Spartan Sports Roundup
March 4, 2009
Spartan Sports Roundup provides a brief overview of the Olympic sports teams in action. Read a recap of last week's action, look ahead to this week's action and find key notes on each team in this weekly recap.
The men's tennis team will take part in a community service initiative as the team will play tennis with inmates at San Quentin State Prison in California on Saturday, March 7 as part of its road trip to California ... The initiative was recently featured on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" and was started in 2000 by current head of recreation at San Quentin, Don DeNevi ... The Spartan hockey team raised close to $3,000 for the "Shoot for the Cure" initiative at a silent auction held at Saturday's game against Notre Dame ... The MSU volleyball team held a volleyball clinic at Chippewa High School last Friday ... March starts the beginning of Reading Month, so the Spartans have several activities planned for after spring break.
Last Week: The Spartans dropped a three-game series to the UNC Wilmington Seahawks ... MSU fell by just one run in each of the last two games (4-3 and 9-8).
This Week: Michigan State kicks off its annual spring trip in Daytona Beach, Fla., with games against Georgia State, Xavier and Bethune-Cookman (two) ... The Spartans will then head north to South Carolina to take on Clemson (twice), Quinnipiac (twice) and Xavier twice more ... Xavier won the Atlantic 10 championship last season while Bethune-Cookman won the MEAC
Notes: Starter A.J. Achter tied a career high with 7.1 innings pitched in MSU's 4-3 loss to UNC Wilmington. Achter, who earned a no-decision, left the game in the eighth after striking out three while scattering just two hits and three runs (two earned) ... Opponents are hitting just .158 against the sophomore righty which ranks third in the Big Ten ... With 15 stolen bases this season, MSU ranks second in the conference, behind only Minnesota (17) ... Sophomore lead-off hitter Brandon Eckerle is third in Big Ten with four stolen bases... Senior catcher Eric Roof leads the Spartans in batting this season with a .318 average as well as in RBIs with five; in three games last weekend, Roof hit .364 with a double and bases-clearing triple .. Jake Boss Jr. became Michigan State's 16th head baseball coach in the program's 125-year history on July 1, 2008 ... With MSU's 4-2 win over UConn, the Lansing native became the first Spartan head coach to win his debut since Tom Smith defeated South Dakota State, 5-4, on March 21, 1983... Junior third baseman Chris Roberts went 5-for-12 in this year's BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge and was honored by CollegeBaseball360.com with Challenge honorable mention honors. Roberts had a double, one RBI and two stolen bases.
Last Week: MSU traveled to Birmingham, Ala., for the Magic City Classic ... The Spartans defeated Northern Illinois, 10-2, in five innings in the first game and topped Samford, 13-6 on Saturday ... MSU's remaining two games on Sunday were cancelled due to inclement weather in the area.
This Week: The Spartans begin a Spring Break trip on Saturday, March 7 with the Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C., before traveling to Raleigh for a doubleheader with NC State on March 10 ... MSU will continue action with a game at UNC Wilmington on March 11 and wraps up play with the Coastal Carolina Tournament on March 13-14 ... MSU will wear special team uniforms for its game against UNC on March 7 to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. The Spartans are selling the team's game-worn t-shirts for a minimum $25.00 donation ... All proceeds will go to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Notes: MSU posted five home runs in two games at the Magic City Classic ... Sophomores Heidi Purtzer (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Lindsey Hansen (Valparaiso, Fla.) both recorded two homers while freshman Lauren Kramer (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) hit her first career home run ... Hansen recorded a .667 batting average in two games at the Magic City Classic, going 4-for-6 at the plate, scoring five runs while notching a team-high five RBIs ... Hansen posted a .750 on-base percentage, six putouts, three assists and was 1-for-1 in stolen bases. For her efforts, Hansen was named Player of the Week by the Big Ten on Monday, earning the award for the first time in her career ... Purtzer batted .800 in the two games this weekend, scoring three runs and batting in four runs ... Senior Kara Weigle (Naples, Fla.) and freshman Ali Grant (Lutz, Fla.) both recorded two doubles at the Magic City Classic, while senior Gina Mondo went 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts ... Junior Kelly Confer (Tampa, Fla.) started the game against Northern Illinois, pitching four innings and striking out two for her third win of the season ... Kramer recorded her second win of the season, pitching just over four innings and notching six strikeouts ... Mondo leads the team with a .452 batting average, while Weigle has a .447 average ... Hansen has 34 total bases in 41 at-bats, and leads the team with 13 RBIs ... Purtzer is second on the team with a .750 slugging percentage, while Mondo comes in at .710 ... Kramer and senior Megan Hair (Torrance, Calif.) lead the team with 11 strikeouts each ... The Spartans are 20-for-22 in stolen bases while Mondo leads the team with six.
