- Michigan State Sweeps Notre Dame 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-19)
- Michigan moves to 9-1, Notre Dame falls to 7-3.
As a prelude the highly-anticipated football game in South Bend on Saturday, the #22 Michigan State and Notre Dame women’s volleyball teams got the rivalry kicked off on Friday evening in East Lansing.
The Spartans earned the weekend’s first laugh with a dominant 3-0 sweep of Notre Dame, including a combined .367 hitting percentage: their highest through the first 10 games of their 2016 season.
Simultaneously, they held Notre Dame to a .086 hitting average,which is the 6th time this season they’ve held an opponent under .100.
The home team opened up strong by hitting .519 in the first set, and while they cooled after that, Notre Dame’s offense never got into motion to challenge the Spartans.
Michigan State came into the day ranked 16th in the country in opponents’ hitting percentage, and improved that stat on Friday.
Courtesy Michigan State Athletics:
Michigan State took down Notre Dame in straight sets (25-17, 25-13, 25-19) on Friday evening in their first game of the Spartan Classic at Jenison Field House. The Spartans improve to 9-1 on the season, while the Irish fall to 7-3.
The Spartans came out of the gate with hot hands, hitting .519 in the opening set, and hit .367 for the match – their season high. The Spartans held the Irish to just .086 for the match, the sixth opponent held to a .100 hitting percentage or lower. MSU also served up nine service aces and had 41 digs, getting three players with seven digs or more.
Prior to the game, senior Chloe Reinig was honored for surpassing 1,000 career kills, She is the first Spartan to reach that milestone since Lauren Wicinski in 2013, and the 21st player in program history.
MSU is back in action for its final non-conference matches of the season on Saturday, taking on Maryland-Eastern Shore (11:30 am) and DePaul (6 pm) at Jenison Field House.
“I was really pleased with much of what we did tonight. I thought it really all started from our serve – we were aggressive and served well, and that led to a lot of opportunities for us throughout the match. We obviously hit really well, too – and it was nice to see some of our players break through with a good night. We’ll have to turn this around quickly to play two matches tomorrow, but the focus will continue to be on what we do and tightening up some things that we’d like to see executed a bit better.”
Head Coach Cathy George
SET ONE: MSU maintained a lead between two and four points for most of the early part of the opening frame. Reinig was the hot hand early with kills on three of her first four swings, and MSU was out to a 12-9 lead hitting .529 ( 9-1-17). The Spartans were tallying kills at a rapid rate, committing just two errors in the frame overall. MSU scored five of the next six points to go ahead 16-10, and kept pressing – the Spartans pulled ahead by eight – their largest lead – at 22-16, and closed it out on kills by Kranda and Bailey for a 25-17 set one victory. MSU got five kills from Bailey in the set (5-0-8, .625) and four each from Reinig and Kranda as the Spartans hit .519 (16-2-27) to open the match.
SET TWO: Irish coach Jim McLaughlin called an early time out as his team fell behind 4-1 early, but Notre Dame battled back to tie it at 6-6. Autumn Bailey stepped in to serve after the Spartan sideout, and dished out a pair of aces in MSU’s 6-0 run to double up their visitors, and Notre Dame called a time out to try to stall MSU’s momentum. The Spartans continued their hot run, pushing their lead to seven and eventually nine, 19-10. Every Spartan tip and attempt was seemingly a golden touch, as MSU closed out the second set with a 25-13 win to take a 2-0 match lead. Bailey added six kills and four digs, while Fitterer and Garvelink each had four kkills. Monson came up with seven big digs in the set.
SET THREE: Notre Dame took its largest lead of the night at 8-5 in the third set, but a service error gave MSU the sideout, and a Bailey kill and an Irish shot wide tied the frame at 8-8. MSU continued on to post an 12-3 run, limiting their visitors to a -.042 hitting percentage as they built to a 17-11 lead. The Spartans got impressive play from back row players Abby Monson and Kristen Brashear, who both were in double-digit kills by the middle of the third set. The Spartans weathered a small Irish run, holding a 22-18 edge with Toliver stepping in to serve – she delivered up an ace, the Spartans’ eighth of the night. The Irish fought off match point, but Bailey stepped in and served up her third ace of the night to seal a 25-19 third-set victory and the 3-0 sweep.
- Autumn Bailey had a match-best 14 kills and hit .407, and added four digs and three service aces.
- Alyssa Garvelink, Brooke Kranda and Allyssah Fitterer each had seven kills, with Fitterer hitting a team-best .778 (7-0-9). Kranda added three aces, while Garvelink shared the team high with two blocks.
- Abby Monson had 13 digs to lead all players, and Kristen Brashear had her first double-digit dig match as a Spartan (10).
STATS AND STORYLINES
- MSU had nine service aces, the fourth straight match with five or more. The Spartans’ season high is 11, set vs. Morgan State on Sept. 3.
The Spartans hit a season-best .367 (44-11-90), but tied for a season-low with just three team blocks.
- Notre Dame hit .086 in the match, MSU’s sixth opponent it has held to .100 or lower.
- The Green and White captured their seventh three-set victory in 10 matches. MSU is 7-1 in three-set matches overall.
- Abby Monson had 13 digs and seven assists, her fourth double-digit dig outing in the last five matches..
- Chloe Reinig was honored before the match for her 1,000 career kills. She had the second-most in the match with 8, pushing her career total to 1,057.
- Brooke Kranda tied her career best with three service aces for the second consecutive game. She also had three vs. Morgan State. (Sept. 3) and Western Kentucky (Sept. 10). She also had season-bests of seven kills and 16 swings.
- Allyssah Fitterer’s 7-0-9 performance (.778) is her highest hitting percentage of the season. She hit .533 in her last match vs. Western Kentucky.
- Autumn Bailey had 14 kills for the second consecutive match, hitting a season-best .407 (14-3-27) and tying her season high of three service aces.
- Kristen Brashear had her first double-digit dig performance in a Spartan uniform, with 10.
Courtesy Notre Dame Athletics/Robby Hamman:
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Notre Dame fell to No. 22 Michigan State on Friday evening in East Lansing by a final score of 3-0. The loss snaps a season-best four match win streak and moves the team’s record to 8-3 on the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish struggled to find their rhythm from the opening serve on Friday evening, as Michigan State jumped out to an early lead to take control of the match. The Spartans recorded a 25-17 first set victory and then used their momentum to take the second set by a final of 25-13 to go up 2-0 in the contest.
Notre Dame gained an early advantage in the third set at 8-5 but was unable to sustain the success, as Michigan State scored the next four points to force a timeout from the Irish. Notre Dame battled the Spartans for the remainder of the stanza but came up short, falling by a final of 25-19.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Caroline Holt handed out 23 assists and recorded five digs and a kill in the contest. The junior notched assists on 23 of Notre Dame’s 25 kills.
THE TURNING POINT
A Jemma Yeadon kill knotted the second set score at 6-6 after the Irish dropped the opening set. Michigan State immediately responded by reeling off six straight points of its own to take control of the second set and put the Spartans in the driver’s seat for the victory.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish win streak ends at four matches.
- Notre Dame is now 4-8 against the Spartans in the all-time series.
- Maddie Plumlee recorded her first ace of the season.
For complete coverage of the tournament, visit Spartan Classic Tournament Central.
The Irish wrap up their stay in East Lansing against DePaul on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Notre Dame then returns to the Joyce Center on Friday, Sept. 23 for the ACC opener against Louisville at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available by visiting UND.com/BuyTickets.