The Michigan volleyball team played two Big Ten road matches this past weekend and looked to improve upon what has been a good season so far. The Wolverines competed against Northwestern and Michigan State in hopes of recovering from last week’s home loss against unranked Purdue.
Unfortunately for Michigan, it didn’t bounce back as well as it would have hoped, dropping both matches. The Wolverines (5-7 Big Ten, 17-7 overall) had a two-sets-to-one advantage on Friday against the Wildcats (5-7, 14-9) when they dropped the last two, 30-25 and 15-9, to lose the match.
This had a bad effect on the Wolverines as they headed into East Lansing on Saturday. They didn’t fare any better against the Spartans and dropped the match in four sets.
In the Northwestern match, the Wolverines quickly established themselves and took the first game, 30-26. The Wildcats stormed back in the second game and took a five-point lead early in the game the Wolverines fought back to make it close, taking a 26-25 lead, but the Wildcats stormed back to win it 30-28.
The Wolverines easily took the third game routing the Wildcats 30-16 aided by 18 kills and eight terminations by senior Kate Bruzdzinski.
After that, however, it was all Wildcats who took a commanding 9-1 lead early on in the game, winning it 30-25. They then sent Michigan packing with its third straight loss at Northwestern since 2004.
The Wolverines hoped to end their two game losing streak the next night against Michigan State (5-7, 14-10), but it was not to be at the Jenison Field House, as the Spartans took the first game, 38-36. Michigan came back from a 27-21 deficit to tie it, as both teams exchanged points until Michigan State clinched by gaining a two-point advantage. In the second game, both teams traded points until the Spartans took a 23-20 lead and never relinquished it, winning the game, 30-25.
The third game was played tightly as the Wolverines tried to avoid being swept by the Spartans, the game had 15 ties before the Wolverines came up big with some crucial points down the stretch to claim a victory, 30-26.
But it was not Michigan’s day as the Spartans took a 28-23 advantage late in the game before winning 30-28.
There was some good news however on the volleyball front this weekend. The Wolverines won the State Pride Series, a rivalry trophy the two teams vie for, despite losing to the Spartans. Because of a Michigan home sweep of Michigan State earlier in the season, the Wolverines retained it for the sixth tie in seven years.
Senior Stasha Selsky also moved into third place on the all time Big Ten digs record list