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MSU Hosts Team Russia in Exhibition

Sept. 8, 1997

The twelfth-ranked Spartan volleyball team plays host to Team Russia in an exhibition match at Jenison Field House before embarking on its first road trip of the season, traveling to the UC Santa Barbara/Judy Bellomo Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Sept. 12-13.

Competing in the tournament are South Florida, No. 9 UC Santa Barbara, Loyola Marymount and Portland State. The Spartans will open the tournament against South Florida at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12 and play against host UCSB in the nightcap at 7 p.m. MSU takes on Loyola Marymount at 2 p.m. on Saturday, followed by Portland State at 7 p.m.

This Week

Sept. 9 Team Russia Jenison Field House 7 p.m. Sept. 12-13 UC Santa Barbara/Judy Bellomo Classic, The Thunderdome


The Spartans, who are ranked 12th in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches poll and 13th in the Volleyball Magazine poll, are 5-1 overall.

MSU won its own MSU Invitational last weekend after defeating Drake (3-0), Duquesne (3-1) and Bowling Green (3-1).

Team Russia defeated Louisville, 15-1, 15-6, 15-3, in its last match on Sept. 5. The Russians hit .600 in game one and .360 overall for the match.

Loyola Marymount, 5-1, suffered its first loss of the season last weekend in its own Purana Hotel Classic. The Lions defeated Duke (3-0) and Massachusetts (3-0) before falling to UC Santa Barbara, 1-3.

Portland State is 4-2, winning its last four matches in a row after beginning the season with two straight losses. The Vikings hosted the PSU Showcase last weekend defeating both Willamette and Puget Sound, 3-0.

The University of South Florida enters the tournament at 6-2 after winning its own USF Classic last weekend with victories over Georgia Southers (3-0) and Tennessee Chattanooga (3-0).

UC Santa Barbara remains undefeated at 5-0 after weekend wins over Massachusetts (3-0), Duke (3-0) and No. 15 Loyola Marymount (3-1) at the Loyola Marymount University Tournament.

The Coaches

Team Russia is coached by Leonid Berezine.

Loyola Marymounts Steve Stratos is in his seventh season as head coach, sporting a 157-67 career and school won-loss record.

Chris Stanley owns a 39-30 record in her third season as head coach at Portland State. In her 12th season as a head coach, Stanley has a 194-149 career mark.

Head coach Perri Hankins is 144-57 in her seventh season as the South Florida head coach. Her career coaching record, spanning eight years, is 151-84.

Kathy Gregory, UC Santa Barbaras play caller has a career and school won-loss record of 544-252 in her 23rd year as the head coach. She led the Gauchos to the second round of the NCAA tournament last season, where they lost to Loyola Marymount.

Erbe Earns 400th Win

Spartan head coach Chuck Erbe won his 400th career match last weekend, defeating Duquesne, 10-15, 15-6, 15-7, 15-5 in Michigan States second match of the MSU Invitational. Erbe, who is in his fifth season at MSU, has a 17-year career mark of 401-169-3.

Erbe has guided the Spartans to three-straight NCAA Tournaments and back-to-back Big Ten titles. The 1995 Big Ten and AVCA National Coach of the Year has a record of 88-48 at MSU. Erbe, who spent 12 years as the head coach at USC (1976-77/79-88), has guided his teams to postseason appearances in 14 of his 16 seasons in the collegiate ranks. He won four national titles with the Trojans, capturing three AIAW Championships (1976, 1977, 1980) and the first-ever NCAA Championship (1981).

Series Records

South Florida and MSU are tied at 1-1 in their series record. In their last meeting, USF earned a 3-1 victory at the Ball State Tournament on Sept. 11, 1993.

MSU has a 1-0-1 series advantage over UC Santa Barbara. The teams last met on Sept. 9, 1995 with MSU taking the win, 3-0, at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational. Saturdays match will be the first between Loyola Marymount and the Spartans. Portland State and MSU have met just once, with PSU capturing a 3-0 win on Oct. 31, 1980 at the UCLA Invitational.

State Wins MSU Invitational

The Spartans earned a four-game victory over Bowling Green in the championship match of the MSU Invitational, Sept. 5-6, at Jenison Field House.

