Nov. 24, 2006
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Michigan State volleyball team ended the 2006 regular season with a 3-0 sweep over Iowa, Friday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. State won by scores of 30-24, 30-20, and 30-26. The Spartans finish the regular season 19-11, 10-10 in Big Ten play, while Iowa concludes the year 13-18, 2-17 against conference opponents.
Michigan State tallied 54 kills in the match, led by outside hitters Katie Johnson and Ashley Schatzle with 16 and 15, respectively. Setter Allison Ianni tallied a match-high 45 assists, directing the Spartan offense to a .311 attack percentage against a .080 effort by the Hawkeye offense.
State won the defensive battle, posting 15.5 total blocks and a three-game season high 62 digs, compared to 9.0 total blocks and 46 digs by the Hawkeye defenders. Middle blocker Jessica Hohl paced the Spartans with seven block assists, while Ianni and Johnson added six and five, respectively, for the Green and White. Libero Nicole Colaluca matched a season-best with 25 digs, while defensive specialist Miken Trogdon also matched a season-high with 14 digs in the Spartan backcourt.
Outside hitter Catherine Smale anchored the Hawkeye offense with 11 kills, adding six digs and two block assists, while setter Kiley Fister registered a double-double with 34 assists and 11 digs in the match.
Three straight blocks anchored a 6-1 Spartan run to push the lead to 23-18 in game one. State scored three of the next five, and King's fifth kill of the set closed a 30-24 MSU victory. Schatzle tallied a floor-high six kills, adding one block solo and one block assist for the Spartan defense in the set. Ianni spread out 14 assists, directing the Spartans to a .484 attack percentage compared to a .054 effort by the Hawkeye offense.
After matching points in the early goings of game two, State put together a 5-0 run for a 20-13 advantage midway through the set. Iowa rallied to score six of the next nine to pull within five at 23-19, but solid blocking by the Spartan defenders late in the set saw MSU close a convincing 30-20 game-two victory. Defense was the story of game two, as the Spartan frontcourt combined for 10 block assists at the net. Ianni and Johnson each contributed two blocks, Hohl posted a game-high three block assists, and Colaluca anchored the Spartan backcourt with 11 digs in the set.
Johnson connected on three swings to anchor a 4-1 run to push the Michigan State lead to 24-20 in game three. Iowa answered with a 3-1 run to pull within two at 25-23, but State scored five of the final eight points of the match to clinch its 16th sweep of the season with a 30-26 win in game three. Johnson tallied a game-best seven kills, while Schatzle and freshman Whitney Tremain added five and four, respectively.
Michigan State now awaits word to see if it will receive a bid to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship selection show airs Sunday (Nov. 26) on ESPNews between 3-4 p.m. ET. MSU is looking for its first bid since the 2003 season, and 11th-overall bid to the championship tournament.