No. 25 Volleyball Claims Maryland Invitational Title
Aug. 30, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Kim Schram (London, Ontario) was named the Maryland Invitational MVP as No. 25-ranked Michigan State (3-0) was undefeated in two matches Saturday. MSU defeated Tennessee (1-1) in five games in the early session (28-30, 26-30, 31-29, 30-28, 17-15) and then beat host school Maryland (1-2) in three games (30-21, 30-37, 30-15) to claim the tournament championship.
Nikki Colson (Lincoln, Neb.) and Jenny Rood (Ada, Mich.) were also named to the all-tournament team, as the 3-0 record at the season-opening tournament gives MSU its fourth consecutive season start of 3-0.
"I'm very, very pleased with the level of performance and fitness we showed tonight," head coach Chuck Erbe said. "To play this well against Maryland after a nearly three-hour match with Tennessee less than four hours ago is remarkable. It's certainly a tribute to our strength and conditioning coach and his staff. This is a great start to the year for us."
Against Maryland, MSU jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first game, as Michelle Kopka (Scarborough, Ontario) reeled off seven consecutive serves for the Spartans. State hit .371 (19K-6E-35TA) in the game to Maryland's .273. In the second game, the teams played to six ties early in the game. MSU pulled out to a 20-14 lead, but the Terrapins came back within two (28-26) before the Spartans could seal the victory at 30-27. State never trailed in the third game, as the Spartans hit .556 (17K-2E-27TA). In the match, MSU hit .317 to Maryland's .145.
Diana Steplyk's (Libertyville, Ill.) six kills against Maryland were a career best, eclipsing her previous high of three. Rood had a match-high 13 kills on the night, hitting .500 (13K-3E-20TA), and has recorded at least 13 kills in each of MSU's three matches this season.
Tournament MVP Schram tied her career-best kill total with 32 against the Lady Vols in the first match of the day, and added three block solos. Colson also had a career day, passing out 74 assists, while Marley Bellwood (Battle Creek, Mich.) added a career-best 20 digs in the match. MSU outhit Tennessee, .260-.203.
The Lady Vols pulled ahead, 5-2, and did not trail the rest of the game. State managed to cut Tennessee's lead to one at 29-28, but despite outhitting UT .245 to .214, could not pull out the win. MSU trailed by as many as six points (16-10) in the second game, but managed a comeback to tie the game at 19-19. MSU and UT traded the lead throughout the rest of the game, with UT managing to post a final win of 30-26. The Lady Vols hit .359 to MSU's .310 in the game.
In game three, the Spartans posted a 31-29 win in their first extra-point match of the season. With a 26-22 MSU lead, the Lady Vols came back to force the game to extra points, as they tied the match at 29-29. A kill by Nikki Colson gave the Spartans the win in the third game. MSU led the entire fourth game, and Schram's four consecutive kills to end the game forced a fifth game.
In the fifth game, the Spartans led by six points twice, but Tennessee came back to tie the game at 14-14 and again at 15-15. A Megan Wallin (Sarasota, Fla.) kill put MSU up 16-15, and she served the winning point to give MSU the win at 17-15. Rood's 24 kills in the match was one shy of tying her career best.
The Spartans travel to the Carolina Classic, hosted by South Carolina next weekend, Sept. 5-6. MSU faces South Carolina at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5 and takes on North Carolina at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6.
MARYLAND INVITATIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Jenny Rood, MSU Nikki Colson, MSU Adrian Semrau, Villanova Kristen Andre, Tennessee Sarah Blum, Tennessee Maria DiLivio, Maryland MVP: Kim Schram, MSU
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