Oct. 22, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Michigan State volleyball team (16-6, 5-5 Big Ten) dropped a tough 3-1 contest to No. 23 Ohio State (15-8, 5-5 Big Ten) on Saturday, Oct. 22 in Columbus, Ohio. In her first trip back to Ohio, freshman Kori Moster led all individuals on the night as she tied her career-high digs mark with 28. Offensively, Jenilee Rathje netted her fourth-straight double-double of the season on 23 kills and 16 digs.
In what turned out to be a rollercoaster set, the Spartans managed to take the open frame from OSU. The two squads opened the set neck-and-neck before the Green and White posted the first multi-point lead of the match at 5-3. MSU continued to press on, moving its lead to three for the largest of the set at 7-5. The Buckeyes rallied back for their first multi-point lead of the match at 10-8. When OSU's lead became three at 16-13, the Spartans called their first break of the match. With the Green and White unable to get back into the groove, Ohio State turned in its largest lead of the set at 18-14. MSU began to claw back into the match, forcing the Buckeyes to call a timeout at 22-20. Michigan State squared the set at 23 to force the final OSU timeout. MSU wound up taking the final two points of the set, 25-23, for the 1-0 lead. Rathje with a set-high eight kills. Moster also paced both teams with eight digs.
Michigan State stormed out to a quick five-point lead at 10-5 to force Ohio State to burn an early timeout. After the next 10 of 15 went to the Buckeyes, the Spartans called their first timeout of the set with it tied at 15. OSU posted its first lead of the set at 17-16 before growing it to four at 22-18. The Green and White got back within two, 22-20, to force the Buckeyes to call their final timeout of the set. The Spartans took three of four to tie the set at 23-23 before Ohio State claimed set two, 25-23. Senior Kyndra Abron paced the Spartans with four kills, while Moster again had eight digs.
Ohio State kicked off the third set with the opening point of the frame. Michigan State allowed the first multi-point lead of OSU at 3-1 before finally tying the set back up at four. The Spartans called their first timeout of the set at 15-11. The Buckeyes continued offensively, pushing their lead their largest of six at 19-13, causing the final Green and White timeout to be called. Michigan State was only able to get back within three at 20-17 before Ohio State claimed the set, 25-19. Rathje with seven kills and Moster anchored the defense with eight digs.
The Spartans opened the final set strong, taking the first five points to force an OSU timeout. The Green and White continued to storm on, bringing the lead to eight at 13-5. Michigan State allowed Ohio State to get within four at 15-11 to force it to call a timeout. After 12 of 15 went to OSU, the Spartans called their final timeout of the contest at 17-16. Michigan State was unable to overcome the deficit, dropping the final set, 25-21. Rathje led the Green and White in digs and in kills in the final set with five each.
Joining Rathje in double-digit kill numbers was Abron with 12 and sophomore Alexis Mathews with 10. Distributing the ball, sophomore Kristen Kelsay tallied 24 assists, while senior Natalie Emro chipped in 19. At the net, freshman Jazmine White recorded a career-best eight blocks to pace the Green and White.
The Spartans open the second half of conference play on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. against Indiana, live on the Big Ten Network. The Green and White conclude the week on Saturday, Oct. 29 against Purdue.