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Spartans Tripped at No. 16 Purdue, 3-1

Nov. 24, 2017

Box Score | PDF Box: Purdue 3, Michigan State 1

 Michigan State Women's Volleyball Online
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No. 10 Michigan State dropped a four-set match to No. 16 Purdue (25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 21-25) on the road in West Lafayette. MSU falls to 20-8 overall and 13-6 overall, while the Boilers improve to 22-9 and 12-8 in Conference play. MSU had won three straight vs. the Boilers, including two of those three victories coming on the road in Holloway Gymnasium.

The match was tight, as the two teams battled through the first sets without any large runs - the Spartans were siding out at 62% over the first two frames, while Purdue managed 58%. The second set was a point-for-point battle, with the home team tying the match by eventually prevailing 25-23 in a frame that featured 15 tie scores and lead changes. The home team got some separation in the third set, holding MSU to an .088 hitting percentage and taking a 25-20 win, and then the Boilers hit .346 in the final set to close it out with a 25-21 win in the fourth set.

Danielle Cuttino made sure her senior night was a memorable one, as she grounded 22 kills and hit .457. Blake Molher had 11 kills and matched Cuttino's team-best four blocks. Setter Ashley Evans had 44 assists and 11 digs for the double-double, adding four blocks (two solo).

For the Spartans, Autumn Bailey had 17 kills and hit .350, adding two aces, eight digs, and two blocks. Alyssa Garvelink finished with 13 kills and four blocks, while Megan Tompkins had a match-best six blocks and Holly Toliver had 12 kills and had a career-high five blocks. She added eight digs.



The Spartans conclude the Big Ten regular season schedule at Indiana Saturday evening.

"It's a bit disappointing, obviously - because you want to be playing your best volleyball at this point of the year. I thought we needed to be a bit more aggressive serving and that we had too many unforced errors in the second half of the match, and that allowed Purdue to gain confidence. It's also a talented team and their gym is a very challenging road atmosphere. Purdue has four seniors and they wanted to go out on a high note in their final home game."

- Head Coach Cathy George


  • Alyssa Garvelink had 13 kills, hit .333, and added four blocks
  • Autumn Bailey led MSU with 17 kills and hit .350, adding eight digs and two each aces and blocks.
  • Holly Toliver produced 12 kills and a career-best five blocks (one solo)
  • Megan Tompkins had six blocks to lead all players


  • MSU finished with 11 blocks in the match, the first double-digit blocking effort for the Spartans in a Big Ten match this season.
  • Jamye Cox's 18 digs was two shy of her B1G season high set in the home match vs. Michigan (20).
  • Holly Toliver had a career-best five blocks to go with 12 kills and eight digs.



  • SET ONE: Motivated by the home crowd on hand to celebrate the Boilermakers' senior night, Purdue jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but the Spartans came roaring back on a Kranda serving run, which included two aces from the senior with kill and a block from Garvelink. Purdue got the sideout to tie the set at 6-6, but a 3-1 run fueled by a Toliver kill and block gave MSU a 9-7 lead, its first of the night. MSU's lead alternated between two and three points until a 4-0 run - all on MSU kills - pushed the lead for the visitors to five points, 17-12. A Purdue block and an MSU error allowed the home team back within three, but the Spartans got the sideout and followed with a block by Bailey and Tompkins to force Purdue into its second time out. MSU won the race to 20 with a six-point edge over the Boilers, but the Boilers had their mind on a comeback when they trimmed the MSU lead to 23-19, capped by a Caitlyn Newton block. The Spartans got to set point on a Kranda termination, and Garvelink's sixth of the night gave the opening-set win to the Spartans. Garvelink hit .556 in the frame with a set-best six kills, while Bailey, Kranda, and Toliver each had three. MSU overcame some early hitting woes to hit .270 in the set, with four of the hitting errors attributable to the Purdue block. Danielle Cuttino had four kills and two blocks to lead the Boilermakers.


  • SET TWO: The second set was a point-for-point battle, with 15 tie scores and eight lead changes in the frame. The largest early lead for the home team came at 6-4, and then again at 11-9 when Sherridan Atkinson was blocked at the right pin, but the ball bounced off her forehead, went back over the net, and fell on the Spartan side for the two-point edge. MSU called time out - its first of the night - and stormed back onto the court with four straight terminations from Garvelink, Bailey (twice), and Toliver to go up 13-11. Purdue battled back to tie it at 14-14, and the two teams from there traded big swings and won rallies to stay within a point. MSU regained the lead on a Garvelink swing, but Cuttino countered on the other side of the net to make it 215 it0-20. Jena Otec served up an ace to give the lead back to Purdue, and MSU called its second time out of the frame to regroup. Cuttino got the kill out of the time out, and then Otec recorded her second ace of her service run (with some help from the tape). Toliver and Garvelink get the block and the side out to pull within 23-21. Purdue got to set point on another Cuttino kill - her ninth of the night - to make it 24-21, but MSU got back to back kills from Bailey and Toliver to bring MSU back within a point. After Purdue called time out, the Boilers finished it off on a Blake Mohler kill to take the set 25-23. Bailey had six kills without an error in the set, adding three digs. Toliver had five each kills and digs, adding a block as MSU hit .250 in the frame. Purdue hit .268, led by Cuttino's six kills.


  • SET THREE: Purdue opened up a 7-5 lead in the third set, recording four kills on their first seven swings. Trailing 8-5, Bailey had the next two MSU kills, and a Purdue error tied it at 8-8. A 6-1 run for the Boilers allowed them to open up a 14-9 edge, and MSU called time out. The Purdue lead reached six points, matching the largest MSU lead in the first set; the Spartans fought back into it to come within three at 20-17. At 21-18, the Spartans lost a joust at the net that re-established the four-point home lead, and the Boilers closed it out to take the 25-20 decision. Cuttino had five kills - three of which came down the stretch - while Bailey had five for MSU. Megan Tompkins recorded three of MSU's four blocks in the set. The Spartans hit just .088 in the frame with 10 kills, while Purdue hit .156.


  • SET FOUR: MSU jumped out to a 9-4 lead, looking to get out early and force a fifth set. Purdue went on a 6-2 run to cut MSU's lead down to a single point, as the Spartans called time out. Cuttino got a big block to tie the match at 11-11, but the Boilers followed that up with a long serve to give the Spartans the side out. MSU briefly led a 14-12 lead after a Toliver kill, but Purdue countered with two kills and a block to retake the lead at 15-14. A big block on the left side for Purdue pushed the lead to two, and after the teams traded service errors. Caitlyn Newton and Cuttino pushed the home team's lead out to four, as MSU was desperate to get back into it - but Cuttino's arm was a deadly weapon for the home team at the left pin. MSU got within three at 22-19, but a pair of errors down the stretch plus a Atkinson ace sealed the Boiler win.
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