EVANSTON, Ill. - Michigan State volleyball swept Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena, 3-0 with scores of 25-18, 25-17 and 25-15. The Spartans (23-7, 11-7 Big Ten) hit .324 percent in the match and held the Wildcats (16-13, 5-13) to a .083 mark. Lauren Wicinski led MSU with 15 kills and and Amy Dentlinger added 11 for the Spartans.
MSU won its sixth consecutive Big Ten match, its best streak since 1998.
"I thought they really came in with the focus that we needed them to come in with," head coach Cathy George said. "Northwestern is a very good team, we lost to them at our place. It was important that we kept the momentum on our side. Northwestern plays great defense and we knew the night before they had 74 digs in four games. We knew that it would be a defensive battle and they are such a tough team to play. We were happy about the way we came out and the fact that we kept pushing."
The Spartans won the opening set, 25-18 and utilized a 13-3 run to close it out. Northwestern went on a 6-1 run to take a 15-12 lead and forced a MSU timeout. The Spartans responded with a 4-0 run to take a 16-15 lead and never looked back. Amy Dentlinger notched a kill from the right side to make it 19-16 and forced NU to use its second timeout. Freshman Halle Peterson ended the first set with a service ace to give the Spartans a 25-18 victory.
Michigan State took a 2-0 lead after winning the second set 25-17. The Spartans jumped out to a 6-1 lead to start the set, forcing an early NU timeout. The Wildcats used their second timeout after falling behind 12-4 after a kill from Jazmine White. Northwestern went on a 4-0 run to make it 15-9 but the Spartans pulled away down the stretch and never trailed throughout the game. Lauren Wicinski had a kill to make it 24-17 and an attack error sealed the set.
The Spartans hit .297 percent in set two and held the Wildcats to a .000 mark after they had seven errors to go along with seven kills.
Set three started off as a back-and-forth affair before the Spartans pulled away to win 25-15 and complete the sweep. Northwestern took a timeout trailing 12-9 but the break favored the Spartans. MSU went on an 11-3 run following the timeout to take a commanding 19-11 lead in the set. Amy Dentlinger recorded a kill to make it 24-15 and Alexis Mathews ended it with a kill in the middle.
Junior Kristen Kelsay had 23 assists in the match while Halle Peterson recorded 20. Sophomore Kori Moster had 19 digs and a service ace and Jazmine White had seven kills and four blocks, while Alexis Mathews had six kills and five blocks.
Next up, the Spartans host Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. on senior night at Jenison Field House