EAST LANSING, Mich– No. 21 Michigan State took down No. 14 Ohio State in straight sets Friday night at Jenison Fieldhouse, 25-18, 25-20 and 25-23.
Starting off in the first set, the Buckeyes seemed to be struggling on their side of the net with hitting errors and service errors. Spartan outside hitter, Autumn Bailey had two kills within the first 10 minutes of the game, really showing her ball placement skills. She hit roll-shots it in the middle off the court, and hits line on outside.
After two timeouts from Ohio State, the Spartans had a 22-17 lead, but Michigan State was also struggling to side-out. A kill by outside hitter Chloe Reinig, changed the momentum and lead to a Spartan win for the first set. Bailey led the team with four kills in the first set and Buckeye Taylor Sandbothe led her team in kills with five.
Headed into the second set, Ohio State’s serve-receive had trouble getting the ball up. The Spartans started to increase the gap as the score soon became 7-3.
The Spartan offense became more aggressive when Allyssah Fitterer, Rachel Minarick and Alyssa Garvelink started to rack up kills. The Buckeyes tried to put up a fight with some major kills and blocks by Sandbothe, but were not able to get ahead.
Throughout the set, Ohio State struggled with the toughness of the MSU serves. Outside hitter, Holly Toliver had a consistently intimidating top-spin serve that was a challenge for the Ohio State defense.
The second set came to a close with great defense by Spartan libero, Abby Monson. A serving error from the Buckeyes gave Michigan State a win for the second set, 25-20.
Michigan State started the third set off losing the majority of the points due to mistakes on their side of the net. Bailey had two game changing hits which brought the score to 5-5. Kills by Fitterer, along with an overall great hustle by both teams, took the score to 10-10.
This set displayed the heart of the Ohio State team, but it also showed the drive and determination of the green and white. After a timeout called by Ohio State, the score was 17-17, and the pressure was on. An outstanding hit by Bailey gave the Spartans possession and the chance to end it. But Ohio State did not give up, evening the score at 21.
With a final kill from Michigan State, the Spartans took the third set: 25-23.