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Rutgers volleyball drops weekend matches against Michigan State, Purdue

Senior setter Inna Balyko and the Rutgers volleyball team were not able to end their long losing streak this weekend, dropping weekend matches to Michigan State and Purdue.  – Photo by Matan Dubnikov

The Rutgers women’s volleyball team was unable to break its losing streak this weekend, falling to Michigan State on Friday and No. 8 Purdue on Sunday. With the two losses, the Scarlet Knights (8-17, 0-14) have now dropped 15 consecutive games.

Friday night’s game, which was Rutgers’ first game at the College Avenue Gymnasium this season, started as a tight competition, with the scores level at 17 in the opening set. After the Spartans (10-13, 3-11) won 3 consecutive points, the Knights were unable to even up the score again, losing the first set 25-22.

Rutgers stormed right back, winning the second frame 25-21 thanks to a 5-1 run to end the set. With sets tied at one apiece, Michigan State went on to comfortably win the third set, 25-10, and clinch the match with a tight 25-23 win in the fourth set.

In the second of the Knights’ weekend slate, Rutgers opened the game with a statement, taking the first set against the Boilermakers (18-5, 10-4) 25-20. It marked the Knights’ second set win over a ranked opponent this season.

Purdue recovered quickly, dominating the second set 25-12 and winning the third and fourth sets by an identical score of 25-20 to win the match.

Through both games, Rutgers hit 0.152 as a team, totaling 91 kills and 49 errors. Individually, the Knights’ offensive leaders included fifth-year right side hitter Beka Kojadinovic and senior setter Inna Balyko in kills and assists respectively, while defensively, senior middle back Shealyn McNamara led the team in blocks.

Sunday’s game marked the last of what’s been a four-game homestand for Rutgers, as the team will now be on the road for the next two weeks, kicking off the road trip this Friday with a rematch against the Spartans in East Lansing, Michigan. The Knights will return home on Nov. 24 for their penultimate game of the season.

For updates on the Rutgers volleyball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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