Michigan State moved to 23-11 on the season and advances to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year.
Kentucky finished the season 22-9.
Michigan State advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in school history (2002, 2007, 2012).
Michigan State will play in the Lexington Regional (Memorial Coliseum) next weekend.
Kentucky reached to the NCAA second round for the third-straight season.
The first set featured five ties and four lead changes.
Michigan State opened the match with two straight points, and maintained a lead for much of the match’s early going before UK tied it at 11-11.
The first lead change came when UK took a 12-11 advantage, before Michigan State won four straight points to take a 15-12 lead at the media timeout.
Kentucky won five of the next six points to take a 17-16 lead, but Michigan State answered with two straight before UK tied it at 18-18.
Michigan State won seven of the set’s final-11 points to claim the opening period 25-22.
Michigan State’s Alexis Mathews led all players with five kills in the first set. She had just one error that period.
Whitney Billings led UK with four kills in the first set.
Michigan State’s Chloe Reinig also had four kills in the first.
UK libero Jackie Napper had a match-high seven digs in the first set.
Lauren Wicinski led Michigan State with five digs in in the first set.
The score was tied seven times, and the lead changed three times in the second set.
Michigan State raced out to a 6-2 lead in the second set, and led 8-4 before a 4-0 run by UK forced a Spartans’ timeout with the Wildcats leading for the first time in the set a 9-8.
Michigan State led 15-12 when UK took its first timeout of the set.
UK came out of the timeout firing, winning seven-consecutive points, causing Michigan State to take its final timeout of the set trailing 15-19.
Michigan State won the first two points after the timeout, but UK did enough to claim the set from there, winning six of the last 11 points.
Whitney Billings and Lauren O’Conner each paced UK with three kills in the second set.
Billings added six digs that set.
Both Allyssah Fitterer and Lauren Wicinski had three second-set kills for Michigan State.
The third set started in cagey fashion, but from 5-5 UK ran off three straight and won eight of the next 11 points to take the largest lead any team had possessed at that point, 13-8 when the Spartans took their first timeout of the set.
Michigan State won seven of the next 10 points to inch within a point, trailing 16-15 when UK called timeout.
Michigan State stayed hot out of the timeout, taking a lead at 20-19, which they never relinquished. The Spartans claimed the set at 25-22.
Michigan State never trailed in the fourth set, eventually winning 25-20.
Michigan State raced to a 8-2 lead in the second set, opening up the largest lead of the match to that point when UK called timeout.
Kentucky won the first three, and five of six points after the timeout, forcing Michigan State to call its first timeout leading 7-9.
Whitney Billings (UK) had a game-high 18 kills in the match. The senior from Helena, Ala., also chipped in with 13 digs, six short of her season high. She finishes her career with 74 matches having totaled ten or more kills.
Jackie Napper led UK with 21 digs, just three short of her career high.
Lauren Wicinski led Michigan State with 16 kills. She also led the Spartans with a game-high 4 blocks, while adding 17 digs.
Kori Moster had a game-high 22 digs, seven shy of her career high.
Morgan Bergren (UK) finished with a game-high 38 assists.
Kristen Kelsay led Michigan State with 30 assists.