#10 Michigan State Tops Iowa in 4 Behind Balanced Offensive Attack

  0 Bill Stadick | October 29th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News


The #10 Michigan State Spartans defeated the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes in four sets behind a strong, balanced offensive attack.

Four Spartan seniors recorded double-digit kills: outside Holly Toliver (16 kills), outside Autumn Bailey (15 kills) middle Alyssa Garvelink (11 kills) and opposite Brooke Kranda (10 kills). Bailey also had 16 digs to score a double-double on the night, and setter Rachel Minarick tallied 43 assists.

“It wasn’t easy for us a times tonight,” said Michigan State head coach, “but I thought we stuck with it and had some players step up at different times in the match and carry us.”

For the Hawkeyes, freshman outside Claire Sheehan notched 12 kills, senior libero Annika Olsen registered 23 digs and freshman setter Brie Orr dished out 40 assists. Iowa out-blocked the Spartans 10.0-5.0 in the match, with three Hawkeyes recording four blocks: senior middles Kelsey O’Neill and Jess Janota, and junior outside Taylor Louis.

“We can’t look at ourselves as a finished product,” said Iowa head coach Bond Shymansky. “Our blocking, I wouldn’t have guessed coming into tonight that we would out block Michigan State 10-5, because they are one of the best blocking teams in the country.”

Set one featured 15 ties and five lead changes before the Spartans broke a 24-24 tie with two straight points to take the set 26-24. Michigan State used that momentum to take the second set by a comfortable 25-16 margin.

With third frame knotted at eight, the Hawkeyes went on an 11-3 run to take the set 25-16. Michigan State bounced back in a closely contested fourth set, going on a 4-1 run at the end of the match to win 25-21.

Michigan State hosts #1 Penn State in a much-anticipated Wednesday match, while Iowa hosts Indiana on Friday.


Courtesy: Michigan State Athletics


Bailey, Toliver Help Spartans to home victory


No. 10 Michigan State posted a 3-1 victory over Iowa on Saturday night at Jenison Field House (26-24, 25-16, 16-25, 25-21). The Spartans are now 16-5, 9-3 in Big Ten play; Iowa falls to 15-10, 4-8.

Holly Toliver led MSU with 16 kills, three aces, and seven digs, while Autumn Bailey had a double-double with 15 kills (six in the final set) and 16 digs. Alyssa Garvelink hit a team-best .333 with 11 kills and four blocks.

The Hawkeyes held an edge in blocks (10-6), digs, (60-53) and hitting percentage (.304-.265), and was led by Taylor Louis who compiled 20 kills, hit .356, and added four blocks and three digs. Claire Sheehan had 12 kills and 16 digs for a double-double, and setter Gabrielle Orr had 40 assists and seven digs.

MSU took the first set 26-24, and then took the second set handily (25-16) despite Iowa hitting better than .400 and posting two blocks in the frame. MSU had 10 kills and 10 errors in the third set, helping the Hawkeyes to a 25-16 victory, but the Spartans hit a match-best .439 to take the fourth set 25-21. Bailey had six kills and six digs in the final frame to help her team to the victory.

Michigan State concludes a three-game homestand on Wednesday (Nov. 1) , hosting No. 1 Penn State in a 7 pm start at Jenison Field House. The game will air live on Big Ten Network.


“It wasn’t easy for us a times tonight, but I thought we stuck with it and had some players step up at different times in the match and carry us. The service errors were a hindrance to us again tonight, and there’s some other things we need to clean up as well. We don’t have much time, since there’s such a quick turnaround with Penn State coming in here on Wednesday – so we’ll count on the maturity and leadership to get our rest and get our bodies right for a big match midweek.”  – Head Coach Cathy George

Autumn Bailey posted her seventh double-double in B1G play, recording 15 kills and 16 digs. She hit .293 and added a block.

Holly Toliver had 16 kills seven digs, three aces and a pair of blocks.

Alyssa Garvelink posted 11 kills and four blocks, hitting .333.


Michigan State honored seniors Rachel Minarick (4,000 career assists) and Alyssa Garvelink (500 career blocks) for their career milestones in a brief pre-game ceremony.

Brooke Kranda posted 10 kills and three digs

Rachel Minarick had 43 assists, six digs, and had five kills on five attempts.

MSU had its perfect home record in 2017 blemished with a loss to No. 7 Nebraska on Friday, but bounced back with the win over Iowa. MSU is 5-0 after a loss this season.

The Spartans struggled from the service line. A night after 12 service errors plagued MSU against Nebraska, the Spartans added another 12 service miscues against the Hawkeyes.


SET ONE: Iowa began to pull away after the Spartans and Hawkeyes were tied at 6-6, as the Hawkeyes scored four of the next five points with some help from an overturned call on a challenge and a point for MSU that was replayed and resulted in an Iowa ace. The Spartans did not succumb to the distraction and rallied to tie it at 11-11, and then opened up a two-point lead at 17-15. MSU took its largest lead of the set at 20-17, at which point the Hawkeyes called their first time out. The Iowa time out served its purpose, as the visitors scored five straight, capped with a Taylor Lewis tool off the block and block by Jess Janota and Gabrielle Orr, to pull ahead 22-20 and force MSU into calling its timeout. Toliver stopped the run with a wicked swing from the right side, and a Lewis hit long tied it at 22-22. Autumn Bailey got the next two kills for MSU to put the home team at set point (24-23), and Iowa called time out. Janota and Tompkins traded kills, and Toliver ended it with a back-row swing for a 26-24 win. MSU hit .263 (17-7-38) with three blocks, while the Hawkeyes had five blocks and hit .194. MSU had both Toliver and Bailey with four kills, while Garvelink had a hand on all three blocks.

