Volleyball Claims American Classic Title
Sept. 20, 2003
WASHINGTON, DC - Jenny Rood led the team with 24 kills and Diana Steplyk and Kim Schram each had 20 kills as Michigan State volleyball claimed the American Volleyball Classic title with a 3-1 win against host American University here Saturday (30-19, 30-22, 34-36, 30-24). The Spartans move 8-2 on the year, while American is now 3-8.
Nikki Colson (Lincoln, Neb.) was named tournament MVP, while Rood (Ada, Mich.) and Brooke Langston (Germantown, Tenn.) were named to the all-tournament team. Colson had 125 assists, 29 digs and 10 total blocks (3-7) on the weekend.
Against American, Steplyk (Libertyville, Ill.) hit .375 and posted 13 digs in the match. Langston contributed 13 kills in the match, to go along with six block assists. Colson had a career-tying 74 assists in the match.
"This was a nice win for us," said MSU head coach Chuck Erbe. "It's great to come out of here 2-0. These were two challenging matches for us. Tonight, American played extremely well, and they raised their game enough and we dropped off enough to make it very competitive. I'm pleased with the way our kids responded to the challenge."
The Spartans controlled the first game of the match, winning, 30-19. MSU held a seven-point lead three times before going on to build a double-digit lead at 20-10. MSU led by 11 five times after that, including at the end of the game. Diana Steplyk (Libertyville, Ill.) had eight kills on .889 hitting (8K-0E-9TA), a service ace and a block solo. Jenny Rood (Ada, Mich.) had six kills, while Nikki Colson (Lincoln, Neb.) added 17 assists, four digs and a block assist. MSU hit .645 in the game (22K-2E-31TA) to the Eagles' .205 (14K-6E-39TA).
MSU and American traded points early in the second game before MSU was able to pull out to an eight-point lead at 23-15. The Spartans maintained a comfortable lead from then on in the game, taking the win, 30-22. Brooke Langston (Germantown, Tenn.) had five kills, two service aces and two more block assists in the game. Steplyk and Rood each contributed four kills, while Steplyk also had another service ace and four digs. The Spartans hit .400 (19K-5E- 35TA).
State trailed the majority of the third game, and lost, 36-34. There were 20 ties in the game, and for the first time, AU outhit the Spartans, .404 to .396. MSU's Rood had nine kills in the game, while Steplyk added five more. Colson had 25 assists and four digs in the game. Michelle Kopka (Scarborough, Ontario) added four kills and four digs.
The Spartans won game four, 30-26. The Eagles an MSU traded points and were tie nine times before the Spartans pulled ahead to a five-point lead (19-14) on two service aces from Emmy Miller (Okemos, Mich.). American stayed in the game, though, cutting MSU's lead to one at 27-26. The Spartans pulled out the win as Sarah Villwock (Ft. Collins, Colo.) served points 29 and 30, and Langston and Kopka combined for a block assist to close out the game.
In the first match today, MSU defeated No. 21 San Diego, 3-1 (28-30, 30-21, 30-28, 30-28). Rood paced the Spartans with 20 kills and 10 total blocks. Schram contributed 17 kills and three blocks in the match, while Colson added 51 assists, 10 digs and four kills. Langston posted a career-best 12 kills on .320 hitting, and had five block assists.
Friday, Michigan State plays in Jension Field House for the first time this season, as the Spartans host No. 11 Penn State. The match, which begins at 7 p.m., is the start of the Big Ten season.
TEAM ATTACK PER GAME MSU K E TA Pct. 1 22 2 31 .645 2 19 5 35 .400 3 28 7 53 .396 4 21 8 46 .283 TOTAL 90 22 165 .412
AMERICAN K E TA PCT. 1 14 6 39 .205 2 13 6 33 .212 3 23 2 52 .404 4 11 5 47 .128 TOTAL 61 19 171 .246
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