Spartans Down Towson in Three Sets
MSU extends non-conference winning streak to 18 matches
Aug 30, 2013
Blacksburg, Va. - Michigan State improved to 2-0 on the season with a 3-0 win over Towson (25-13, 25-13, 25-18) in its second game of the Hokie Invitational at Virginia Tech on Friday. The Spartans got 39 assists from senior setter Kristen Kelsay and a double-double from Lauren Wicinski (13 kills, 10 digs), while Alexis Mathews tied her career high by hitting .667 (11k/15att, 1 error) in the game.
MSU has now won 18 consecutive non-conference matches, dating back to the 2011 season. The Spartans last fell to a non-conference opponent on Sept. 9, 2011 when they fell to Bowling Green on the road, 3-1.
The Spartans once again went deep into the bench, playing 12 players in the three-set win over the Tigers. Three players saw their first collegiate action today - redshirt freshman and Virginia native Ebony Scott, who had one kill in the second game; Autumn Christianson had two kills, while Allyssah Fitterer had four kills and three blocks in the nightcap.
Wicinski had a double-double, and added three blocks and a service ace on the afternoon. Taylor Galloway had a pair of aces to go with seven kills, three assists, and five digs.
"So far, so good," said head coach Cathy George after her team opened 2-0. "We got the wins, which was important - then, from another angle, we were able to get a lot of our players on the floor. We wanted to try different lineups, what players who maybe haven't played as much and the freshmen can do in certain situations. Today was a success in that we were able to get a look at that, and there were a lot of good things that happened. It also provides our players some confidence to go along with the experience that they gained."
The teams were tied at six in the first set before MSU ripped off a 14-4 run to take a 20-10 lead behind three kills from Wicinski and two each from Mathews and Kelsay. Towson fought back with three points from there, but a Kori Moster (15 digs) service ace iced the first set for the Spartans.
In the second set, the teams were once again tight early, but the Spartans pulled away with a 16-4 run after an early 4-3 lead. Towson rallied for late points in the set in part thanks to a couple of Spartan errors, but MSU closed out the set with a kill by Fitterer.
The third set once again saw the Spartans liberally use their bench. Towson jumped out to a 14-9 lead, MSU's largest deficit of the day. Soon after, an MSU timeout righted the ship, as MSU outscored the Tigers 15-4 over the balance of the set.
MSU is back in action on Saturday with two more games on the docket. MSU plays Pacific at 2:30, and the Tigers will provide a live radio broadcast of the match. The Spartans wrap their weekend action at 7 p.m. when they tangle with the host Hokies.