Last Week: The MSU men's team placed 10th at the Big Ten Championships.
Notes: Divers Danielle Williams, Alycia Mokedanz, Kayla Kalmbach, Jordan Jackson and Sarah Clay will all compete at the NCAA Diving Zones meet,March 13-15 in Minneapolis, Minn. ... Sophomore kevin Puskaric placed sixth at the conference championships in the 100 breaststroke and fourth in the 200 breaststroke.
This Week: The Spartans travel to State College, Pa., to compete in the 2009 Big Ten Championships on March 7-8. Pre-seeds have been released, with nationally-ranked junior Franklin Gomez (Brandon, Fla.) receiving the No. 2 seed at 133 pounds, Anthony Jones Jr. (Highland Park, Mich.) earning the No. 7 seed at 157, senior Rex Kendle (Edwardsburg, Mich.) earning the No. 8 seed at 165 and Ian Hinton (Nappanee, Ind.) also taking the No. 8 spot at 174.
Notes: In his final home meet, Kendle recorded a 6-0 win over Oklahoma's Derek Peperas ... Kendle scored one of the biggest upsets of the season this year when he defeated Iowa's third-ranked 165-pounder Ryan Morningstar, 5-4 ... Jones, Hinton and senior Alan O'Donnell (Clarksville, Mich.) also picked up wins against Iowa ... Gomez was ranked No. 1 in the country for seven-straight weeks ... Kendle and Jones continue to lead the team in wins as they have each recorded 22 this season.
Last Week: The Spartan women earned sixth place at the Big Ten Indoor Championships while the men finished in eighth place ... Freshmen Beth Rohl (New Buffalo, Mich.) and Becca Buchholtz (East Troy, Wis.) earned Big Ten titles in the weight throw and high jump, respectively ... Rohl and Buchholtz became the first Spartan freshmen to win individual Big Ten indoor titles in school history; the only other freshman to do win a Big Ten title was Michelle Brown as a member of the 4x400m relay in 1982 ... Rohl's toss is a new school record.
This Week: MSU will send a select group to the Alex Wilson Invite at Notre Dame on Last Chance Weekend to improve their NCAA qualifying marks ... In all, 15 student-athletes have set NCAA provisional qualifying marks and will look to improve them on the final weekend before the NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas, on March 13-14.
Notes: Sophomore Shane Wells (Romulus, Mich.) broke a school record in the 60m hurdles at the Big Ten Championships, finishing in 7.88, an NCAA provisional qualifying mark ... In all, three additional women, Buchholtz, Rohl and pole vaulter Katie Shaw (Lakeview, Mich.) provisionally qualified at the Big Ten Championships ... Sophomore Kyron Foster (Deltona, Fla.) also provisionally qualified in the triple jump ... The men's 4x400m relay team, consisting of Jeremy Orr (Detroit, Mich.), Keith Hewlett (Detroit, Mich.), Yury Ratomski (Novi, Mich.) and Michael Smoot (Trenton, Mich.), broke the school record after clocking in at 3:09.59 at the GVSU Big Meet, defeating a team from Western Kentucky that had run 3:07.61 earlier this season by nearly two seconds ... The mark is an NCAA provisional qualifying time ... Senakiewich set an NCAA provisional qualifying mark by shaving nearly six seconds off of her personal-best time in the mile after finishing the race in 4:40.91 at the GVSU Big Meet ... Her time breaks a school-record that was set by Anne Pewe back in 1982 when she ran the mile in 4:41.50 ... Senakiewich earned the mile title while three other Spartans finished in the top five in the event ... Knoll set the school-record in the mile run at the Meyo and became only the second Spartan in program history to run a sub-four-minute mile as he won one of the most prestigious mile events in the nation by clocking in at 3:57.36 ... His time automatically qualifies him for the NCAA Indoor Championships as he defeated one of the most competitive fields in the event, defeating three automatic NCAA qualifiers and two provisional qualifiers ... Knoll also broke the school-record in the 800m run at the Grand Valley Big Meet, clocking in at 1:48.97, also an NCAA provisional