It was a rubber match of revenge for the Spartans.
MSU volleyball traveled to Ann Arbor on Tuesday, and dropped to the Michigan Wolverines in four sets.
But this time around, the Spartans hosted the Wolverines in East Lansing Friday night. And on top of that, 6,218 fans packed Jenison Field House— the most ever for a Spartan volleyball match.
The Wolverines started off the first set with three errors out of the first nine points, so it started off just the way the Spartans wanted, with a 6-3 lead. MSU increased its lead to 11-5 and the Wolverines took a timeout.
After the timeout, MSU ran away with the set and were up 23-15. However, the Wolverines clawed back with six straight points, which made it 23-21, but the Spartans finished off the set with two straight spikes to win it, 25-21.
Chloe Renig led the Spartans in the first set with six kills, but the team finished with eight errors.
The second set was close early on, 2-2, and it was close up until the end. The Spartans led the set until mid-way through, when the Wolverines gained their first lead of the entire match, 9-8.
The rest of the set was a wild one, as it featured eight ties. Michigan fought off three set points and tied it at 24-24. The Spartans then fought off four set points of their own complimented by Renig kills, but the Wolverines eventually took the set, 31-29. The Spartans had five chances to win with set point opportunities, but could not close it out.
At the end of two sets, Renig had 13 kills and Taylor Galloway added six kills of her own. For the Wolverines, Krystalyn Goode had 10 kills out of 17 attempts. Hitter Abby Cole usually hits .400, but was hitting well under that throughout the night. MSU handled the freshman firepower well.
In the third, ties continued. Points were tied from 7-7 up to the 14-14, where a two-point lead was a shock to see at that point. But MSU pulled away later in the set, 21-17, to force a Wolverine timeout. The Spartans later took a 2-1 set lead with a 25-23 score in the third set, due to another Renig kill. The Wolverines fought off three sets points again, but could not win the fourth to push the set further.
Back and forth points ensued in the final set, once again. MSU went up 14-11 and the Wolverines took their first timeout. However, later in the set, MSU had two service errors, which gave the Wolverines momentum to gain a 23-21 late lead. But Renig came again to the rescue, as Michigan was gaining momentum, to gain her career-high 25th kill. And when the Wolverines had a set point at 24-23, Renig garnered another kill to make it 24-24. Then, Rachel Minarick had two straight aces to win it in four sets and the crowd went wild.
Renig finished the match with 26 kills, which was a career-high. The last two matches, she had a total of 43. Kori Moster also moved into the top-10 all time in the Big Ten by tallying 17 digs.
MSU plays Nebraska next Friday at 7 p.m. in East Lansing.
Alex Scharg is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
Photo: Michigan State Athletics