Spartans Power Past Chicago State, Evansville on Day Two of Green & White Classic

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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State volleyball remained unbeaten at home on Saturday, defeating Chicago State 3-1 (25-19, 25-17, 22-25, 25-20) and Evansville 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-13) from the Breslin Center on day two of the 2022 Green & White Classic. The Spartans improved to 9-2 overall and 6-0 at home this season as the team was crowned champions of the final home tournament of the year.
Freshman Nil Okur was named MVP of the 2022 Green & White Classic after she hit .381 on 22-6-42, along with averaging .90 blocks per set and recording five aces. Joining Okur on the All-Tournament team was senior Emma Monks and sophomore Aliyah Moore. Monks hit .476 over the weekend on 23-3-42 and averaged 1.40 blocks per set. Moore led the team in kills from the outside, hitting .391 on 34-9-64.
MSU out-hit its opponents in both matches, besting Chicago State .286 to .187 during the morning match and limiting All-American Yanis Feliz to .156 hitting on 45 attempts. Against Evansville, the Spartans held the Purple Aces to .097 hitting, while hitting .275 themselves. It’s the second time Michigan State has held its opponent under .100 hitting this season, and the first since MSU’s match against UAlbany on Sep. 2.
Four Spartans finished the Chicago State match with double-digit kills, led by Moore’s 17. Okur had 13 kills for MSU, while classmates Selin Aslayan and Evie Doezema each had 10. Graduate student Zoe Nunez finished the match with her second double-double of the season, posting 40 assists alongside 13 digs. Junior Nalani Iosia led the team in digs with 22, while freshman Jayhlin Swain added 11.
Doezema led the Spartans in kills during the nightcap against Evansville with 11, while Moore, Monks and freshman Maradith O’Gorman each added six. Sophomore Julia Bishop got the start at setter and posted 25 assists. O’Gorman’s seven blocks set a new season high. Iosia once again led the Spartans in digs with nine.
Michigan State opened its match against Chicago State on an 8-2 run to force an early timeout. Moore had five of her 17 kills in set one to pace the Spartans to a 25-19 victory. MSU started set two up 11-4 over the Cougars, using a six-kill set from Okur to take a 2-0 match lead. Michigan State battled through adversity in set three, ultimately dropping the set to Chicago State, 25-22. Freshman Rachel Muisenga made her collegiate debut in the set, tallying a trio of assists. The Spartans re-focused heading into set four and came away with a 25-20 victory to win the match, 3-1.
The match against Evansville was never in doubt as the Spartans swept in three sets. MSU opened up a 10-2 lead early in the first set using a 6-0 run. Doezema converted on six of her match-high 11 kills in the set to lead the Spartans to a 25-19 set victory. Evansville held a 14-12 lead mid-way through set two, but a 9-1 run for Michigan State gave the Spartans a 21-15 lead late. A pair of aces and a block assist by O’Gorman and Okur got the rally started for MSU. Set three was tied at 8-8 in the early goings, but a 15-1 run by the Spartans quickly put things out of reach for the Purple Aces. Okur stood behind the service line for 13 consecutive points.
UP NEXT: Michigan State opens Big Ten play on the road next weekend traveling to Nebraska and Rutgers. The Spartans will first head to Lincoln for an 8:00 p.m. match on Friday, Sep. 23. MSU will travel on Saturday before facing Rutgers at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sep. 25.

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