Tournament MVP, senior Veronica Morales, hit .487 with a season-high 22 kills, 17 digs and five block assists to lead the Spartans. Junior Jenna Wrobel, who earned all-tournament team honors, hit .310 with 22 kills and seven digs.

Freshman Sarah Gustin was stellar at the net, chipping in five kills and a career-high 11 blocks, including nine block assists.

Bowling Green was held to an .080 hitting percentage in suffering its first loss of the season. Senior setter Wendy Watkins, an all-tournament team selection led the Falcons with 12 kills and 26 assists. Sophomore Heather Murphy added 109 kills and 11 digs en route to landing a spot on the all-tourney team.

MSU opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over Drake. Wrobel and freshman Christie Landry combined for 34 kills and 20 digs to pace the Spartans while freshman setter Vicki Basil chipped in 48 assists and nine digs.

The Spartans shut down Duquesne, 3-1 in their second match of the tourney. The Dukes surprised MSU in game one, winning 10-15. MSU came back to win the next three, 15-6, 15-7, 15-5 to close out the match. Five Spartans hit double figures in kills and three tallied double digits in digs. Wrobel hit .556 with 17 kills to lead the Spartans while Landry hit .486 (19 kills) and had three blocks. Morales set a career high with 24 digs while also tallying 16 kills to hit .484.

MSU Invitational All-Tournament Team

Sheila Lopez, Duquesne Wendy Watkins, Bowling Green Heather Murphy, Bowling Green Jenna Wrobel, Michigan State Lindsey Clayton, Michigan State Veronica Morales, Miichigan State (MVP)

Final Standings

1. Michigan State (3-0) 2. Bowling Green (2-1) 3. Duquesne (1-2) 4. Drake (0-3)

Morales Earns Mvp Honors

Though playing in only two of the three Spartan matches at the MSU Invitational, senior Veronica Morales play outshone everyone elses, leading to tournament MVP honors.

Versus Duquesne, Morales hit .484 with 16 kills, four service aces and a career-high 24 digs. In the invitational final win over Bowling Green she shellacked the Falcons with 22 kills on 39 attempts. She was also credited with 17 digs and five blocks.

Wrobel Ties Career Mark

Junior Jenna Wrobel tied her career high in attach percentage when she hit .556 against Duquesne in the MSU Invitational. Wrobel totaled 17 kills in 27 attempts with only two errors.

Sanborn Debuts At MSU Invite

Freshman middle/outside hitterJessica Sanborn made her first collegiate appearance last weekend for the 12th-ranked Spartans. A Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection in high school, Sanborn also was a member of hte U.S. Youth National Team. Sanborn sat out the Golff/MSU Volleyball Classic two weekends ago because of back spasms. For MSU last weekend, she tallied eight kills, three blocks and three digs, playing in all three of the Spartans weekend matches.

**MSU Season Notes**

MSU Versus Top 25

No. 12 Michigan State has competed against one other ranked opponent so far this season, falling to No. 15 Southern California, 3-1. The Spartans play No. 9 UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Sept. 12.

Records Of Note

* With her 41 digs last weekend, Veronica Morales moved into the No. 7 position on the all-time digs chart with 1,116.

* Morales needs just 92 more kills this season to eclipse the all-time record of 1,669, held by Becky Belanger. Morales has a career total of 1,578.

Milestone For Wrobel

Junior outside hitter Jenna Wrobel had 24 kills in MSUs win over Duke to reach the 1,000-kill mark in her career. Wrobel, who is the ninth player in Spartan history to reach that plateau, has totaled 1,070 kills in her three-year career to rank ninth on the all-time chart.

Home Winning Streak Snapped

MSUs loss to USC on Aug. 30, snapped a 14-match home winning streak for the Spartans. MSU is tough at Jenison Field House where it has posted a mark of 38-3 (.926) since 1995.

After posting a 20-0 mark at home in 1995, the Spartans went 13-2 in the old barn n 96, losing to Texas and Stanford in a season-opening tournament.

Overall, the Spartans have posted a 46-15 (.754) record at home since moving to Jenison Field House in 1993.

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