NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Volleyball Rutgers was hoping to make another five-set game on Friday against Michigan State, but failed to push the visiting Spartans to a deciding set.
The Scarlet Knights lost 3-1 on their return to College Ave Gym with a loss of 25-22, 21-25, 25-10, 25-23.
- Senior Inna Balyko recorded a double-double behind 39 assists and 13 team-leading digs while adding five aces. It was his eighth double-double of the year and his 32nd in his career.
- Fifth year senior Kamila Cieslik led the offensive with 12 kills with a classmate Beka Kojadinovic adding nine kills to go with 12 digs.
- Senior red shirt Shealyn mcnamara had three releases, including a pair of solo blocks.
- Series 1 (22-25) | The opening frame was closed all the way through six links. A Beka Kojadinovic swing tied the score at 17-17 when Michigan State had three straight runs to stay ahead the rest of the way. Kojadinovic, the rally-era Rutgers serving leader who set the Scarlet Knights school record with 10 aces last season at Michigan State, offered a serve that saw Rutgers lag 23-22. The Spartans, however, finished with back-to-back wins for the win.
- Series 2 (25-21) | Rutgers overcame an eight-point deficit to tie the game at 1-1. The Spartans were leading 13-5 when the Scarlet Knights had their first of three important runs. RU landed four unanswered, which turned into a 9-1 to tie the set-up at 14-14. Michigan State, however, did not give up the lead in pushing back with three straight runs. Rutgers reduced the Spartan advantage with one of the five Kamila Cieslik kills giving the Scarlet Knights their first lead at 20-19. As an attack by Sarah Franklin tied the set in the next rally, RU scored the next four points, including a pair of aces by Inna Balyko and closed the frame on a 5-1 run.
- Series 3 (10-25) | The Spartans led the game with a record 0.381. The Scarlet Knights were only able to get consecutive points late in the set.
- Series 4 (23-25) | Rutgers did not come down quietly, narrowly failing to force a decisive fifth set. It was the opposite of the second set with the Scarlet Knights starting with the lead and the Spartans dwindling. Rutgers fought back from his significant backhand in the previous frame to open with an 8-3 advantage, which included a 6-0 flurry. The Spartans continued to produce their own run with five unanswered, but the Scarlet Knights remained in the lead at 12-10. Balyko’s fifth ace of the night put Rutgers in the lead 15-10, but Michigan State returned afterwards. MSU produced seven of the next nine points, tying the stanza at 17-17. While a solo block by Shealyn mcnamara and killing Cansu Gunaydin, who started in the fourth set, gave Rutgers a 20-19 lead, the Spartans responded with three points in a row to move forward. Kojadinovic brought RU down to one point at 24-23, but Biamba Kabengele’s swing for the Spartans sealed the victory.
- The Scarlet Knights have another top ten battle as they close out the season series with No.8 Purdue on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
Note: The Purdue Contest has been moved to Sunday from its original Saturday date due to the Rutgers-Wisconsin football game scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m.
- Admission to all Rutgers volleyball games is free.
- All fans must register for parking – Click here to register your vehicle.
- Fans can enter with clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags and approximately 12 “x 6” x 12 “, or gallon clear plastic bags or similar, and small pouches, of approximately hand size, may be taken in gyms Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection.
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