Kinkela swings for 21 kills in Michigan State’s 3-1 return

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Rutgers volleyball team won the first set 25-22 against host Michigan State Wednesday night at the Breslin Center, but the Spartans came back with 25-23, 25-15 and 25-20 set wins to win the match.

  • Redshirt newbie Alisa Kinkela Achieve 21 kills, a new career high and second most by a Scarlet Knight in a Big Ten match. Kinkela has had double-digit kills in three of their last four games, averaging 4.08 kills per set throughout the span.
  • student in the first year Taylor Humphrey added 14 kills and swung .324, her second-best batting average in a conference match this season.
  • Junior Kristina Grkovic was close to hitting double-digit kills and finished the match with nine while adding four services aces and three blocks. It was her fifth match of the season with three or more aces.
  • Red Shirt Junior Lauren Delo led the offense for 19 assists to crack the top 10 of the rally season and scored three blocks as a senior Alyssa Nayar added 16 helpers and failed with eight digs before a double-double.
  • Defensive junior Madison Chitty led RU with 14 digs during Megan Vernon a total of four rejections. Vernon’s solo block put her second in the rally season rankings and is now one solo block away from leveling with the rally-era leader.
  • SET 1 (25-22) | Taylor Humphrey led Rutgers with five kills in the opening set Lauren Delo and Kristina Grkovic Added aces. A 5-0 run powered by two Humphrey kills gave Rutgers a 10-6 advantage. While the Spartans came back to tie the set 11-11, this time Rutgers produced another 5-0 breakout behind two blocks over Megan Vernon. Again, Michigan State narrowly managed to get the next four points to draw 16-15 within a point, but the Scarlet Knights stayed ahead. The Spartans were again within a point, 20-19, but RU scored four of the next five to maintain control while Humphrey’s final shot of the set gave the Scarlet Knights the win.
  • SET 2 (23-25) | The Scarlet Knights and Spartans were tied seven times in the second set as Michigan State tied the match 1-1. Humphrey added another five kills, with Vernon coming up with another pair of blocks. The Spartans took a 22-17 lead, but the Scarlet Knights came back and pulled up to a point by 24-23. During the 6-2 RU run, Kinkela pulled off a trio of kills, including a swing that thwarted the Spartan’s first chance at set point.
  • SET 3 (15-25) | Kinkela walked away in the third set with eight kills while Grkovic served two aces. Michigan State took a 12-6 lead as Rutgers picked up four straight points. Kills from Grkovic, Humphrey and Kinkela dropped the Scarlet Knights 12-10, but the Spartans built their advantage and followed with a 9-2 run.
  • SET 4 (20-25) | One of Kinkela’s five kills in the frame trailed Rutgers 14-12, but Michigan State outscored RU 6-1 to take a 20-13 lead. However, the Scarlet Knights were able to reduce their deficit to three by coming back on a 6-2 run. While stretching, Grkovic pulled off a kill and a block while a Humphrey swing put RU behind 22-19 before the Spartans won the match.
  • Alisa Kinkela became the first Scarlet Knight to have 20 or more kills in a match since Kamila Cieslik hit 20 in a 3-1 win over Penn on September 15, 2017. Kinkela’s 21 kills were the second highest by a Scarlet Knight in a Big Ten match. Meme Fletcher holds the record with 25 against Maryland on October 21, 2015.
    Kinkela’s 21 kills also put redshirt newcomer Scarlet Knight on the top 10 list of rally-era kills with 293. She needs just three more kills to overtake Kylie Orr (2012) in ninth and 14 more to surpass Caitlin Saxton (2010) in eighth.
  • Madyson Chittys 14 digs placed her sixth in the list of rally-era career leaders. Chitty currently has 872 career digs across her three On The Banks seasons and needs 18 more to move up to fifth place with former teammate Inna Balyko (2018-21).
  • Megan Vernon Climbed up the rally-era season’s solo block leaderboard, reaching a tie for second place at 18 with former teammate Shealyn McNamara Blocks.
  • Vernon also made it to sixth in the rally-era career solo block leader list at 23 in her two seasons with Rutgers. She needs one more to equal fifth place with Jasmine Stackhouse (2016-19).
  • With her four serve aces Kristina Grkovic third in the rally season leaderboard at 34. She needs two more to tie Kamila Cieslik (2017) for second and four more to tie Tracy Wright (2013) as rally-era leaders in season service aces.
  • Grkovic also ranked fifth on the overall block leader list for the rally season with 101 rejections. She is currently five blocks behind her teammate Megan Vernon who is fourth with a total of 106 blocks.
  • With her 19 assists Lauren Delo cracked the top 10 rally season assists. She currently has 664 career assists in her three seasons at Rutgers.
  • The Rutgers volleyball team concludes its 2022 season on Friday, November 25 at 7 p.m. in Michigan

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