Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State volleyball falls short in loss to Duke

Jack Moreland
Karolina Staniszewska looks to spike the ball against Belmont in the Kathy DeBoer Invitational. Photo Credit: Jack Moreland/WDBM

EAST LANSING- Michigan State volleyball hosted Duke University on Friday evening. They recorded a 3-0 loss for their third of the season.

“We’re not a team that’s gonna dwell, I don’t dwell,” said Michigan State head coach Leah Johnson. “We say our peace, we watch our film, and we have the same kinda conversations if we win or lose.” 

MSU entered Friday’s game on a four-game winning streak after facing Belmont and Syracuse in the Kathy DeBoer Invitational. The team recorded consecutive sweeps.

This was MSU’s first faceoff since Nalani Iosia was named B1G Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 5, becoming the first Spartan to hold the title since Jamye Cox in 2019.

Duke’s Gacie Johnson served the first ball of the game. The rally resulted in a point for Duke, who maintained the lead the entire first set, maxing out at a seven point lead. The Blue Devils clinched the set 25-19. Freshman outside hitter Tylah Holdem recorded several rally-winning hits in the first period for the Spartans.

Duke opened the scoring in the second set. MSU maintained a much closer point differential, even gaining leading momentum and never trailing behind more than three points until Duke middle blocker Lizzie Fleming pulled the Blue Devils to 19-15 lead. The Spartans held themselves within four points until Duke closed the set 25-22 for their second of the game.

MSU gained new momentum, opening scoring in the third set. Sophomore middle blocker Nil Okur blocked several hits early in the third allowing the Spartans to stay within three points of the Blue Devils. Sophomore Aliyah Moore delivered several impressive spikes to regain Spartan possession, and tips from outside hitter Grace Kelly had Spartans leading 14-13. 

Gracie Johnson continued to lead the Blue Devils offensively, but MSU pulled within two points before Duke took the third and final set of the match 25-23. 

Johnson was particularly impressed with Moore’s performance tonight. 

“She’s been out with injuries, so this is her first true weekend back,” said Johnson. “She hit .500, 10 kills on 18 swings which is phenomenal, so I was excited about that.”

MSU will face off at home against North Carolina at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

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About the Contributor
Jack is a sports photographer for Impact. He grew up just outside of East Lansing and has been a lifelong Spartan. He has a primary interest in basketball and contributes to Impact’s NBA podcast, Courtside Convo.

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