Nebraska Ruins Michigan State’s Perfect Home Record With Four-Set Win

  0 Carly DeMarque | October 27th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

Match Results

  • #7 Nebraska def. #10 Michigan State 3-1, (25-16, 19-25, 25-17, 25-14)
  • Nebraska improves to 17-4, 10-1 Big Ten, Michigan State falls to 15-5, 8-3 Big Ten
  • East Lansing, Michigan
  • Attendance: 4,121
  • Match Stats

Nebraska took down Michigan State on the road, to make it the first time that the Spartans have lost on their home court this season. This is not the first time that the Huskers have come into a powerful teams house and taken away an important match on someone else’s turf. Earlier this season, Nebraska downed Penn State on the road, to make it the first time in nearly 15 years that someone defeated the Nittany Lions in a sweep on their court.

The match was primarily one-sided, aside from a mishap in the second set for the Huskers. They dominated the court over Michigan State, keeping them under 20 points in each of the three sets they won.

Though it looked like the Huskers dominated by the looks of the score, the stats tell a different story aside from a few categories. Nebraska led in nearly all statistical categories but not by too many. What made the difference in the match were the errors committed by Michigan State. The Spartans made 23 hitting errors to Nebraska’s 16 along with 12 service mistakes to the Huskers seven. These mistakes proved to be costly for the Spartans, as it shoved the momentum straight to Nebraska’s side of the court.

Throughout the match, even in the second set, Nebraska never let up on their aggressive swings and play. They served a tough match at the Spartans who struggled to receive the strong Husker serve as they posted eight aces in the win. Along with that Nebraska led in kills 49-43. This also showed defensively, as they out-dug Michigan State 61-53 and blocked 10 balls to the Spartans seven.

For Nebraska, Mikaela Foecke led the squad with 14 kills and one error for a .394 hitting percentage that also included five digs, three blocks and one ace. Jazz Sweet also contributed double-digit kills with 11 while Annika Albrecht nearly clinched the double-double with nine kills and 13 digs. Setter Kelly Hunter dished out 37 assists and 13 digs for a double-double while also contributing four kills, three aces and two blocks. Kenzie Maloney led the team with 16 digs.

Autumn Bailey and Brooke Kranda led the Spartans with nine kills apiece while Alyssa Garvelink and Holly Toliver posted another eight for the losing squad. Jamye Cox picked up a match-best 18 digs.

Press Release

Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics

The seventh-ranked Nebraska volleyball team earned a key road victory at No. 10 Michigan State, 3-1 (25-16, 19-25, 25-17, 25-14) on Friday night in front of a crowd of 4,121 at Jenison Field House.

Mikaela Foecke posted a match-high 14 kills on .394 hitting to lead the Huskers (17-4, 10-1 Big Ten) to their fourth win in four tries against a top-10 opponent this season. Nebraska handed Michigan State (15-5, 8-3 Big Ten) its first home loss of the season.

The Huskers outblocked the Spartans 10-7, which helped the Huskers to a .262 to .144 hitting advantage. The Huskers also won the serve game with two more aces (8-6) and five fewer errors.

Jazz Sweet had 11 kills, and Annika Albrecht had nine kills and 13 digs. Lauren Stivrins and Briana Holman combined for 11 kills and nine blocks. Kelly Hunter provided 37 assists, 13 digs, four kills and three aces. Sydney Townsend also served three aces. Both Hunter and Townsend tied their career highs.

Kenzie Maloney had a team-best 16 digs, as NU won the digs battle, 61-53.

Autumn Bailey and Brooke Kranda each had nine kills for the Spartans, who had their second-lowest hitting percentage of the season. In fact, two of the Spartans’ lowest three percentages of the season have come against the Huskers.

Set 1: The Huskers took their first lead at 5-4 after a scramble on both sides of the net resulted in a kill by Albrecht, and NU would never trail again. A solo block by Holman and a kill by Sweet added to the lead at 7-4. The Spartans tied the set 7-7 before an Albrecht kill. Later, a block by Hunter and Stivrins, followed by a tip kill by Foecke, lifted the Big Red to a 13-10 lead. The Huskers went ahead 22-13 after a 7-1 spurt that included two kills by Sweet and one by Stivrins, as well as two blocks by Sweet – one with Holman and one with Stivrins. NU had four blocks in the set and won 25-16, outhitting the Spartans .379 to .118.

