Nov. 26, 2016
No. 14 Michigan State wrapped up the 2016 regular season with a 3-1 victory (25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21) over Iowa on Saturday night. MSU is now 24-8, 13-7 Big Ten, and the Hawkeyes finish their season with a 19-13 mark, 9-11 in Conference play.
Brooke Kranda contributed a season-best 17 kills while establishing new career bests in digs (7) and tying her career high with five blocks. Chloe Reinig had 12 kills along with six blocks and five digs, while middles Allyssah Fitterer and Alyssa Garvelink each had seven blocks - Fitterer added eight kills, and Garvelink hit a team-best .357 on seven terminations. Abby Monson established a new career best with 25 digs.
Lauren Brobst had 17 kills for the home team, while Meghan Buzzerio added 10 kills.
MSU snapped a three-match skid, its longest losing streak of the season and still managed to post its most Big Ten victories under Cathy George. MSU is one of three teams to finish .500 or better in each of the last six Big Ten seasons.
The Spartans will await the NCAA selection show on Sunday night at 9 pm ET to learn their fate in the upcoming Division I volleyball championship. The show will air live on ESPNU. MSU will be looking for its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid, the second-longest streak in school history.
"We played Iowa in the first and final matches of the season, and both of these teams were a lot different than when we met back in September. Iowa is vastly improved and very, very scrappy - we knew that they would fight and battle us every point. Im happy that we ended the regular season on a high note - and now we just have to wait for the selection show."
-- Head Coach Cathy George
SET ONE: MSU used an extended service run by Holly Toliver to put together a 7-0 run, and pulled out to an 11-5 lead. Trailing 15-8, Iowa called its first time out of the set. MSU kept its hand steady, growing its lead to 19-10 on a kill and a block by Alyssa Garvelink, at which point the home team called its second time out. Iowa cut it down to six (22-16) on a kill by senior Lauren Brobst, and after the teams traded points, a Garvelink kill got MSU to set point. The Hawks fought it off with a Janota kill, but Kranda polished off the first set with her team-leading fifth kill as MSU took the 25-18 win in set one. Fitterer had four kills on five swings (.800), and both Garvelink and Bailey had two blocks in the frame.
SET TWO: The Hawkeyes turned the table in the second, jumping out to a 7-4 lead in the second frame, but a pair of kills by Fitterer around a n Iowa error allowed the Spartans to knot the second frame at 8-8, and a block by Fitterer and Kranda gave MSU its first lead of the second set. MSU tried to pull away, scoring back-to-back points off a Reinig kill followed by a Monson ace that made it 16-14, but Iowa called time out and came up with a 3-0 run out of the break to retake the lead, 17-16. The home team extended their advantage to three (20-17), but MSU trimmed it back down to two on a Bailey kill and an Iowa error. A Brobst kill followed by a Keala service ace gave Iowa a 22-19 lead, but MSU came back within a point on an Iowa miscue and ace by Fitterer. Trailing 23-22, Minarick set the middle for Garvelink, who tied it a 23-23. Iowa came out on the winning end of a lengthy rally to put set point on the board when Janota dumped it over the net, and a shot long tied the match at 1-1 as the Hawkeyes won the set, 25-23. Kranda posted four kills and three blocks, while Abby Monson had eight digs for the second straight frame. Neither team hit particularly well - MSU hit .093 (13-9-43), and Iowa .098 (10-6-41).
SET THREE: The Spartans came out of the locker room a determined group and ran off to a 7-2 lead, compiling three kills, two blocks (by Kranda and Garvelink), and an ace by Kranda. Iowa challenged a point at 8-2 that was upheld, and MSU conntinued to push out its lead, forcing Iowa into a timeout at 12-3. Iowa outscored MSU 3-1 out of the hiatus to cut MSU's lead to 13-6, but Bailey and Kranda extended it back to nine with consecutive kills. Iowa clawed its way back to within four (21-17), utilizing an 8-4 run, but could get no closer - Kranda extended her kill total to 13 with two of the last three terminations of the frame. Bailey led MSU with five kills and five digs in the set, while KRanda had four kills and a pair of stuffs. Garvelink had three blocks, one solo.
SET FOUR: Two Kranda kills and a block by Garvelink and Reinig allowed the Spartans to jump out to an early 3-0 lead, and they pushed it out to 7-1 on a pair of Iowa errors and an ace by Kranda. Iowa called time out to regroup, and an Ashley Mariani kill stopped a five-point Kranda service run at 8-2. Two straight aces from Molly Kelly allowd Iowa back within four (8-4), and they came within two on a kill by Brobst and consecutive errors by the Spartans, which made it 11-9. A double contact call, followed by a net violation on the Spartans, allowed the home team to tie it at 13-13. Iowa regained the lead and took a two-point advantage at 16-14, but MSU stormed back on a kill by Reinig and a block by Reinig and Fitterer, then regained the lead with terminations from Bailey and Fitterer - making it 18-16 and forcing the Hawkeyes to use their second and final time out of the set. MSU continued to pull away, posting a final margin of four points in the frame.
Brooke Kranda had 17 kills and seven digs, adding five blocks.
Chloe Reinig had 12 kills, adding six blocks (tying her season high) and five digs
Alyssa Garvelink had seven kills, hit a team-best .357, and had seven blocks.
Allyssah Fitterer had eight kills, and shared the team lead with seven blocks.
STATS AND STORYLINES
MSU finishes the Big Ten season with a 13-7 Conference record, the most Big Ten wins in the Cathy George era.
MSU's 15.5 team blocks isa team high and the 11th double-digit blocking effort for the Spartans in Big Ten play and 15th in 32 regular-season matches.
Iowa's second-set victory was the first set win for the Hawkeyes over MSU since Spetember 25, 2010 - a 3-1 Spartan victory at Jenison Field House. The last set won by the Hawkeyes in Iowa City came in October of 2009.
Abby Monson set a new career best with 25 digs, bettering the 22 she posted against Duke on Sept. 19, 2015
Kranda, who had tied her career high with five digs at Michigan, bettered that total with seven tonight. She also had five blocks, which tied her career best.