Dec. 2, 2016
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WATCH: Video Highlights vs. Fairifled
No. 15 Michigan State opened NCAA Tournament play with a 3-0 sweep of Fairfield on Friday night at Jenison Field House. MSU won its first round match in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season, and improved to 25-8 on the year. MAAC champion Fairfield concludes its season at 25-6.
The Spartans posted a balanced offense, with five players between four and eight kills. The Spartans also had 10 blocks, the eighth time in their last ten matches that MSU finished with double-digit stuffs.
Autumn Bailey had eight kills and 11 digs, while both Alyssa Garvlink and Chloe Reinig had seven terminations, with Garvelink adding a team-best five blocks. For Fairfield, Megan Theiller had 12 kills and five digs.
MSU advances to the second round to host Arizona on Saturday at 7:30 pm. Tickets are still available through the Spartan ticket office, or at the door on Saturday evening.
"We were really excited to have an opportunity to play in front of our home crowd, and we knew that Fairfield was going to fight and be pretty scrappy. They are well-coached and have tournament experience. We low that we're going to have to clean up some things before tomorrow, when we play Arizona. I think we're really excited for one last match on our home court this season and are very focused on being ready for Arizona.."
-- Head Coach Cathy George
SET ONE: Brooke Kranda's back-to-back aces began to allow MSU to separate, and using a balanced attack that saw the Spartans have five players with two kills, they held a 19-10 lead, hitting .350. Fairfield had six kills and seven errors as MSU built a 23-12 lead, but four of those errors were Spartan blocks. A Brooke Kranda kill - her third of the night - to get MSU to set point, and after a Spartan service error gave Fairfield the sideout, Holly Toliver picked up her first kill to close out the set, 25-14. Kranda and Bailey finished with three kills each, and Kranda, Fitterer and Garvelink each had a pair of blocks. MSU hit .393 in the set (14-3-28), limiting Fairfield to .000 (7-7-29). MSU sided out at 85%, and had four blocks.
SET TWO: Fairfield had a 4-3 lead before Reinig tied it up at 4-4, and Bailey followed with a shot from the left side that gave the Spartans the lead for good. After a 4-0 run, the Stags called time out, trailing 7-4; out of the break, MSU stretched its lead to 11-6, and kept pulling away until the lead was nine (18-9), when Fairfield called its second time out of the frame. Back-to-back kills by Reinig and Garvelink allowed MSU to win the race to 20, Autumn Bailey closed out the set for MSU with three straight kills, pushing her match total to eight and allowing the Spartans to take a 25-13 lead. Bailey's five kills and four digs led MSU, and Garvelink had three terminations. MSU hit .417 to .036 for the Stags, and added a pair of blocks to push their match total to six.
SET THREE: MSU ran out to an 11-5 lead, hitting .429; the Spartans maintained that seven point lead, going to their bench and continuing to spread their offense throughout the floor. A 6-1 MSU run ended the third frame at 25-15, with Toliver compiling three kills in that span to close out the match. MSU hit a match-low .259 in the frame, lowering the Spartans' overall hitting percentage to .354 for the match.
Autumn Bailey had eight kills and 11 digs, adding two blocks.
Alyssa Garvelink had seven kills, hit a team-best .545, and had a team-high five blocks.
Chloe Reinig had seven kills, adding three blocks and hit .417
STATS AND STORYLINES
MSU won its sixth consecutive first-round NCAA match.
The Spartnas will play a Pac-12 team in the second round for the third consecutive season. MSU owns a 2-2 record all-time against Arizona, with the last meeting a 3-1 MSU win in the first round of the 2011 NCAA's in Texas.
MSU's 25-8 overall record ties for the most victories in a season under head coach Cathy George. The 2012 team won 25 games and advanced to the Sweet 16.
Abby Monson had 10 digs, extending her streak to seven straight matches with double-digit digs.
Brooke Kranda had six kills, hit .333 and added three blocks and two aces.