Oct. 13, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - No. 25 Michigan State volleyball took a 2-0 lead over No. 22 Illinois but fell 3-2, its third five-set loss this season. The Spartans (15-5, 3-5 Big Ten) lost by scores of 25-18, 25-23, 22-25, 16-25 and 8-15. Outside hitter Lauren Wicinski led Michigan State with 22 kills and 18 digs against Illinois (9-9, 3-5 Big Ten).
"I thought we played really well in games one and two and we slowly started to give it away," head coach Cathy George said. "We had a lot of hitting errors and a lot of unforced errors that we needed to clean up and that hasn't been characteristic of us in the past."
The Spartans opened the match with a 25-18 win in set one and ended the set on a 9-1 run to go up 1-0 over Illinois. MSU trailed 16-17 before rallying to take the lead and close out the set. Taylor Galloway had four kills in the set and Michigan State had three blocks while Illinois had zero.
The second set was much closer but MSU was able to pull out 25-23 win to take a 2-0 lead after the back-and-forth set. There were 12 ties and four lead changes throughout the set.
MSU took a 20-18 lead after Amy Dentlinger recorded a kill from Kristen Kelsay, forcing an Illinois timeout. Michigan State used a timeout leading 22-21 and Illinois had three errors thereafter, contributing to the Spartan win.
Illinois took the third set, 25-22 and the Spartans trailed by as many as eight points before making a comeback bid. Michigan State was down 17-9 and went on a 7-1 run to close the gap to 18-16 after a kill from Jazmine White. Illinois took a 24-21 lead and Jocelynn Birks had a kill to give Illinois the win, she finished with 19 kills in the match.
Michigan State dropped the fourth set, 25-16, and had nine errors in the game. The Spartans hit just .054 percent while Illinois recorded a .333 hitting percentage to tie the match 2-2
In the decisive fifth set, Michigan State fell 15-8, and struggled offensively, hitting just .125 percent. Michigan State took a 4-3 lead but three straight attack errors forced a MSU timeout, trailing 9-5 in the set. Illinois never surrendered the lead after that point and took the match, 3-2.
Junior Alexis Mathews had 11 kills and hit .667 percent in the match, she also chipped in with four blocks. Setter Kristen Kelsay paced MSU with 35 assists and also had eight digs against Illinois. Taylor Galloway finished with 11 kills and 14 digs, her third double-double of the season.
Next up for Michigan State travels to face in-state rival Michigan on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.