April 10, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State volleyball is riding a successful spring season and topped Western Michigan, 3-1 to open the season. Last weekend, the Spartans won the Great Lakes Center College Invite for the second straight season. MSU defeated Bradley, Marquette and Purdue in the event.
This weekend, the Spartans host nine-team tournament at Jenison Field House. Michigan State will be joined by Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Ferris State, Grand Valley State, Illinois State, Indiana State, Northwood and Toledo. Admission to the event is free and pool play will begin at 9 a.m. Following a break in the afternoon, action will resume at 1 p.m.
"We're excited to be back home this weekend for our spring tournament at Jenison," head coach Cathy George said. "We have had great support so far this Spring from our families, boosters, and fans and hope that we see a lot of familiar faces on Saturday."
The Spartans started the Spring with a match against Western Michigan at Aquinas College. MSU topped the Broncos 3-1 and Lauren Wicinski led the attack with 15 kills and added 15 digs. Both Taylor Galloway and Alexis Mathews each had 12 kills as well. Kori Moster recorded 21 digs and Halle Peterson and Kristen Kelsay paced the Spartan attack with 25 and 30 assists, respectively.
"This was a fun event hosted by Aquinas College," George said. "It provided a great opportunity to get out in front of the people of Grand Rapids and our loyal supporters in a fall type atmosphere. Although we did some good things today we identified areas we need to continue to improve on throughout the Spring and into the Fall."
The Great Lakes Center College Invite featured six teams and the Spartans came out on top for the second straight weekend. First up, MSU topped Bradley, 3-0, before taking on Marquette. The Spartans led the Golden Eagles 1-0 but fell behind 24-19 in set two. After a gutsy serving run by Halle Peterson, the Spartans tied the match at 24-24 before trading sideouts and winning the set 32-30. The Spartans moved on to the finals, setting up a Big Ten showdown with Purdue.
After splitting the first two sets, MSU took control in the third and decisive set to cruise to a 2-1 victory. Setters Halle Peterson and Kristen Kelsay set the Spartans to a .337 hitting percentage for the day which included solid efforts from Alexis Mathews (24 kills, .538), Lauren Wicinski (41 Kills, .366), Taylor Galloway (26 kills, .339) and Kelsey Kuipers (13 kills, .458) over the eight sets of play.
"As a whole, I was pleased with the effort and the strides we made since our first outing against some quality opponents at the GLC," George said. "Our offense was potent at times, while our defense came up big at critical times. We had quality contributions from several different players throughout the day. I'm excited to get back into the gym continue fine tuning our team."
The Spartans will wrap up the spring season on April 20 against the University of Dayton in Maumee, Ohio. The day will begin with competitive drills before a best-of five match in the afternoon.