MSU volleyball attracts record crowd in loss to No. 24 Michigan


Aliyah Moore spikes a ball during Michigan State’s loss to Michigan on October 14, 2022. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Faith Flickinger, Volleyball beat reporter

EAST LANSING– Rivals Michigan State and No. 24 Michigan fought it out in the battle at Breslin Friday night. The Wolverines took the match 3-0 in front of 7,000 fans, the largest crowd in Michigan State volleyball history.

At the beginning of set one, the Spartans stood their ground and challenged the Wolverines. The Spartans got clean kills and found holes in the Wolverine defense. Michigan took advantage of MSU miscues and pulled ahead. Michigan got too far out of reach and ended up taking the set with a service error from freshman defensive specialist Jayhlin Swain. 

MSU fell behind early in set two, but fought back. Freshman middle blocker Nil Okur and sophomore outside hitter Aliyah Moore played a key role in catching up to the Wolverines. When Michigan made it to set point, MSU tied it up 24-24. Michigan took the set 30-28 after back and forth action.

Entering set three, the Breslin Center was filled with energy, and so were both teams. The Spartans grabbed the lead early in the third set. Michigan began to regain control of the set and senior middle blocker Jess Robinson got Michigan to match point. Okur was able to keep the Spartans alive with a kill, but again it just wasn’t enough to outplay the Wolverines. Michigan took set three, 25-22. 

Overall, head coach Leah Johnson is proud of her team and knows they have more to offer. 

“We’re just getting started,” Johnson said. “But at the end of the day, win or loss, it’s very much about taking care of each other and having each other’s back.”

Michigan State will be going on the road to play the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 1:00 p.m.