Volleyball Holds Off Wisconsin for 3-2 Win
Oct. 9, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State volleyball team (10-7, 2-4 Big Ten) closed out its homestand on Saturday, Oct. 9 with a 3-2 (25-18, 25-18, 17-25, 17-25, 15-11) win to Wisconsin (11-6, 0-6 Big Ten) at Jenison Field House. With the win, MSU snapped its three losing skid. Freshman Kristen Kelsay (Wheaton, Ill.) ties career-best with 33 assists on the night.
The Green and White started the match strong, getting out to the early 5-1 lead on the Badgers. With offensive control of the match, the Spartan lead was pushed to six at 9-3 as UW called its first timeout of the set. Following the break, MSU took three of four points to push the lead to 12-4. The Badgers, however, rallied back with four of five points themselves to trail the Spartans, 13-9. The Green and White lead was brought back to six, 18-12, and then again at 20-16 as Wisconsin called its second timeout of the set. Three more MSU points brought the lead to nine at 23-16. Michigan State finally closed out the opening set at 25-18. Freshman Kelsey Kuipers (Otsego, Mich.) led the Spartans in set one with four kills on four attacks for a 1.000 hitting percentage. Kelsay dished out nine assists for the team.
With the Spartans in control of the match, they once again started the set strong with a 6-1 lead just as the Badgers called a timeout in an attempt to freeze the MSU offense. After maintain its five-point lead at 8-3, the Green and White remained strong as the lead grew to six at 14-8 as UW once again called a timeout. The Spartan lead reached eight at 18-10, before the Badgers gained ground and pulled within four. The Spartans finally closed out set two with an identical first set score, 25-18. Senior Megan Schatzle (Monroe, Mich.) and junior Kyndra Abron (Livonia, Mich.) each tallied four kills in the set. Junior Natalie Emro (Wildwood, Mo.) and Kelsay equally distributed six assists each.
The Badgers came out strong in the third set following intermission, gaining an early 5-1 lead on the Green and White. MSU rallied to pull within two when it took five of eight points, making the score 8-6. After scoring six of the next nine points, UW held a 14-9 lead as the Spartans called another timeout. The Badgers remained in control of the set as they were on top, 22-14. Wisconsin closed out set three by a score of 25-17. Red-shirt junior Jenilee Rathje (Mount Pleasant, Mich.) was the top Spartan attacker in set four with four kills.
Early on in set four, neither team wanted control of the set as they were tied at four before the Spartans got out ahead, 6-4, on UW. The lead was pushed to three at 9-6, and maintained at 11-8, before the Badgers took three straight to tie the set at 11 each, causing the Spartans into a timeout. The set was once again tied at 13 before Wisconsin gained the 16-14 lead. With the score 18-15, MSU felt the need to call its second timeout of the set, hoping to slow the Badger momentum. UW, however, remained strong is it closed out set four, 25-17, tying the match at two sets each. Junior Becca Zlabis (Wheaton, Ill.) was the top Spartan in set four with her four kills.
Set five opened with the Spartans getting out on the Badgers, 5-3, before UW closed in to tie the set at five. The Spartans held a two point lead at 7-5 and also again at 9-7, causing the Badgers into their first timeout of the set. After trailing 10-7, UW managed to once again tie the set at 10 as MSU called its first timeout. Two straight Green and White points made the score 12-10 with the final Wisconsin timeout called. MSU maintained in control of the set as it took the set and match, 15-11. Schatzle led the team with three kills in set five. Kelsay recorded five of the 10 Spartans assists.
For the second-straight night, Zlabis was strong both offensively and defensively for the Spartans with her fifth double-double of the season on 11 kills and 13 digs. Kelsay ended the night with 33 assists, while fellow setter Emro dished out another 23 assists. Abron joined Zlabis with 11 kills on the night, while both Rathje and Schatzle ended the match with 12 kills each. Senior Allyson Karaba (Muskegon, Mich.) was the anchor for the MSU defense as she recorded 15 digs in the victorious effort. Red-shirt freshman Alexis Mathews (Detroit, Mich.) once again was strong at the net as she netted six blocks.
With a short turnaround, the Spartans return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 13 when they travel to face intra-state rival Michigan at 7 p.m. in Ann Arbor. The contest between the Wolverines and MSU will be shown live nationally on the Big Ten Network.
at the official