Set 2: Michigan State led 5-2 before Foecke posted a pair of kills around a block with Holman to tie the set. Maloney’s service run continued with an ace, and Foecke tallied another kill before a Michigan State attacking error made it 8-5. Similar to the first set, the Spartans answered the Nebraska run with three straight points to tie the set at 8-8. Michigan State committed a service error, and Hunter followed that with back-to-back aces for an 11-8 Husker advantage. Michigan State responded and evened the set at 13-13, and the Spartans claimed a 15-14 lead on an ace. Michigan State went on to score the next two points for a 4-0 run and a 17-14 lead. Stivrins won a joust at the net to get the Huskers sideout, but the Spartans extended the lead to 22-17. The Spartans finished off the 25-19 win to even the match.

Set 3: The Huskers trailed 4-1 and could only cut the deficit to one before the Spartans increased their lead to four, 9-5. Stivrins smashed a kill and combined with Hunter for a block, and Townsend served an ace before an MSU hitting error tied the set at 9-9. Nebraska took an 11-10 lead, its first of the set, after a kill by Albrecht and solo block by Foecke on consecutive rallies. After MSU tied it at 11-11, Foecke and Hunter posted back-to-back kills. At 13-12, Foecke pounded another kill and teamed up with Holman for a block to spark a 7-0 Husker run that put them ahead 20-12. Holman had two more kills in the run while Foecke had one, and Hunter highlighted her service run with her third ace of the night. After trailing 9-5, the Huskers reeled off a 15-3 run to take control. A block by Albrecht and Stivrins made it 23-16 Nebraska, and Sweet earned set point before Townsend capped off the 25-17 win with an ace. NU hit .250 and held the Spartans to .054 while once again notching four blocks in a set.

Set 4: The teams traded sideouts for the first 12 rallies until Michigan State hit wide to give NU a 7-6 edge. A third ace by Townsend made it 8-6 Huskers and forced a Spartan timeout. Foecke’s 13th kill of the night put the Huskers ahead 12-8. Nebraska continued to excel on the attack with kills by Hunter, Holman and Foecke – as well as a solo stuff by Holman. The 5-0 continued as Michigan State hit wide, making the score 17-9 Huskers. The lefty Sweet pounded three more kills – including one that she punched over with her right hand – and the Huskers cruised to a final score of 25-14. The Huskers hit a blistering .367 in the final set.

Up Next: Nebraska takes on Michigan on Sunday at Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor. That match begins at Noon (CT) and will be televised on ESPNU and broadcast on Husker Sports Network affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM590 in Omaha.

Press Release

Courtesy of Michigan State Athletics


No. 10 Michigan State suffered a second loss to No. 7 Nebraska this season, falling 3-1 (16-25, 25-19, 17-25, 14-25) to the Huskers on Friday night at Jenison Field House. The Spartans are now 8-3 in Conference play and 15-5 overall, while the Huskers improve to 17-4 and remain in a tie for first place in the Big Ten standings with a 10-1 mark.

MSU was plagued by 12 service errors and some tough serving from the Huskers, who finished with eight aces on the night. The visitors also held a 10-7 edge in blocks and hit .262, while the Spartans hit just 144 (right below the Husker’s league-best .162 allowed to opponents this season). MSU rallied to tie the match at 1-1 after falling by nine points in the opening frame, but the Huskers got back on track during the set break and took a 25-17 win in the third and rolled to a 25-14 win in the fourth set.

MSU struggled to establish or maintain much rhythm at any point of the match, as the visitors accomplished the task of keeping MSU out of system. Mikaela Foecke led the Huskers with 14 kills, hitting .394; freshman Jazz Sweet had 11 kills and added four digs and a pair of blocks.

For MSU, Autumn Bailey and Brooke Kranda each had nine kills, while Alyssa Garvelink had eight kills and five blocks.

Michigan State continues a three-game homestand on Saturday, hosting Iowa in a 6:30 start at Jenison Field House.

“Nebraska was on point with their strengths tonight – they served well and were aggressive from start to finish. We simply made too many errors to give ourselves a chance – 12 service errors and 23 hitting errors are not a recipe to be successful any night in the Big Ten. It’s disappointing to start off a homestand this way, but we have an opportunity to get things back on track to try to redeem ourselves tomorrow when we host Iowa..” 

– Head Coach Cathy George



  • Alyssa Garvleink had eight kills and five blocks,
  • Rachel Minarick had 34 assists, three kills, and seven digs
  • Autumn Bailey posted nine kills and eight digs, adding a pair of aces.
  • Holly Toliver hit a team-best .208 and had eight kills, an ace, seven digs, and three blocks.STATS AND STORYLINES 
  • MSU suffered its first home loss of the season after a 7-0 start at Jenison Field House. MSU has five home games remaining in the regular season.
  • Nebraska sweeps the season series from MSU after a 3-1 win in Lincoln on Oct. 4
  • Alyssa Garvelink had her 500th career block early in the first set. She is fifth all-time in that category and is the 46th member of the B1G 500 career blocks club.
  • MSU had six service aces on the night, including three from libero Jamye Cox, who added a match-best 17 digs.


