Sept. 15, 2012
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Michigan State (12-0) defeated the College of Charleston, 3-1, to win its fourth pre-conference tournament of the season. The Spartans tied the 2009 record for its third best start in program history with a 12-0 record. Junior Lauren Wicinski garnered MVP honors and Alexis Mathews and Kori Moster were both named to the Holiday Inn Charleston/Mt. Pleasant Invitational All-Tournament Team. MSU won the match by scores on 24-26, 25-17, 25-9 and 25-15.
"Our team once again got challenged a little bit and held their composure," head coach Cathy George said. "We chipped away and cleaned up some of the areas that we were lacking discipline in. I like the way the team responds to challenges and we have been doing a nice job of that through the season thus far."
Wicinski led Michigan State with 23 kills and had a .514 hitting percentage in the match. Kristen Kelsay paced the way with 26 assists and Moster had 18 digs against the Cougars. Mathews added 10 kills of her own and also had seven blocks.
Michigan State dropped the first set to the College of Charleston, 24-26. MSU hit .263 percent in the game and Charleston hit just .190.
The Spartans fell behind early but tied the score at 10 after a 4-0 run. The Spartans went up 20-19 after Alexis Mathews and Kelsey Kuipers teamed up for a block and it was the first lead of the game for MSU. Taylor Galloway recorded a solo block to tie the game 24-24 but Charleston scored the next two points to take the match.
Michigan State evened the match with a 25-17 win in set two and went on a 10-2 run to close out the second game. The score was tied 15-15 before the Spartans rattled off 10 points. Wicinski added another six kills in set two and Alexis Mathews had three kills to go along with two blocks.
The Spartans played under control in the third set and took a 2-1 match lead after a 25-9 win. MSU hit .435 percent in the match and had 12 kills with only two errors. Charleston struggled offensively and had seven errors, contributing to a negative hitting percentage. MSU went on a 10-1 run to go up 23-8 and eventually take the set.
Set four opened up with a 10-3 lead for the Spartans and they never looked back, winning the final set 25-15. Wicinski had seven kills in the final game and Kelsay had nine assists in the set.
Michigan State opens conference play against Purdue at home on Friday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. at Jenison Field House.