CHICAGO- The UIC volleyball squad took a set from No. 18 Michigan State Saturday night at the UIC Invitational, but eventually lost to the Spartans 3-1 (24-26, 25-17, 25-12,25-18).
Set one was a point-for-point battle throughout. The Flames (4-7) were never behind in the set, but the score was knotted 14 times throughout the game. UIC pulled away by three points, the largest lead of the game, 16-13, on a kill from Kelsey Safranek. The Spartans (9-0) would then string together three straight to tie it 16-16.
Neither team would lead by more than two points after that point, with a kill from Safranek followed by a Spartan attack error giving UIC the 26-24 first-set win.
After the score was tied 5-5 in set two through the first 10 points, the Spartans jumped to a 9-5 lead on four straight. UIC would never recover and take the lead, with Michigan State coming away with the 25-17 second game win. The Spartans took control of game three early on, and didn't look back.
Michigan State took the third game, and a 2-0 match lead, with a score of 25-12. Michigan State continued to roll through set four, taking the 25-18 win and the match.
Casie Sullivan again led the Flames' offense, posting her eighth-consecutive double-digit kills performance of the season with 17 in the match. Safranek tallied 11 kills, while Jessica Dalke had 37 assists and 12 digs to lead the Flames in both categories.
Sullivan was named to the UIC Invitational All-Tournament team from the Flames. She was joined by Georgia State's Vineece Verdun, Duquesne's Liz Homan, and Michigan State's Mischelle Nelson. The Spartan's Natalie Emro was named the tournament MVP.
The Flames continue their Flames Athletic Center homestand Tuesday night, hosting Central Michigan in a 7:00 contest. The Horizon League slate opens Saturday and Sunday, with Milwaukee and Green Bay both visiting the FAC.
"We need to get back to practice and back to basics and get ready for Central Michigan and the Horizon League," Schumacher-Cawley said.
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