Sept. 19, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State volleyball will have its second All-America night this season and will recognize 2011 AVCA Third-Team All-American Jenilee Rathje on Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m., before the match against Purdue. Previously, MSU volleyball honored Kyndra Abron for her 2009 All-America Honorable Mention. Rathje became the ninth All-American in program history and finished her career eighth in kills with 1,504.
Rathje led the team in kills during the 2011 season with 505 (4.17 per set), which ranked third in the Big Ten and top-25 in the nation. Her kill total was a career high and is the 10th-most in a MSU single-season. She also finished the season third on the team in digs with 257 (2.12 a set) and fifth in blocks with 61 (0.50 a set).
For her career, the Mt. Pleasant, Mich., native, is also first in MSU history in sets played (496) and matches played (142) and seventh in block assists (333).
Rathje was also a 2011 All-Big Ten selection, becoming the seventh Spartan to earn back-to-back first team honors, and picked as MSU's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. She was also picked to the AVCA All-Mideast Region team, becoming the first Spartan since 2007 to be named to the 14-member team.
Rathje defined the roles as a student-athlete and along with many athletic achievements she received numerous academic awards as well. Rathje was a second-team Academic All-American in 2011 and was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor, given to one male and female graduating athlete from each Big Ten institution that has attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work in 2011. She also received MSU's Dr. James Feurig Service and Achievement Award for her dedication, honesty, academic achievement and perseverance for the second straight year.