Butler Invite on Tap for Volleyball
Sept. 11, 2013
MSU heads to Indianapolis for the Butler Invitational this weekend. The Spartans will take on IPFW, Illinois State, and the host Bulldogs.
IPFW will have a radio broadcast of Saturday morning's match, while Butler will have a live video stream of the Saturday night game between MSU and the Bulldogs.
GENERAL TEAM NOTES
Cathy George is a 1985 graduate of Illinois State. She helped the Redbirds win three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference titles and make three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. A team captain and crafty outside attacker, she was a three-time All-MVC selection and earned all-region honors.
MSU swept last week's matches in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, downing 2012 NCAA runner-up Oregon 3-1 and sweeping Oregon State at Jenison Field House.
The Spartans moved up five spots in the AVCA National Top 25 to No. 15 this week. The Big Ten has a national-best nine teams in the top-25, seven in the top-15, and three in the top seven. This is the first time in history that nine teams from one conference appear in the AVCA Top-25 in the same week.
MSU has won 15 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.
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. 3, Minnesota No. 4, Michigan No. 7, Nebraska No. 12, Ohio State No. 13, Illinois No. 14, MSU No. 15, Purdue No. 22, and Wisconsin makes its season debut in the poll at No. 25.
Friday's win over Oregon was head coach Cathy George's 150th at Michigan State. George currently has a record of 516-339 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 516 wins.
All-America Jenna Wrobel `99 will be inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame on Thursday. She holds eight school records and was a freshman on MSUs"s 1995 Final Four team. Her induction class includes Henry Bullough (football), Kip Miller (hockey), Ryan Miller (hockey) and Morris Peterson (basketball).
MSU's 3.02 blocks per set is second in the Big Ten and ranks 11th nationally.
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's freshman class was rated the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation, per PrepVolleyball.com. Outside hitter Chloe Reinig, who has yet to make her Spartan debut due to illness, was the No. 4 senior recruit in the country, and earned a spot in MSU's starting lineup before the season.
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's home attendance, 5,347 fans over two home dates, currently ranks 12th nationally; its average of 2,674 per game ranks ninth. MSU's attendance of 33,717 fans in 2012 ranked 17th nationally.
Wicinski is looking to become just the ninth player in Big Ten Conference history to hit 2,000 kills. Two other MSU players are on that list: Jenna Wrobel (2,296) and Veronica Morales (2,006). The Big Ten record is 2,798, held by Ohio State's Stacey Gordon.
Wicinski is eighth in the Big Ten in kills/set (3.80) and is fifth in points (4.68/set).
The first NCAA Statistical ranking of the 2013 season was released on Tuesday, and Wicinski leads the country's active players in several categories. She ranks first among active players in career kills (1,945), kills/set (4.8), total attempts (4,441), and aces (229); she's tied for seventh in sets played (405) and tied for 15th in matches played (111).
Alexis Mathews tied her career best with 15 kills and added five blocks in a 3-1 win over No. 12 Oregon, and added eight kills and a tied her season high with six blocks in a sweep of Oregon State. She hit .583 against the Beavers and .480 against Oregon. Her career hitting percentage (.338) is second all-time at MSU.
Mathews is seventh nationally (and third in the Big Ten) in hitting percentage (.509) and is 70th in blocks per set (1.24), which is thrd in the Conference.
Mathews is primed to move into the Big Ten's 500-blocks club. She would become the 36th athlete to join that group, which includes MSU players Angela Moreley (637), Dana Cooke (581), and Val Sterk (575). With 466 blocks, she moved past Vanessa King (458) in the MSU record book and is in sole possession of fourth place.
Mathews has tied her career best in kills (15) and hitting percentage (.667) over the last two weekends.
Freshman Allyssah Fitterer ranks sixth in the Big Ten in blocks/set, (1.19). Fitterer has the team's best single-game blocking total this season, with nine against Virginia Tech on Aug. 31.
Taylor Galloway, who left the Pacific match opening weekend with injury and missed the Virginia Tech match later that day, returned to action last weekend against Oregon and Oregon State. On the weekend, she had 17 kills, 12 digs, and six blocks.
Ryian Hubbard contributed 10 assists in each match last weekend, extending her streak to three straight games with double-digit assists. Hubbard has assumed setting duties while sophomore (and 2012 Big Ten All-Rookie Team setter) Halle Peterson has been out with injury. Hubbard, who was a setter on four straight state championships teams in high school, had three career assists in her first two seasons at MSU.
Hubbard also contributed four service aces, a career best, against Oregon. She had three aces in her first two seasons.
Kelsey Kuipers matched her career best with six blocks against Oregon State on Saturday. She also had five kills in the match.
Junior Kori Moster, the defending Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, ranks third in the Conference in digs/set (4.33)
Moster enters the weekend with 1,167 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.
Kristen Kelsay owns 2,361 career assists, which ranks seventh at MSU all-time. Vicki Basil is ahead of her in sixth place with 2,408. This season, she ranks seventh in the Big Ten in assists/set (7.95).
Jazmine White's eight service aces finds her third in the Big Ten in aces/set (0.57).
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.
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.
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