No. 14 Volleyball Defeats Ohio State, 3-1
Sept. 27, 2003
EAST LANSING, Mich. - After suffering an emotional five-game loss to No. 12 Penn State Friday (Sep. 26), No. 14 Michigan State volleyball jumped out to a two-game lead against Ohio State Saturday (Sep. 27), and held on for a 3-1 victory. MSU moved its record to 9-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten while the Buckeyes fell to 6-4 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
"It was nice to win," said head coach Chuck Erbe. "But we didn't play the way we wanted to play. This team is playing skittish and you can't be skittish and be good every night. The responsibility of being a good team is to be involved every night and not counting on the other team to have an off night."
The Spartans built a 10-3 lead in the first game, winning five straight points with the help of two service aces by junior Michelle Kopka. She would finish the match with a career-high four. With Ohio State falling behind quickly 20-10, it cut the score to 27-24. Even though MSU lost 10 of the final 15 points, it stole game one, 30-25.
The second game almost duplicated the first as MSU won five straight points again early, cruising to a 7-2 advantage. But the Green and White managed to sustain its pressure and with the score at 29-24, senior Nikki Colson and junior Kim Schram combined to block an attack by Heather Whalen to seal the second game, 30-24.
In the third game, the Buckeyes turned the tables on the Spartans, and connected for a .564 hitting percentage to MSU's .333. Ohio State grabbed its largest lead of the match at 25-20 only to see it vanish as Michigan State saved four game points to bring the score to 31-31. OSU squeaked out the final two points for a 33-31 win.
Michigan State once again took a big lead late into a game, with a 19-11 advantage in the fourth game. But the 1,575 fans that packed Jenison Field House saw the Buckeyes come back to bring the score within two at 21-19. Not wanting to play a second consecutive five-game match, the Spartans won the next seven points and Schram sealed the match with her 17th kill.
"We're very fortunate Jenny Rood is playing at the level she is," said Erbe. "She has really carried this team."
Rood, a senior, starred again for State, posting 19 kills, a hitting percentage of .410 and two block solos. Sophomore Brooke Langston tied a career high with six block assists. Senior Nikki Colson amassed 53 assists and 15 digs to help MSU move its record to 7-0 in game fours.
"It was fun to be in a position to win in the fourth game," said Colson. "It was great to close out a game and put an opponent away. We'll go into the gym Monday and work on the weaknesses that have been exposed."
The Spartans return to action Wednesday, Oct. 1 against Michigan at 7 p.m. The night's promotion is Jam Jenison and the first 500 fans receive a free T-shirt.
at the official