Indiana came to Jenison Field House looking for their first win in their Big Ten season and did so in a five set showdown after taking the first, third and fifth sets (17-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-21).
Indiana opened up the first set with a 5-0 lead and though the Michigan State Spartans tried closing the gap with the help of the freshmen on the court in Autumn Christenson and Allyssah Fitterer, but, down 12-5, Spartans Head Coach Cathy George felt the need to call the first time out of the match. The Spartans came out of the time out and received the next point but Indiana proved relentless by keeping the seven point lead, at one point increasing it to eight at 18-10. A service ace by Megan Tallman for Indiana gave the hoosiers a 20-13 lead. Lauren Wicinski got the Spartans the serve back with a kill but an error by Fitterer gave Indiana set point. The set was finished at 25-17 with an attacking error committed by Wicinski. The Spartans had five errors and a kill percentage of .266.
The Spartans reacted to the loss of the first set with a 6-3 lead. Wicinski added to it with a service ace and an attack error by Indiana gave MSU a five point lead. The lead was expanded to seven with a kill by Wicinski and an attack error committed by the Hoosiers making Indiana call a timeout down at 14-7. A kill by Kelsey Kuipers gave the Spartans a 19-11 lead and in a long volley Mathews gave the Spartans a nine point lead and an Indiana timeout. Miscommunication back-to-back by the Spartans gave Indiana two undeserved points to close the gap to 21-14. A Wicinski kill brought the match to set point with the hoosiers at 15 which they added to with an attacking error by MSU and two kills by Jordan Haverly for Indiana. The set was then won for the Spartans at 25-18 thanks to a Kuipers kill bringing the match to a tie at 1-1.
Late in the third set, Indiana opened the lead to 23-20 making Coach George take a timeout in desperation. An Indiana service ace out of the timeout followed by a kill closed the third set out at 25-20.
After 11 ties in the third set, the fourth began in similar fashion tied at five. The ties continued until an error by IU and an ace gave the Spartans a 11-9 lead. At 13-10 Indiana called a timeout to regroup and that they did coming out with a kill and a block. Fitterer gave MSU a point with a kill Trailing 21-19 in the fourth set, the Spartans came out of the timeout with five unanswered points to get themselves to set point. The Hoosiers gained a point off a poor set by Kristen Kelsay and an Indiana kill but the game was finished at 25-21 with a Mathews kill.
In the final set, Kuipers retaliated with her own kill but an attacking error by MSU brought the score to 14-11 and set point. Mathews tallied a crucial kill but Indiana finished the set with a kill by Morgan Leach to give the Spartans a huge upset and bring their Big Ten record to 6-4 while improving IU’s to 1-9.
Jennifer Swanchara is the host of Bump, Set, Spike for Impact Sports.
Photo: Jennifer Swanchara