  • SET ONE: A 5-0 Nebraska run turned a 4-2 MSU lead into a 7-4 advantage for the visitors, and despite the Spartans twice trimming it to a single point, MSU called time out trailing 13-10 after four hitting errors had the Spartans hitting just.087 (6-4-23). Both teams were disruptive at the net, and freshman Jamye Cox had five digs and a pair of aces to that point of the set. Out of the break, the visitors continued their aggressive play and put together a 7-2 run to push out to a 20-13 advantage, forcing the Spartans to use their second time out. The Husker service run by Hayley Desnberger continued after the break, and the visitors took a 23-14 lead. Kelly Hunter dumped over the net to make it 24-14, and after a Tompkins termination fought off set point, a service error gave Nebraska the first set, 25-16. Nebraska finished the frame on a 12-6 run after taking a 13-10 lead., and hit .379 (14-3-29). The Spartans were plagued by six errors and just 10 kills, hitting .118 and led by Autumn Bailey’s three kills and a block. Alyssa Garvelinkhad two kills and two blocks in the set, the first stuff her 500th career block at MSU.
  • SET TWO: MSU took a 4-2 lead again in the second, and Nebraska again used a 6-0 run to make it a 8-5 Spartan deficit. The visitors were hitting just .214 to that part of the frame, but the Spartans were out of sorts and struggling in serve-receive, but out of the break the Spartans came back with consecutive kills by Kranda and Garvelink, followed by the pair teaming up on a block to tie the game at 8-8. Nebraska went up 12-9, and the Spartans opened up a 7-2 run – MSU trimmed it down to a single point on a swing and block by Toliver., and then Autumn Bailey had the next two MSU kills to tie the game at 14-14, and then delivered an ace that kissed the back line and made it a 15-14 MSU advantage. Nebraska called its first time out, but that didn’t halt the MSU momentum as Megan Tompkins and Brooke Kranda had kills out of the break to give MSU its largest lead at 18-15. Minarick lost a joust at the net to allow Nebraska the sideout, but the Spartans had seemingly gotten their sea legs The Spartans pushed their lead to five on a big block by Garvelink and Toliver, and Nebraska called their second time out to try to regroup. After an MSU service error, Foecke stepped to the service line with an eye on getting her team back into the set, but she also served long. Cox served up her third ace of the match to get MSU to set point, and Tompkins put a spinning ball over the net to seal it for MSU, 25-19. MSU recovered to hit .306 in the second set (15-4-36), and held the Huskers to just eight kills and hitting .086. Kranda had four kills and four digs in the set, while Garvelink and Toliver each had three kills and two blocks. MSU out-blocked their visitors 3-1 in the set.
  • SET THREE: MSU took early leads of 3-0 and 5-2, and a Holly Toliver service run helped MSU open up a 9-5 lead. A Husker ace and an MSU error allowed the Huskers to rally to tie it at 9, but an impressive putback by Rachel Minarickon an overpass stopped the Nebraska run. The visitors used a 8-2 run to take an 13-11 lead, and went up 15-12 before a time out was called on the floor. Nebraska carried the momentum through the break, scoring five straight on Kelly Hunter’s service run and forcing a Spartan time out at 20-12. The Spartans had one less error (6) than kills (7) to that point of the set, with Nebraska putting up three blocks and adding 10 kills, hitting .269. The Spartans climbed within six out of their second time out, thanks to a trio of errors from the Huskers that forced John Cook to call his time out as MSU made it 21-15. Nebraska closed it out by a 25-17 margin, hitting .250 in the frame, led by Foecke with four kills; MSU got four from Toliver, but hit just .054 (9-7-37).
  • SET FOUR: The teams were once again tight through the early points, and MSU called time out when the Huskers went up 8-6. Nebraska was energized by the time out and used a 4-2 run to go up four (12-8), and kept adding to the lead as MSU struggled to find any consistency. The Huskers hit .367 in the set (15-4-30) in taking an 11-point win in the fourth set, MSU’s largest deficit in a set this season. MSU had just nine kills againt six errors, hitting .094 in the frame for a game total of .144. Sweet had five of her 11 kills in the fourth, while Bailey was MSU’s leader with four kills and a dig.


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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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