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Nov. 11, 1997

Spartans Travel to Illinois and Wisconsin


Nov. 14  at Illinois Huff Hall, Urbana-Champaign, Ill.      9 p.m. (EST) 
Nov. 16  at Wisconsin Wisconsin Field House, Madison, Wis.  5 p.m. (EST)

TELEVISION: Both of MSU's matches will be nationally televised this weekend. ESPN2 will carry the action live at Illinois with a start time of 9 p.m. EST. The Wisconsin match is part of the Big Ten Conference television package and will appear on Sports Channel Chicago/Fox Sports Chicago at 5 p.m. EST.

Michigan State's Chuck Erbe (Cal State Fullerton, 1972) is 105-55 in his fifth season as head coach at Michigan State and 415-176-3 overall in his 17th year as a head coach.
Don Hardin (Illinois, 1982) is in his second year as the Illinois head coach. He has a record of 27-25 at Illinois and 219-101 overall in his tenth season as a head coach.
Wisconsins John Cook is 123-67 in his sixth season as the Badgers head coach and overall.

Illinois is 14-10 overall, 5-9 in the Big Ten Conference. The Illini are in seventh place in conference action after splitting last weekend with Michigan (L-9-15, 13-15, 15-5, 15-13, 13-15) and Northwestern (W-5-15, 15-5, 16-14, 15-5). The Illini host Wisconsin on Wednesday. Wisconsin is 22-2 overall, 13-1 in the Big Ten Conference. The Badgers are tied with Penn State for first place in the conference after registering two more victories last weekend over Northwestern (W-15-9, 15-6, 15-7) and Michigan (W-15-7, 15-13, 13-15, 15-4). The Michigan win was the Badgers tenth-consecutive victory. Wisconsin travels to Illinois on Wednesday.

Illinois leads the series, 28-11. On Sept. 18, the Spartans defeated Illinois, 3-1.
Wisconsin leads the series over the Spartans, 24-14. On Sept. 26, Wisconsin defeated MSU, 3-1, in Michigan States Big Ten opener.

Ohio State came to town and ruined Michigan States weekend. The Buckeye volleyballers defeated the Spartans 15-12, 15-4, 15-13 on Friday night in Jenison Field House. MSU recorded its lowest offensive output of the year, hitting just .119.
Errors were again the Spartans downfall. The team recorded 25 hitting errors, five service error and five blocking errors. Ohio State had no trouble capitalizing. Vanessa Wouters tallied 19 kills to lead all hitters. Andrea Pankova had 13 kills for OSU and five blocks. The Spartans were ahead, 12-8, in game one before allowing the Buckeyes to come back with the win. MSU never led in game two, and again let a 12-8 lead slip away in game three to hand OSU the match. Senior Jenna Wrobel ended her seven-match streak with 20 or more kills after hitting only 10 versus the Buckeyes. Wrobel did have success at the net, tallying five blocks, including a career-high three block solos. MSU survived another five-game marathon, defeating Purdue, 15-9, 8-15, 15-12, 12-15, 15-11 on Nov. 8. Due to injuries, Purdue was only able to suit up seven players in Saturdays match. Michigan State won the first game 15-9, but Purdue responded in game two with a 15-8 win of its own. Game three saw Michigan State again take the match lead behind the hitting of senior Jenna Wrobel (.500) and freshman Jessica Sanborn (.400).
Michigan State appeared on the verge of sealing a victory in game four. With a 12-8 MSU lead, Boilermaker freshman Katie Gibbons went to the service line and promptly fired off three service aces. Behind her serving and some inspired play by the rest of the team, Purdue rattled off seven unanswered points to steal game four 15-12. Game five was a see-saw battle with strong hitting from both teams. Purdue hit .333 as a team, but it wasnt strong enough to overcome MSUs .533 team hitting average, and the Spartans pulled out a victory with a 15-11 game five win.
The Spartans were lead by middle blocker Jessica Sanborn. In a break-out performance, the freshman hit .381 for the match and tallied eight blocks (one solo). Freshman setter Vicki Basil tallied a career high four service aces (which ties the team season record). Purdue was lead by outside hitter Kelly Colangelo (29 kills) and setter Taryn Catlin (74 assists).

Sophomore middle hitter Jenny Whitehead was lost for the season on Oct. 9, suffering a non-union fibular fracture in her right leg. She underwent surgery on Mon., Oct. 13.
Freshman middle hitter Sarah Gustin, who has seen substantial playing time this season was diagnosed with a stress fracture to her left tibia. The injury was revealed during a bone scan on Oct. 9. She may see limited action this weekend.

Both are marathons. Michigan State has survived four of the latter type. MSU raised its record to 4-0 in matches of five games or more with its win over Purdue, 3-2 on Nov. 8 in Jenison Field House. Previously, MSU defeated Northwestern, 3-2, on Oct. 31. On Oct. 24, Indiana stretched MSU to five games before falling. In the Spartans season-opener, on Aug. 29, MSU defeated Duke, 3-2.

In MSUs loss to Ohio State on Nov. 7, the Spartans hit only .119 (40-25-126), its lowest output of the season. MSUs previous low was .123 versus Southern California on Aug. 30.

Jenna Wrobel tallied 20 kills or more in seven consecutive matches, including 32 versus Michigan on Nov. 2, a season-high. The streak ended on Nov. 7, as she had only 10 kills vs. Ohio State. On Nov. 8, Wrobel started a new streak with 21 kills in 47 attempts.

Jenna Wrobel now holds the MSU single-season record for 20-kill matches when she recorded her 15th of the season on Nov. 8 vs. Purdue (21 kills). Wrobel had been tied with teammate Veronica Morales who had the previous record of 14 20-kill matches, set in 1994.

Wrobel has also set the MSU record for career 20-kill matches this season. She has 32 in her career. Veronica Morales is second on the list with 29.

Jenna Wrobel set a career high, recording three block solos in MSUs loss to Ohio State on Nov. 7.

BOILERMAKER WISH- Jessica Sanborn wishes the Purdue Boilermakers could be MSUs opponent for every match. When State played at Purdue on Oct. 10, Sanborn set her career high with five kills. The Boilers came to town on Nov. 8 and Sanborn turned into a killing machine, more than doubling her career best with 11 kills.

Three more Michigan State volleyball matches will be televised this season: November 14 at Illinois (ESPN2; 8 p.m. CST); Nov. 16 at Wisconsin (SportsChannel; 4 p.m. CST); and Nov. 28 vs. Penn State (ESPN2(tape-delayed; 7 p.m. EST).

No. 25 Michigan State has a 2-4 record against ranked opponents this season. MSU lost to then No. 15 Southern California on Aug. 30 and fell to No. 7 UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 12. On Sept. 26, MSU lost to No. 11 Wisconsin. The Spartans victories came against No. 15 Loyola Marymount on Sept. 13 and No. 25 Illinois on Sept. 28. MSU lost at No. 1 Penn State on Oct. 25.

*With 21 digs last weekend, Veronica Morales still stands in the No. 2 spot on the all-time digs chart with 1,377 career saves. She needs 90 digs to overtake first place, currently held by Jill Krumm with 1,466. *Jenna Wrobel is fourth on the all-time kills chart with 1,486 career kills after her 31 kills last weekend. She needs 33 kills to move into No. 3, currently held by Val Sterk with 1,518.
*Wrobel holds the No. 4 spot on the all-time attempts chart with 3,543 career attempts, after totaling 73 last night. She needs 25 attempts to move into the number three spot.

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