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Michigan State Volleyball Falls to Minnesota, Season Record Stands at 14-4, (3-3 Big Ten)

Volleyball Falls to No. 14 Minnesota, 3-0

Moster posts back-to-back career nights.


EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State volleyball team (14-4, 3-3 Big Ten) dropped a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 27-25) match to No. 14 Minnesota (10-5, 3-3 Big Ten) inside Jenison Field House on Saturday night (Oct. 8). Freshman Kori Moster posted a career-high dig mark for the second-straight night with 24 total.


“I don’t feel that we fought the way I would have liked tonight,” said MSU head coach Cathy George. “We were right there. We had chances to push over the edge, but we didn’t close it out. We need to see more from our team if we are going to beat a team like Minnesota. I think Minnesota played really well. They have their mojo going and they looked really good from pin-to-pin. We didn’t come at them with the fight we need to see consistently if we are going to take that next step in the Big Ten.”


Although the Spartans took the opening point of the match, they quickly fell into a hole against the Golden Gophers, trailing by five at 10-5. MSU remained poised, clawing back to within one at 11-12, forcing UM to call its first timeout of the match. Michigan State regained the lead after taking eight of nine points to boast a 13-12 lead. The Spartans pushed their lead to three at 16-13 for their largest lead of the set. Minnesota regained the lead at 19-17, forcing the Spartans to call their final timeout of the opening frame. Following the break, MSU took three of four to tie the set back up at 20 to cause the final Golden Gophers timeout to be called. UM wound up closing the first set with the score 25-22. Seniors Kyndra Abron and Jenilee Rathje led MSU in the opening set with four kills, each.


MSU responded in set two with a quick 5-1 lead and later pushed its lead to five, forcing Minnesota to call the first break in action in set two, 7-2. After the Spartans maintained a five-point lead at 10-5, the Golden Gophers pulled back within two (12-10) to cause an MSU timeout, its first of the set. Minnesota took control of the set and put its lead to two at 18-16, forcing the Green and White into its second and final timeout of the set. UM pushed its lead to four as it force set point at 24-22. The Spartans, however, took two more points prior to Minnesota earning the 25-22 win. Rathje, once again, paced the Green and White with six kills.

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Michigan State, once again, struggled in the opening moments of the final set, trailing the Golden Gophers, 2-0. The Spartans finally tied the set at six before finally holding its first lead of the set at 17-15, forcing UM to call its first timeout. With MSU pushing its lead to three at 21-17, Minnesota called its final timeout of the match. The Golden Gophers tied the set back up at 23 before forcing match point at 24-23. The Spartans would break match point with set three tied at both 24 and again at 25, before UM finally closed out the match with a 27-25 third-set win. Sophomore Kelsey Kuipers and Rathje each netted five kills in the final set of the match.


Moster’s defensive night was one for the record books, as her 24 digs were the most ever recorded in program history under the 25-point scoring system in a three-set match. The mark was also is the fourth highest overall in school history.


“Kori really played exceptional. She fought the whole way through, but her fire wasn’t able to catch all the way through, so we would have all of our players on the same page, doing what we need to do to beat a team like Minnesota,” said George on Moster’s performance.


Offensively, Rathje paced the Spartans with 15 kills. Abron joined Rathje in double-digit kills with 10. Kelsay quarterbacked the Green and White with 34 assists. At the net, sophomore Alexis Mathews and Abron each tallied two blocks.


The Spartans return to the road next weekend, as they travel to the state of Illinois for a pair of contests against Northwestern and Illinois. MSU first faces the Wildcats on Friday, Oct. 14 before taking on the Fighting Illini on Saturday, Oct. 15.