SET TWO: The Spartans jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the second set behind a 7-1-11 (.545) performance in the early part of the frame. The Spartans were getting into a groove and led by as many as 10 (15-5), but the Hawkeyes clawed back within four (18-14) on a 7-3 run. MSU collected itself and went up 20-14 on a kill by Bailey, Up 22-15, Toliver served up an ace to put a little more space between the teams. A Tompkins kill and Iowa error closed out a 25-16 second-set victory for MSU, which hit .317 and got five kills, two aces, and two digs from Toliver. Iowa hit .409 (10-1-22) and had two blocks to MSU’s zero, but still fell by nine points.

SET THREE: A 6-2 Iowa run turned a 3-1 MSU lead into a 7-5 deficit, but the Spartans put away three straight on a Toliver service run that included an ace. Tied at 8-8, a 9-3 Iowa run with the offense distributed throughout their lineup gave the Hawkeyes a five-point edge, 16-11, and MSU called time out. Iowa pushed forward with a kill and an MSU error out of the break to give the visitors an 18-11 edge, and MSU called its second timeout. The Spartans were hitting -.034 in the frame (six kills and seven errors) as compared to 10 kills and just two errors for the Hawkeyes. Out of the second break, Toliver put up back-to-back kills, but any idea of a run was halted after a Spartan service error. That allowed Iowa to rebound and push the lead back out to eight (21-13) on a Molly Kelly service run. The teams traded points the rest of the way, with Iowa closing it out by a 25-16 score. The visitors hit .308 (11-3-26) and had two blocks, led by four kills from Claire Sheehan. MSU had 10 kills and 10 errors – just two of those errors Iowa blocks – to hit .000. Toliver had four kills and a block, while Bailey had two kills and seven digs.

SET FOUR: Both teams were error-prone in the early portion of the fourth set, with multiple service errors on both sides of the net. MSU pulled ahead by three (11-8) after back-to-back kills from Kranda, and as the Spartans refused to relinquish the three-point edge, Iowa called its first time out trailing 14-11. MSU’s largest lead was four at 18-14, but back-to-back kills from Iowa trimmed the Spartan lead to two and MSU called time out. That two-point edge held steady as the Spartans led 21-19, and Molly Kelly stepped to the service line. She served up an ace on her first attempt, but Toliver ended her service run with a sharp shot that found empty floor space. Bailey followed with a kill to cap a lengthy rally, giving MSU a three-point edge (23-20). Iowa called time out to try to put together a run at pushing it to a fifth set, but Bailey got the final two kills of the set for MSU as they took the set 25-21 to seal the match victory.

Courtesy: Iowa Athletics

Iowa Drops 3-1 Decision to No. 10 Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The University of Iowa volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision to 10th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday night.

Taylor Louis tallied a personal-best 20 kills, marking her 20th match of the season — and fourth in a row — with double-digit kills. Louis also amassed a .356 attack percentage. This is the 12th time this season the junior has had above a .300 attack percentage. She chipped in five blocks.

Set 1 (24-26) | The Hawkeyes and MSU traded points in a set that featured 15 ties and five lead changes. Trailing 19-16, Iowa used a 6-1 run to take a 22-20 lead, but the Spartans drew even again at 24-24. Michigan State then scored back-to-back points to take a 1-0 match lead.

Set 2 (16-25) | Michigan State jumped ahead early in set two and did not trail. The Hawkeyes mounted a comeback, going on a 9-4 run to cut MSU’s lead to 18-14, but the Spartans eventually secured the set and a 2-0 match lead.

Set 3 (25-16) | The Hawkeyes found a great rhythm in set three. The set opened with more back-and-forth action before a kill by Claire Sheehan tied the match at 8-8. Sheehan’s kill sparked an 11-3 run by Iowa, giving the Hawkeyes an 18-11 lead. Iowa went on to clinch a 25-16 set win, cutting MSU’s match lead to 2-1.

Set 4 (21-25) | The Spartans took another early lead in set four. In a tightly fought set, Iowa cut MSU’s lead to 21-20, but No. 10 Michigan State finished the 25-21 set win and the 3-1 match victory.

“What a great, gritty performance by our team. Even right out of the gate in the first set, we were right there. We got a little soft in the second set for about four or five minutes and that was enough with their serving combination. We had a great comeback and really put it to them in the third set, and I just like how our group is fighting. There are just so many positive takeaways in terms of our positive development. I talked to the team right after the match and told them we just have to keep building off of that. There is plenty of time left this season to continue to build.”

“We can’t look at ourselves as a finished product. Our blocking, I wouldn’t have guessed coming into tonight that we would out block Michigan State 10-5, because they are one of the best blocking teams in the country. That’s a testament to Vicki Brown and the work she is doing as our blocking coach, but we really worked hard and stayed focused on the game plan. That was fantastic. There is a lot more to do. Now we come home to Carver-Hawkeye and take on Indiana and Purdue this weekend. I know our team is excited, because we have more and more premium opportunities.”


Annika Olsen recorded 23 digs, marking her 22nd match with double-digit digs this season and her seventh match of the season with 20-or-more digs.

Claire Sheehan had 12 kills. This is the 10th time this season she has had double digits in kills.

Brie Orr registered 40 assists. This marks her 19th match of the season with 30-or-more assists and the 11th match with 40-or-more assists.

Iowa returns home on Friday, facing Indiana in a 7 p.m. (CT) first serve. The Hawkeyes face No. 17 Purdue at 2 p.m. next Saturday.

Leave a Reply


Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!