qualifying time ... Orr broke his own school record in the 400m dash at the Meyo, running an NCAA provisional qualifying time ... His time is currently the fourth-fastest in the nation; The win marked Orr's second 400m dash title of the season ... Junior Leah Elenbaas (Greenville, Mich.) also broke a school record, topping her own mark in the 1,000m run after clocking in at 2:50.32 to win the event ... Senior Sarah Price (Mankato, Minn.) and junior Emily MacLeod (Cincinnati, Ohio) also provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships in the mile run and 3,000m run, respectively; both Price and MacLeod finished sixth in their respective events ... The women have received key contributions from Charelise Davis (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who claimed her second 60m dash title of the season after posting a time of 7.72 ... The Spartans saw three athletes earn weekly conference honors following the season-opening MSU Open ... Davis took home the school's first ever Big Ten Female Track Athlete of the Week honor after claiming the 60m dash title with a personal-best time of 7.63 seconds; she is also the first Spartan in school history to win a Big Ten weekly honor twice in the same season since the league started weekly honors back in 1990 ... Becca Buchholtz (East Troy, Mich.) was the Big Ten Female Field Athlete of the Week after winning the pentathlon in her first collegiate event while Gillespie took home Male Field Athlete of the Week after his then school-record heave of 18.40m (50-6 ¼) in the weight throw.
Last Week: The 27th-ranked Spartans finished second at the Missouri Cat Classic with a team score of 194.750 Friday evening ... The host Tigers claimed the title with a 195.275, while Cal State Fullerton took third with a 193.275 and Western Michigan rounded out the quad meet with a 192.875.
This Week: MSU closes out its home schedule this weekend as it hosts Auburn in a dual meet on Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m., and California and Ball State in a tri-meet on Sunday, March 8 at 2 p.m.
Notes: Junior Rochelle Robinson (Chesapeake, Va.) led the Spartans at the Cat Classic, tying her career-high 9.850 on vault to finish second overall ... On uneven bars, Robinson led the rest of the competition, finishing first overall with a 9.900 ... Junior Nicole Curler (Bay City, Mich.) led the Spartans on balance beam, tying her career-high on the apparatus with a 9.925, finishing first overall ... Sophomore Nicole Argiros (Livonia, Mich.) recorded a career-high 9.850 on floor to take second overall, tying her season-high with a 9.800 on uneven bars ... Senior Dani Fanning (Glendale, Ariz.) recorded a career-high 9.825 to take third overall on uneven bars, while junior Emily Lopatofsky (Waymart, Pa.) and senior Katlyn Roggensack (Wheaton, Ill.) both posted a 9.750 on the apparatus to help MSU finish with a season-high 49.025 ... Roggensack competed on uneven bars and the all-around for the first time since April 12, 2008; she was the Spartans top finisher in the all-around with a 38.475 ... MSU had a season-high three gymnasts compete in the all-around at the Cat Classic ... Robinson is 42nd nationally on uneven bars and is fifth in the Big Ten ... Sophomore Kelsey Morley (Elkhart, Ind.) ranks 40th nationally and sixth in the conference on balance beam, while Curler is 55th in the nation and eighth in the Big Ten on the apparatus ... Robinson also ranks ninth in the conference on vault while Roggensack is fifth.
Last Week: The No. 70 MSU women's team traveled to No. 61 Western Michigan on Friday, Feb. 27, falling to the Broncos, 4-3 ... The Spartans then returned home to host No. 54 Marshall on Sunday, March 1 ... The Spartans picked up the doubles point in the match, but the Herd won four of the six singles matches to clinch a 4-3 win ... With the two losses, the Spartans fall to 6-6 overall this season ... The loss to Marshall marks the first defeat on the season for the Spartans at home.
