EAST LANSING, Mich.– No. 15 Michigan State took down Purdue in three close sets (30-28, 25-22, 25-19) on Wednesday night in Jenison Fieldhouse.
The Spartans took the lead right away because of Purdue’s hitting errors. Outside hitter Chloe Reinig racked up two points in a row with deadly kills for the Spartans. The Boilermakers called for a timeout to regroup. Allyssah Fitterer smoked the ball down for the Green and White, leaving the score 10-5. The Spartans then went on an error streak, which allowed Purdue to get back into the game and take a 11-10 lead.
Spartan Alyssa Garvelink talked about the lack of energy and its effect on her team’s play,
“I think Purdue is a really good team,” Garvelink said “They put a lot of pressure on us. It was a lot of back and forth play. I think we lacked a little bit of energy, so that was kind of our downfall, but we tried to get it back up.”
Great hustle by Spartan defense allowed them to tie the game. Autumn Bailey increased the aggression in her hits, but the momentum was not enough to get the lead, as the Spartans still trailed 16-20.
Michigan State’s front row started to step it up with some big blocks and swings. Abby Monson lead the Spartan defense and was a huge factor in tying the score because of her speed and hustle in the back row. Monson would not let the ball drop. Possessions went back and forth, but Spartans finished it up with a kill and won the first set, 30-28.
Just like the first set, the second set turned into a head-to-head battle. The lead went back and forth between the two teams. Purdie got out to a quick start in the beginning of the second set as they got out to a 8-4 lead. Michigan State was finally able to get back into the game because of a crucial kill by Brooke Kranda from the outside.
Big blocks and quick feet from MSU tied the score up at 10.. Spartan hitter, Chloe Reinig tooled the ball off of a big block to tie the game again, this time at 14 all.
Alyssah Fitterer spiked the ball down for a kill to widen the gap for Michigan State, giving the Spartans a 19-17. Rachel Minarick threw the ball down for a wicked point and because of her hard work, the Spartans took a crucial lead late in the set. A hitting error from the Boilermakers, gave Michigan State the win, 25-22.
Minarick started the third set off with a lightning ace, Reinig shut the Purdue offense and MSU got out to an early 3-0 lead.
“Tonight I just tried to pump other people up more than myself and try to keep bringing people up if maybe they weren’t having their best day,” Reining said. “I thought we shut down their team pretty well and they’re a super talented team,”
The Boilermakers fought back with a big block, but they were committing too many errors on their side of the net to get the lead. Fitterer made a significant effort in picking up the intensity with two tough kills and an ace.
Purdue started to lack energy, and a timeout was called as a result. The Spartans stayed strong after the timeout and thanks to some great play from Garvelink, they would go onto win 25-19 after a hard fought match.
Michigan State will take on rival Michigan next on their schedule, this Saturday at 7 p.m. in Jenison. Headed to that game, the lady Spartans will have to decrease their errors and increase their intensity.
“It all comes back to our serving. If we serve tough it makes it really easy and the pins do a good job of lining up,” Garvelink said.