Oct. 12, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - No. 25 Michigan State volleyball lost to Northwestern, 3-1, at Jenison Field House on Friday night. The Spartans (15-4, 3-4 Big Ten) fell by scores of 17-25, 25-19, 20-25 and 22-25. MSU had just a .135 hitting percentage, while the Wildcats (13-5, 2-5 Big Ten) hit .230 percent.
"It started right at the beginning and we just didn't execute," head coach Cathy George said. "They were very sharp and did a nice job. I don't think that we played the game that we usually do."
The Spartans dropped the first set to Northwestern, 25-17. The Wildcats hit .448 percent in the set and Michigan State had six errors and hit just .152 percent. Michigan State fell behind 14-10 and used its first timeout before closing the gap to 14-13 after a kill from Lauren Wicinski. However the Spartans couldn't keep the pressure on the Wildcats and dropped set one. Three different Northwestern players recorded four kills in the game.
Michigan State evened the match with a 25-19 win in set two but still struggled offensively, as it did all night, hitting just .175 percent. The Spartans out-blocked Northwestern 4-0 in set two.
It started off as a back-and-forth set and the score was tied six different times. The Spartans pulled away after a block from Alexis Mathews and Kelsey Kuipers put MSU up, 21-17, and forced a NU timeout. Amy Dentlinger and Mathews had another block and a Northwestern error, its seventh of the set, sealed the game for Michigan State.
MSU jumped out to a 6-2 lead in set three but Northwestern closed the gap and took its first lead midway through the set, 12-11 before going on to win 25-20 and take a 2-1 match lead. The Wildcats went on a 4-0 run to take a 22-18 lead. MSU had nine errors in the set and hit just .162 percent.
Michigan State dropped the fourth set to Northwestern, 25-22, giving the Wildcats a 3-1 victory. MSU led by as many as four, up 17-13, but Northwestern went on a 5-1 run to tie the set at 18.
Northwestern took its only lead of the set at 21-20 and a kill from Stephanie Holthus, her 19th of the night, and three Michigan State errors gave Northwestern the win. The Spartans had 11 kills in the set and 10 errors.
The Spartans are back in action tomorrow night and hosts No. 22 Illinois at 6:30 at Jenison Field House. Fans that show their homecoming ticket stub get into the match for free.