Michigan State Upsets No. 4 Nebraska in Five-Set Thriller
Nov. 3, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State volleyball downed No. 4 Nebraska 3-2, in front of 4,510 fans inside Jenison Field House. MSU (19-7, 7-7 Big Ten) had four players record double-digit kills and Lauren Wicinski led the Spartans with 19. Tonight's win against No. 4 Nebraska marks the Spartans first win over a top-5 ranked opponent since beating No. 2 Penn State, 3-2, on Oct. 11, 1996.
"It was pretty exciting going down the stretch," head coach Cathy George said. "We were down 14-11 and to play error-free, aggressive volleyball at that time, I thought was really impressive. I thought our team did a really good job of answering the call. Different people stepped up at the right time."
With the match tied 2-2, Michigan State trailed Nebraska 14-11 in the fifth game and had its back against the wall. MSU fended off three straight match points to tie the set 14-14. Jazmine White and Amy Dentlinger had a block for the Spartans and Wicinski notched a kill to even the score. Gina Mancuso recorded a kill for Nebraska but Wicinski responded with back-to-back kills of her own to give MSU a 16-15 lead. Jazmine White and Kelsey Kuipers capped off the match with a block in the middle, giving the Spartans a decisive 17-15 win in set five.
It is MSU's first five-set win over a conference opponent this season.
Michigan State overpowered Nebraska in set one winning 25-13. The Spartans hit .417 percent and held the Huskers to a negative mark. MSU forced a Nebraska timeout leading 16-10 after Wicinski notched her sixth kill of the set. MSU took the game after three straight errors by the Huskers.
The Huskers rebounded in set two, winning the game 25-23 and evening the match 1-1. The score was tied 21-21 when Nebraska took its first timeout and MSU used a timeout trailing 24-22 after a block by the Huskers. Alexis Mathews notched a kill in the middle for MSU but Gina Mancuso recorded one for Nebraska, giving them a 25-23 win.
The Spartans won the third game 25-18 and had 15 kills with just one error in the set. MSU also had five blocks in the set, holding Nebraska to just one. Wicinski recorded her second service ace of the night to give MSU a 20-16 lead late in set three. Amy Dentlinger and Jazmine White combined for back-to-back blocks for the Spartans and a service error by Nebraska gave MSU a 2-1 match lead.
In the fourth set, Nebraska used a 25-23 win to even the match 2-2. Michigan State lead 8-4 early on but Nebraska battled back to take a 13-12 lead and force a MSU timeout. MSU led 20-18 after three straight errors by Nebraska but couldn't hold on, sending the match to a fifth set.
Kori Moster had 20 digs and five assists for the Spartans and Kristen Kelsay recorded 32 assists. Amy Dentlinger had 11 kills, Taylor Galloway had 12 kills and ten digs, and Alexis Mathews had 11 kills and five blocks.
Michigan State is back in action next weekend as it hosts Minnesota on Friday, Nov. 9 and Wisconsin on Saturday, Nov. 10.
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