first timeout of the set. The Hoosiers got to within five, but Michigan State did not break and put its lead to 10 at 17-7, bringing IU into its final timeout of the set. The Green and White pushed its lead to 14 before finally closing out the set at 25-15. Abron and Rathje each netted four kills.
The Green and White looked to close out the match in four, however ran into trouble as IU held a 5-2 lead with the Spartans calling a timeout. Michigan State wound up tying the set back up at five, before trading service with the Hoosiers for the next several points. After the match was tied up at 14, MSU began to once again pull away from IU. Indiana called its first timeout of set four at 18-15. The Spartans wound up taking three of the next four to force IU into its final timeout of the match with the Green and White leading, 21-16. MSU took care of business by closing out the set by a score of 25-18. Abron was joined by classmate Becca Zlabis with four kills during set four.
Joining Abron with double-digit kill marks was Rathje with 10. Posting a career night defensively was freshman Kori Moster with 17 digs. Zlabis narrowly missed her first double-double of the season, as she tallied nine kills and 10 digs. Sophomore Kristen Kelsay dished out a team-best 24 assists, while senior Natalie Emro chipped in an additional 16 Sophomore Alexis Mathews led the Green and White at the net with six blocks.
MSU returns to action next weekend when it hosts Nebraska on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. The match will mark the first time the Cornhuskers have traveled to East Lansing. The following night (Oct. 1) the Spartans will welcome Iowa.