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Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Michigan State drops match against No. 4 Wisconsin

MSU+sophomore+middle+blocker+Evie+Doezema+rises+to+hit+the+ball+against+Wisconsin+on+Friday%2C+October+27%2C+2023+at+the+Breslin+Center.
Jack Moreland
MSU sophomore middle blocker Evie Doezema rises to hit the ball against Wisconsin on Friday, October 27, 2023 at the Breslin Center.

EAST LANSING – Coming off a road loss against Minnesota, Michigan State volleyball had a tall task awaiting back at the Breslin Center. While the Spartans hung tough against No. 4  Wisconsin, it proved to be too little in a 3-0 loss. This is the third match sweep suffered by Michigan State this season. 

At the start of the first set, Michigan State hit the ground running and jumped out to a 7-1 lead. The run featured energetic play from fifth-year middle blocker Amani McArthur and sophomore middle blocker Evie Doezema. The pair collaborated for a massive block and McArthur had a few incredible kills. McArthur finished the match with seven kills and four blocks while Doezema contributed with nine kills. 

“I thought both of them were excellent,” said Michigan State head coach Leah Johnson. “I think they looked so good because our centers played so well too. They were aggressive, I was proud of how we started and put pressure on them right away.”

The Spartans found this early lead necessary, as Wisconsin then found its footing and made the remainder of the set close. MSU then came up short when Wisconsin took the lead late at 23-22. The set ended on a Badger win at 25-23, following a powerful kill courtesy of senior outside hitter Sarah Franklin. 

Wisconsin took this momentum into the second set and took firm control of the contest after a tie at three. In the start and mid-point of the set, Michigan State was able to hang around but Wisconsin stifled any true comeback attempts. This was due in part by the discrepancy in attacking errors between the two squads, as the Spartans ended the set with seven while the Badgers limited theirs to three. Wisconsin ended the set on a 6-1 run with a final score of 25-17. The sequence was highlighted by a pair of big Wisconsin kills by Franklin and senior middle blocker Caroline Crawford. 

While Michigan State remained in the fight at the start of the third set, Wisconsin smelled blood in the water and focused on closing the match out. The Badgers did just that, as the Spartans began to wear down as the set went on. Wisconsin on the other hand remained sharp, took care of business, and closed out their match victory with a 25-16 set win. 

MSU junior outside hitter Aliyah Moore rises to hit the ball over the Wisconsin defense on Friday, October 27, 2023 at the Breslin Center. (Jack Moreland)

“Even if sets two and three looked easy, the scores were big, they were unforced errors but the volleyball itself was really high level on both sides,” said Johnson. “I liked that we came out with our gameplan, and it usually takes us a set and a half to get into a game plan and I think we executed from the very beginning.”

Wisconsin continues to prove its worth, improving to a 10-1 B1G record and 19-1 overall. With the loss, Michigan State falls below .500 in conference play, slipping to a B1G record of 5-6 and 13-9 overall. 

The Spartans will stay at the Breslin Center for another ranked matchup against No. 14  Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 28, with gametime set for 7:00 p.m. E.T. 

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About the Contributor
Jack Moreland
Jack Moreland, Sports Photo Editor
Jack (he/him) is a Journalism major focusing in sports reporting and media photography. Growing up in nearby Okemos, Michigan, he has been a lifelong Spartan and is proud to sport the green and white. Jack is a big Baby Keem fan and is known to post on your block with your wishlist on you.

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