Spartans Host B1G/Pac-12 Challenge
Sep 5, 2013
Friday Ticket Specials: MSUFCU Night, Family Four Pack
Friday Special Events: MSU Volleyball Alumni Weekend, MSU Alumni Club of Mid-Michigan Event, Honorary First Serve - women's tennis coach Simone Jardim.
Saturday Ticket Specials: FREE admission to volleyball with football ticket stub, Four Seats, Four Treats
Saturday Special Events: Sideout Club 20th Anniversary Dinner , Honorary First Serve - men's soccer coach Damon Rensing, Post-Game Volleyball Team Meet & Greet
MSU welcomes 2012 NCAA runner-up Oregon and Oregon State to Jenison Field House this weekend. The teams will also play Michigan in a pair of Big Ten/Pac-12 showdowns. MSU will do a return trip and play out west next season.
This will be MSU's first meeting with both of these Pac-12 rivals.
GENERAL TEAM NOTES
MSU's loss to Pacific snapped an 18-game unbeaten streak against non-conference opponents, dating back to Sept. 9, 2011 when they fell to Bowling Green on the road, 3-1. MSU had not lost a three-set decision to a non-conference team since Sept. 4, 2010 when it lost to USC.
MSU has won 13 consecutive non-conference games on its home floor. The streak dates back to September of 2010 - MSU's last home loss to a non-Big Ten team came on Sept. 11, 2010 to Eastern Michigan, 3-2.
The Spartans are ranked No. 20 in this week's AVCA coaches poll, and are No. 17 in the Volleyball Magazine survey.
Eight teams from the Big Ten appear in this week's AVCA Top 25, the most of any conference in the country : Penn State No. 1, Minnesota No. 4, Michigan No. 7, Nebraska No. 13, Illinois No. 18, MSU No. 20, Purdue No. 22, and Ohio State at No. 23. Wisconsin is also receiving votes in the poll.
MSU's next win will be head coach Cathy George's 150th at Michigan State. Last year, George became the 34th active coach to reach 500 career wins when MSU swept Iowa (Sept. 29, 2012.)
George currently has a record of 514-339 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 514 wins.
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.
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 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.
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.
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. Michigan State returns ten letterwinners and all but one starter from the 2012 team.
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.
MSU's attendance of 33,717 fans in 2012 ranked 17th nationally.
Lauren Wicinski and Alexis Mathews were named to the All-Tournament team at the Hokie Invitational. Wicinski had a pair of double-doubles (against Towson and Virginia Tech), while Mathews hit .507 and tied two career highs, with 15 kills against the Hokies and a .667 hitting percentage (11-1-15) against Towson.
Wicinski is closing in on 2,000 career kills. Her career total (which includes two seasons at Northern Illinois) is 1,916. Her 571 last year as a Spartan was the fourth-most in a single season in school history.
Allyssah Fitterer had nine blocks and three kills against Virginia Tech, and tied Mathews with a team-best 15 blocks in the four matches on the weekend.
Ryian Hubbard and Kelsey Kuipers came up with some career bests on the weekend as well. Hubbard had her first career double-double against Virginia Tech, with 16 assists and 10 digs, both career highs as well. Kuipers recorded six blocks against the Hokies.
Kori Moster enters the weekend with 1,131 career digs, good for eighth place in the MSU annals for digs in a career. Kelly Collister sits in seventh place with 1,196, and Veronica Morales holds the school record with 1,484. Moster 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.
Kristen Kelsay owns 2,306 career assists, which ranks seventh at MSU all-time. Last Friday's game against St. Francis was her 100th career match.
Freshman Autumn Christenson made her Spartan debut last weekend, and got considerable floor time. She had a combined 15 of her 18 kills on the second day of competition against Pacific and Virginia Tech.
Jazmine White had eight service aces on the weekend, along with 13 kills, four digs, and 10 blocks. She had a career-best 21 aces last 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).
Lauren Wicinski and Kori Moster both 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.
Wicinski is one of 30 candidates for volleyball's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The list will be trimmed to 10 finalists mid-season, and fans will be allowed to cast their votes online.
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