Spartans Open at Hokie Invitational
Aug 28, 2013
MSU heads to Virginia and the Virginia Tech Hokie Invitational. The Spartans have four matches on tap, on Friday against St. Francis (PA) and Towson, and on Saturday against Pacific and the host Hokies.
MSU has never met St. Francis or Towson on the volleyball court. MSU last played Pacific in the late 1970s at the UCLA National Invitational Tournament, and last tangled with Virginia Tech at the University of Cincinnati tournament in the 1976 season.
GENERAL TEAM NOTES
Michigan State returns ten letterwinners and all but one starter from the 2012 Sweet 16 team.
The Spartans are ranked No. 14 in the 2013 AVCA pre-season coaches poll, and are No. 13 in the Volleyball Magazine survey.
Seven teams from the Big Ten appear in the pre-season AVCA Top 25 : Penn State No. 2, Minnesota No. 6, Michigan No. 7, Nebraska No. 10, MSU No. 14, Purdue No. 16, and Ohio State at No. 23. Illinois and Wisconsin are also receiving votes in the poll.
The Spartans have achieved their highest national pre-season ranking since the 1997 pre-season survey, in which MSU debuted at No. 6. MSU was No. 16 in the final AVCA poll in 2012 after advancing to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
MSU was selected fifth in the Big Ten preseason coaches poll. Senior Lauren Wicinski was one of three unanimous selections to the All-Big Ten Preseason team.
MSU compiled a 25-10 overall record in 2012 and went 11-9 in Big Ten play, good for sixth place in the Conference standings. MSU's 25 wins were the most since 1996, while the Spartans also posted their best Big Ten record since 2003.
MSU's freshman class was rated the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation, per PrepVolleyball.com. Outside hitter Chloe Reinig was the No. 4 senior recruit in the country, and has earned a spot in MSU's starting lineup.
Fifteen of Michigan State's volleyball games will be televised or streamed live in the 2013 season. Highlighting MSU's television exposure is a game at Minnesota which will air live on ESPN 2 on Oct. 17. MSU has an Oct. 20 game at Wisconsin, and the Nov. 2 game at home against Penn State on the Big Ten Network. Twelve other games will be streamed live at BTN.com.
Michigan State made its 15th NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012 and third in the last four seasons. MSU advanced to the regionals with wins over San Diego (3-2) and No. 7 UCLA (3-1) before falling to Big Ten rival Michigan (3-0). It was the sixth time in program history (and second under head coach Cathy George) that MSU has advanced to the Sweet 16.
The Spartans won three matches against teams ranked in the top 10 last season. By stringing together wins over then-No. 4 Nebraska and then-No.10 Minnesota, Michigan State notched its first back-to-back wins over top-10 teams since 1995. In the NCAA Tournament, the Spartans downed No. 7 UCLA, 3-1.
MSU's attendance of 33,717 fans in 2012 ranked 17th nationally.
Head coach Cathy George became the 34th active coach to reach 500 career wins when MSU swept Iowa on Sept. 29, 2012
George currently has a record of 511-338 during her 26 years of coaching and is in her ninth year at MSU. She ranks 29th among active coaches (and third in the Big Ten) with 511 wins.
The team boasted a 3.14 cumulative grade point average with a combined seven 4.0 semesters in 2012-13. Amy Detlinger, Kristen Kelsay, Chelsey Probst, Stefanie Shiramizu, and Jazmine White earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, while Kelsay also earned Distinguished Scholar recognition for a 3.7 GPA or better in the 2012-13 school year.
Lauren Wicinski and Kori Moster are returning players who earned AVCA All-America honors last year. Wicinski earned the distinction for the third time in her career by being named to the second team, while Moster was an Honorable Mention pick.
Four individuals earned Big Ten post-season honors in 2012. Kori Moster is the league's reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was Honorable Mention All-Big Ten, while Lauren Wicinski was a unanimous choice on the All-Big Ten team. Halle Peterson was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team and Kristen Kelsay, a co-captain, was MSU's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship award.
Lauren Wicinski set a school record for service aces in a season (81). She shattered Jane Zenner's previous record of 75, set in 1983. ranked fourth nationally and second in the Big Ten in aces with 0.63 per set.
Wicinski led the team in kills and points last season and was seventh in the NCAA and first in the Big Ten with 5.33 points per set. She also was second in the Big Ten and 15th in the NCAA with 4.43 kills per set.
Kori Moster surpassed 1,000 career digs last season; with 1,061 through two seasons, she needs 58 to move into the top-10 all-time at MSU. She recorded 602 digs in 2012, good for second in MSU's single-season recordbook. Moster's 474 digs as a freshman is sixth in a single season.
Alexis Mathews ranks third all-time in blocks per set (1.25) and fifth in block assists (390) in MSU's career record book. In 2012, she led the team with 158 blocks, tied for fifth in a single season at MSU and fourth in the Big Ten in blocks/set (1.23). She was third in the Big Ten and 16th nationally in hitting percentage (.388) in 2012, and her career hitting percentage (.324) is the second-best in MSU's career annals.
Alexis Mathews, Kori Moster, and Lauren Wicinski were selected to the US National A2 Team to compete in the USA Volleyball Open National Championships. Wicinski won gold at the event, and Mike Gawlik was an assistant coach.
Sophomore Halle Peterson earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman team last season. She averaged 4.77 assists per set and recorded double-digit assists in 33 of 35 matches last year (and 33 consecutive to end the season).
Senior co-captain Kristen Kelsay started at setter in all 35 matches last season and notched double-digit assists in each contest, including a career-best 46 against Youngstown State. The Wheaton, Ill., native averaged 6.94 assists per set as a junior, and her 2,194 career assists is seventh at MSU all-time. Friday's game against St. Francis will be Kelsay's 100th career match.
Junior Ryian Hubbard and Virginia Tech freshman outside hitter Amanda McKinzie were teammates in high school, at St. Philip Catholic Central in Battle Creek, Mich.
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