This Week: MSU will return to action when it hosts No. 1 Northwestern at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility on Saturday, March 7.
Notes: Sophomore Whitney Wilson (Evansville, Ind.) leads the Spartans with an 18-6 singles record on the season ... Wilson is 2-0 when in the No. 4 singles slot, 4-2 when in the No. 5 spot, and is 8-2 in her last 10 ... The doubles tandem of sophomores Manon Noe (Liancort, France) and Wilson is 8-2 in its last 10 matches together, winning its last four ... The tandem of senior Stephanie Kebler (Okemos, Mich.) and junior Christine Milliken (Traverse City, Mich.) is a perfect 2-0 when partnered together ... The doubles pairing of freshman Elena Ivanova (Moscow, Russia) and senior Stephanie Kebler (Johannesburg, South Africa) is 2-0 on the season, seeing action at No. 2 doubles ... As a team, Michigan State has a 39-28 singles record in dual play, and 21-13 in doubles ... The team has won the doubles point in eight of its 11 matches this season ... Freshman Elena Ivanova (Moscow, Russia) is currently riding a four-match win-streak ... The Spartans are 6-2 against regional opponents this season ... The team is 5-1 while at home this season, with the lone loss coming to No. 54 Marshall.
Last Week: MSU improved to 11-1 on the season after picking up two wins in a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 28 at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility. The Spartans defeated Illinois State, 6-1, and IUPUI, 7-0.
This Week: The Spartans will travel to California where they will first face off against Santa Clara on March 11 at 3 p.m. ... The Spartans will then take on California the following day in Berkley with play beginning at 1:30 p.m. MSU wraps up its spring break trip on March 13 against No. 13 Tulsa, with the match starting at 12 p.m. ... The Spartans will also take part in a community service initiative as the team will play tennis with inmates at San Quentin State prison in California on Saturday, March 7 ... The initiative was recently featured on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" and was started in 2000 by current head of recreation at San Quentin, Don DeNevi.
Notes: Senior John Allare picked up two wins in singles play to improve his overall record to 9-2; he is 4-2 at the No. 1 position and 5-0 at No. 2 ... The doubles team of Allare and junior Jason Norville improved to 9-0 in dual play after picking up a win over Illinois State on Saturday ... Freshman Austin Brooks is 8-2 on the season in singles play ... Senior Alex Forger improved to 7-2 overall in singles play; he holds a 5-1 record at the No. 1 position and is 2-1 at No. 2 ... Freshman Ronnie Hulewicz picked up wins over Illinois State and IUPUI to improve to 10-1 on the season in singles play ... Junior Brendan Kinkopf now stands at 4-0 after posting a win over IUPUI at No. 6 singles, while senior Scott Rasmussen improved to 8-3 playing primarily at No. 3 and 4 singles ... The Spartans have taken the doubles point in 10 of their 12 matches so far this season ... On the road the team is 2-0 and 9-1 in action at home with the only loss coming from No. 25 Notre Dame.
Last Week: The 17th-ranked Michigan State women's golf team took fifth place at the Central District Invitational last week in Parrish, Fla., after carding a team score of 903 (304-297-302) . . . The Spartans hosted the 15-team tournament at the River Wilderness Country Club . . . No. 9 Auburn finished in first with a score of 882 (284-295-303) . . . This year's Central District Invitational featured one of the best fields in the tournament's nine-year history, with 11 teams ranked in the top 50 of the Golfweek ratings, including six in the top 25.
Notes: Junior Laura Kueny led the way for MSU at the Central District Invitational with her fourth top-10 finish of the season and 11th of her career, placing seventh with a 4-over 220 (76-72-72). Following a first round 76, Kueny shot even-par in her final two rounds, and her 72 in the third round was MSU's top score of the day . . . Kueny leads the Spartans with an 73.78 scoring average and is ranked the 9th golfer in the nation by Golfweek . . . Sophomore Aimee Neff also placed in the top 10, as her total of 223 (77-72-74) tied for ninth ... Neff has now finished in the top 10 three times this season and on six occasions during her career ... Neff is ranked 55th in the country according to Golfweek.