Spartans Announce 2012 Volleyball Schedule
June 20, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State volleyball head coach Cathy George announced the 2012 season schedule on Wednesday, June 20. The Spartans are no stranger to a tough schedule and this slate isn't any different. MSU will face eight opponents that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago and six that finished in the final AVCA Top 25.
"The upcoming 2012 schedule presents many challenges as almost half is made up of teams who competed in the NCAA tournament field just a year ago," George said. "We are looking forward to testing our young group in the preconference segment against several quality opponents who look to factor in the race at the top of their respective conferences."
Michigan State kicks off the season at home with the Spartan Showcase at Jenison Field House, Aug 24-25. The Spartans will host McNeese State, Youngstown State and Eastern Kentucky.
The following weekend MSU will participate in the University of Connecticut Classic in Storrs, Conn., Aug 31-Sept. 1. The Spartans will face off against Dartmouth and Fairfield, as well as host UConn.
In the second home tournament of the season, the Spartan Invitational, MSU will face Georgia, the University of Albany and IPFW at Jenison Field House on Sept 7-8.
Michigan State will then compete in the Holiday Inn Charleston/Mt. Pleasant Tournament, the last competition before Big Ten play begins. Along with the host, College of Charleston, MSU will face Presbyterian and Georgetown on Sept 14-15.
The Spartans open up the conference season in front of the home crowd at Jenison Field House against Purdue (Sept. 21) and Indiana (Sept. 22). Last season the Big Ten had six teams make it to the NCAA Regionals and all six finished in the AVCA Top 25.
"As usual the Big Ten is laced with talent from top to bottom," George said. "This elite level brings out the best in us as we prepare night in and night out for the NCAA Tournament. Graduating five starters will be a challenge but our young group is ready and willing to measure up amongst the nation's best."
Michigan State welcomes Illinois into Jenison Field House on Oct. 13. The two teams split the regular season last year with one match a piece and each team won on their home floor. Illinois fell to UCLA, 3-1, in the National Championship last season.
The Spartans face off against Michigan in Ann Arbor on Oct. 17 in a Wednesday night match before returning home to host Ohio State on Oct. 20.
MSU will enjoy a four match home stand in the beginning of November against conference foes Iowa (Nov. 2), Nebraska (Nov. 3), Minnesota (Nov. 9) and Wisconsin (Nov. 10).
In the last home match of the season and on senior night, Michigan State will host Michigan on Nov. 21 before closing the conference season at Penn State on Nov. 24.
Despite graduating five seniors from a season ago, the Spartans return 11 letter winners from last season including Kristen Kelsay, Kori Moster and Alexis Mathews, and also welcome a class of four incoming freshman. Michigan State also added Northern Illinois transfer and All-American Lauren Wicinski, who will have two years of eligibility remaining.
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