Atlanta, GA – Behind 12 kills and a .500 hitting percentage from Alyssa Garvelink, 17th-ranked Michigan State downed Furman, 3-0 (20-25, 13-25, 11-25), in the teams' first game at the Hyatt Regency Georgia Tech Invitational. The win moves the Spartans to 1-0 on the season, while the loss drops the Paladins to 0-1.
Junior Jamila Johnson led the Paladins on offense with nine kills and two service aces on the night, while senior Christen Sikora added seven. Hunter Thompson and Katie Murphy each turned in double-digit assists with 12 and 11, respectively, while Thompson also added 11 digs. Meg DeMaar anchored the Paladins' back line, turning in 21 digs in her first game action since September of 2016.
Furman opened up an early 7-3 lead in the first set, before the Spartans tied it at nine. The teams traded points until, with Furman holding a two-point advantage, Michigan State used a 6-0 run to take an 18-14 lead. The teams again traded points until Furman cut the Spartan lead to one at 21-20. The Paladins couldn't overcome the deficit, however, as Michigan State closed out the set with four-straight points to take it, 25-20, for a 1-0 match lead.
The Paladins couldn't get anything going in the final two sets, falling 25-13 and 25-11, to the Spartans.
Furman returns to action tomorrow morning, taking on tournament-host Georgia Tech at 10:00 a.m., before closing out the weekend with a 6:00 p.m. match against Auburn.