Nov. 23, 2016
No. 14 Michigan State dropped a 3-0 decision at No. 18 Michigan on Wednesday night, (16-25, 11-25, 30-32) in Ann Arbor, The teams split the season series, but the Wolverines take the State Pride Flag outright for the first time since 2009 with a 4-3 edge in set victories in the season series. MSU falls to 23-8, 12-7 Big Ten, and Michigan is now 22-9, 11-8 in Conference play.
MSU's worst hitting night in Big Ten play (34-24-110, .091) was also in conjunction with the host Wolverines hitting .450 in the first two sets, allowing the home team to take significant,, insurmountable leads as Michigan had just four hitting errors in those first two frames. The third set was MSU''s best, but the teams needed to go deep into extra points, a set the Wolverines pulled out by a 32-30 edge.
Claire Kieffer-Wright led the home team with 12 kills and hit .476, adding seven blocks (three solo). while Carly Skjodt had nine kills and eight digs. The Spartans got eight kills and four blocks from Alyssa Garvelink, and Allyssah Fitterer had six kills and three blocks, while pushing her career kill total past 1,000. She is the 22nd Spartan to achieve 1,000 career blocks.
The Spartans move into the final match of Big Ten play, and head to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes Saturday evening.
-- Head Coach Cathy George
"We really didn't get going until the third set, and credit has to go to Michigan for keeping us out of sorts. I thought we played much better in the third, which looked a lot more like the sets between these teams 10 days ago at Jenison. We'll take stock of ourselves tomorrow and get some rest - because we know that we're going to get an "A" effort from Iowa in their building on Saturday."
SET ONE: The home team got off to a fast 3-0 start, but the teams then played even until a ace by Jenna Lerg and an Abby Cole kill made it 9-4 Michigan. A Fitterer kill stopped a 3-0 MIchigan run, but hte Wolverines came right back with two more, including a Kelly Murphy kill that made it 11-5 and forced MSU into calling its first time out. Allyssah Fitterer recorded her 1,000th career kill, a tool off the block, to make it 12-6, and despite the Spartans trimming it down to three on a kill by Kranda, Michigan went on a 7-4 run that allowed the Wolverines to open up their largest lead, 20-13. MSU couldn't get any closer, and the Wolverines closed out the set with a nine-point advantage (25-16). Claire Keiffer-Wright had six kills on nine swings (.67) to lead the Wolverines, while Fitterer paced the Spartans (4-0-7, .571).
SET TWO: A 7-2 run turned a 3-2 Michgan advantage into a 10-4 lead, and the Spartans called time out. Michigan built that lead by hitting .545 (6-0-11) and putting up four blocks, and continued to keep their foot on the gas as they scored four straight out of the break to push their lead to ten, 14-4. The home team just kept coming at MSU, building its lead to as many as 14 points at 21-7, hitting .450 (11-2-20) and posting seven blocks in the second set alone. MSU had seven kills against 10 errors in the frame (-.103), and fell 25-11, its lowest point total in a set this season.
SET THREE: Michigan started off with another three-point lead (6-3), and MSU was within a point at 8-7 before a 4-1 run for the home team allowed the Wolverines to go up 12-8. Maintaining the four-point lead at 14-10, Garvelink came up with a big block of Abby Cole for her third stuff of the night to make it 14-11, and a kill by the middle brought them within 15-12. At 17-14, Toliver served up an ace to pull the Spartans within two, but a serving error right after gave the Wolverines the sideout. MSU rallied with a 5-1 run, using two blocks, two kills, and a Fitterer ace to knot the game at 20-20. MSU took its first lead of the match on a big swing by Toliver that ricocheted off the back row, hit the ceiling, and landed far out of play for a 22-21 edge tht forced Michgian into its second time out of the frame. Out of the break, the teams traded points, until an MSU service error tied it at 23-23 and a Cole tool off the block at the right pin gave the home team match point. Garveink tied it up at 24-24, and the teams continued to engage in a back-and forth battle that took the teams into extra points - the same dance the teams did in the second set in East Lansing 10 days ago. A Kieffer-Wright tip over the net hit the sweet spot to give the Wolverines match point at 27-26, but a Minarick tip after a long rally tied it up again. The teams traded service errors that allowed the Wolverines to hold match point again at 29-28, but the Spartans came back with kills from Garvelink and Toliver to tip the advantage to MSU at 30-29. Abby Cole got the sideout for the Wolverines that tied the match at 30-all. On the next rally, the Spartans went back to Garvelink, who hit a shot down the left line that was called in by the linesman, but the up ref overruled the call to give the home team match point, and they closed it out on a block by Crocker and Murphy to take the third set 32-30. Garvelink was the hot hand in the third, with six of her eight kills along with a pair of blocks; Toliver had three kills and three digs.
Alyssa Garvelink had eight kills, hit .294, and had four blocks.
Allyssah Fitterer had six kills, pushing her career total to 1,004, and added three blocks, all which came in the third set.
Brooke Kranda had five kills and five digs, adding two blocks.
STATS AND STORYLINES
Allyssah Fitterer recorded her 1,000th career kill in the first set, a tool off the block. She's the 22nd Spartan to reach 1,000 career kills.
MSU and MIchigan split their season series for the seventh consecutive season.
Michigan won the State Pride Flag outright for the first time since 2009, winning four sets in the season series to MSU's three. The teams shared the Flag in 2014.
The Spartans have now dropped three straight matches, MSU's first tie this season with more than two consecutive losses.
MSU was out-blocked 13-8, the second-largest blocking discrepancy for the Spartans this season. In the first meeting of the teams, UM had 16 blocks to MSU's 10. This snapped a streak of five straight double-digit blocking efforts for the Spartans
Abby Monson had 11 digs for her sixth-straight double-digit dig effort. .