No. 18 Volleyball Sweeps Northwestern Saturday, 3-0
Oct. 18, 2003
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Kim Schram led No. 18 Michigan State volleyball to a 3-0 win (30-24, 32-30, 30-19) against Northwestern at home Saturday, with a match-high 19 kills on .400 hitting. The Spartans move to 12-6 overall and 4-4 in the Big Ten, while Northwestern is now 11-9 overall and 2-6 in the league.
The Spartans out-dug Northwestern, 51-45, and had 13.5 total team blocks on the night, their highest team total in the last eight matches.
"When our serve is aggressive, it opens up blocking opportunities and everyone blocked well tonight," said head coach Chuck Erbe. "Our defense was better because our blocking was more solid. I was very pleased with the comeback in game two. We were behind, but we found a way to be successful. I feel we are at a crossroads; a lot of teams are fighting for position in the Big Ten. This was a crucial win and a confidence builder."
Schram also contributed a block solo, two block assists and nine digs. Teammate Jenny Rood added 11 kills, two service aces, two block solos and two block assists. MSU's setter Nikki Colson had a match-best 45 assists and 12 digs, while adding a block solo and two block assists. On the night, the Spartans out-hit NU, .298 to .135.
In game one, the teams traded points early, with neither gaining more than a three-point advantage. MSU tied the game at 18 before going on an 8-3 run, which gave the Spartans the lead at 26-21. In the last five plays, the Spartans compiled two service aces - one from Emmy Miller and one from Rood - a block solo from Sara Villwock and a block assist from Colson and Megan Wallin en route to a 30-24 win.
In the second game, Northwestern jumped out to an 18-9 lead before MSU began an 8-1 scoring run that put the Spartans back in the game. On the basis of six-point Colson serving set, MSU was back in the game at 19-15. Following a service error from NU's Erika Lange, Schram served two points, and MSU and the Wildcats went on to trade points until MSU tied the game at 27. The Spartans took their first lead of the game at 30-29, and got the win at 32-30.
"We fought back tonight," said Schram. "This game shows what we are capable of. When we are aggressive, everyone's job is easier. When we're in system, it almost becomes easy. When the passing and defense is there, it's easy for the hitters to do their jobs."
With the score tied 14-14 in the third game, Michigan State jumped on an 11-1 run. Seven of those points were on a service run from Stephanie Knopp that included her single service ace on the night. The Spartans held a 25-15 lead at that point in the game and never looked back, taking the game by a final score of 30-19.
"The system worked the way it is supposed to tonight," said Erbe. "The most important part of the night was not that we played well, but that we competed. We need to carry this momentum throughout the next week into next weekend. A 2-0 weekend will get us over the hump."
Saturday's match with Northwestern will be broadcast on espn2 Sunday, Oct. 19 at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Michigan State returns to action Friday, Oct. 24 at Iowa at 8 p.m. EDT, and travels to Minnesota Saturday, Oct. 25, in another 8 p.m. EDT match.
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