Nov. 8, 1997
Spartan Netters Fend Off Scrappy Purdue Team
EAST LANSING, Mich.-Michigan State's volleyball team won a five-game match over Purdue (9-16, 2-12 Big Ten) to improve its record to 19-8, 9-5 in the Big Ten. Due to injuries, Purdue was only able to suit up seven players in Saturday's match, but the Boilermakers augmented those seven with a gritty attitude.
Michigan State won the first game 15-9, but Purdue responded in game two with a 15-8 win of its own. Game three saw Michigan State again take the match lead behind the hitting of senior Jenna Wrobel (0.500) and and freshman Jessica Sanborn (0.400).
Michigan State appeared on the verge of sealing a victory in game four. With a 12-8 MSU lead, Boilermaker freshman Katie Gibbons went to the service line and promptly fired off three service aces. Behind her serving and some inspired play by the rest of the team, Purdue rattled off seven unanswered points to steal game four 15-12.
Game five was a see-saw battle with strong hitting from both teams. Purdue hit 0.333 as a team, but it wasn't strong enough to overcome MSU's 0.533 team hitting average, and the Spartans pulled out a victory with a 15-11 game five win.
The Spartans were lead by middle blocker Jessica Sanborn. In a break-out performance, the freshman hit 0.381 for the match and tallied 8 blocks (1 solo). Freshman setter Vicki Basil tallied a career high 4 service aces (which ties the team season record). Purdue was lead by outside hitter Kelly Colangelo (29 kills) and setter Taryn Catlin (74 assists).
Michigan State's next match is at Illinois on November 14 (ESPN2).