Oct. 22, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Northwestern won the first and third games against Michigan State Saturday night at the Jenison Field House, but fell to the Spartans in five games, 25-30, 30-21, 23-30, 30-19, 15-10, to thwart NU's attempt of a sweep through Michigan on the weekend.
With the loss, Northwestern falls to 12-8 on the year, 3-7 in the Big Ten. MSU improves to 10-10 overall, 3-7 in the conference.
The match was Northwestern's fifth of the year to go more than three games and its third to go into a fifth. NU is 3-2 in matches that go beyond three games this year.
With three Lindsay Anderson (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) kills helping account for NU's first five points, the Wildcats raced out to leads of 8-3 and 15-8 in the first game before MSU used a timeout.
The Spartans crept back into the game, cutting Northwestern's lead to two, 23-21. Junior Cassie McLaughlin (Cary, Ill./Cary Grove) got a kill before a Spartan handling error broke the run for a four-point NU lead, 25-21, and forced MSU's second timeout of the game.
Michigan State earned the first score out of the break, but NU junior Julie Purcell (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) pushed the Wildcats to a 30-25 game one win with a pair of kills and a solo block over the final quintet of NU points.
Michigan State came back to take command of game two, eventually opening a 15-10 lead before NU head coach Keylor Chan called timeout. The Spartans worked the lead at its biggest to nine points, 23-14, before the Wildcats began working their way back.
A 4-1 NU sprint cut the advantage to six, but Michigan State put the game away, 30-21, to even the match, 1-1, before the Wildcats could seriously challenge.
Game three represented a more back and forth affair to start. Northwestern earned itself a little breathing room, 11-7, with a 4-0 run highlighted by a Courtnie Paulus (Belgium, Wis./Ozaukee) ace and an Anderson solo block.
The Wildcats doubled that lead to eight, 17-9, later in the game on a McLaughlin ace. Northwestern's third ace of the game, this one by senior Lizzie Carlson
(Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto), made the score 21-13 in favor of NU and brought about a Spartan timeout.
The Wildcats kept Michigan State at arms length despite a late Spartan run, taking a 2-1 lead in the match with a 30-23 game three win on a solo block by Paulus.
Again responding to a loss, the Spartans sprinted out to a 17-6 lead in the fourth game of the match. The Wildcats started to cut into the advantage with a 4-0 run, highlighted by an ace and a block from freshman Chelsy Hyser (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere).
Northwestern was not able to get any closer than seven, however, dropping the fourth game, 30-19.
The teams alternated points in game five until Michigan State got a two point lead, 6-4. NU tied the match, 6-6, on a McLaughlin ace. MSU immediately went up by two again, 9-7, and the Wildcats used a timeout.
The teams continued to trade points, but Northwestern could not make any up, falling in the fifth game, 15-10.
Senior Christie Gardner (West Bend, Wis./West Bend East) finished with 26 digs, leaving her one dig shy of second-place all-time at Northwestern with 1,408.
Junior Lauren Greenwood (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood) finished with her third double-double of the year for NU, recording 17 assists and a career-high 16 digs.
Anderson (13), McLaughlin (12) , Paulus (11) and Purcell (10) all finished with double-digit kills for NU.
Northwestern returns to action at 6 p.m. CT Friday, Oct. 28, at No. 20 Ohio State.