Anderson’s 22 Kills Spark NU Comeback (Volleyball)

Andrew Simon

By Andrew SimonThe Daily Northwestern

Northwestern is a team that usually relies on a balanced offensive attack. But with the Wildcats sitting on the brink of an 0-2 weekend and a 1-5 start in the Big Ten, Lindsay Anderson stepped in and tipped the scales back in NU’s favor.

The junior outside hitter smacked a season-high 22 kills and also led the Cats (8-7, 2-4 in the Big Ten) with 13 digs in a five-game victory against Michigan State (11-5, 2-4) on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. The win saved a potentially disastrous road weekend after Michigan (15-4, 2-4) swept NU on Friday.

With NU trailing Michigan State two games to one, Anderson notched 10 kills in the final two games to lead the Cats to the comeback victory.

“Lindsay can take over a match when she’s on, and if we want to beat the top-tier teams in the Big Ten, we need to have a player like that,” coach Keylor Chan said. “She’s had a very good last three matches in the Big Ten, so we’re very excited to see her turning the corner this time of year.”

Anderson also led the Cats in kills Friday against the Wolverines with 12, but her team didn’t find the same success. NU held an advantage at some point in each game, but Michigan fought back every time and earned the sweep (30-28, 30-25, 30-28).

The third game was particularly tough, as NU grabbed a 13-8 lead only to see Michigan tie it at 16. Although the Cats surged in front again, 24-22, their advantage slipped through their fingers once more when the Wolverines closed on an 8-4 run.

“I would definitely say it’s frustrating, because they’re a good team, but we’re comparable to them,” Anderson said. “If we play our best, we should definitely beat a team like Michigan.”

The following night, NU got off to a rough start offensively, killing just 10 balls while committing nine errors in a first game loss.

After the Cats regrouped by winning Game 2, 30-21, they relapsed in Game 3, committing seven errors on the way to a 23-13 deficit.

But the Cats nearly pulled off a comeback, pulling within one point before eventually falling, 30-27. While NU still lost the game, the team earned some much-needed confidence.

“It showed us we can keep our composure when things are getting tight, and even if we got down in the next couple of games, we’d be able to fight back,” Anderson said.

The Cats had to do little work from behind in the final two games, staying ahead of the Spartans making only eight errors against 31 kills to secure the match.

“The games that we lost were only a matter of a few points, especially that third game, and that was because of our errors more than Michigan State playing well,” junior setter Stephanie Jurivich said. “And so once we could learn to limit our errors, I knew that we could win.”

Jurivich played a big role in the victory, finishing just one assist away from tying her career high of 59.

She was helped by four Cats including Anderson, who recorded at least 12 kills.

“(My hitters) were phenomenal,” Jurivich said. “I really felt like I could throw up any ball tonight, and my hitters would put it away.”

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