B1G Home Openers vs. Maryland, OSU on Tap for Volleyball
Spartans welcome fans to Jenison for Big Ten schedule
|Big Ten Week Two: MSU vs. Maryland, (RV) Ohio State|
|Dates/Times|| Friday, Sept. 29 vs. Maryland; 7 pm
Saturday., Sept. 30 vs. Ohio State; 8 pm
|Location||East Lansing, Mich.; Jenison Field House|
|Live Statistics||vs. Maryland | vs. Ohio State|
|Tickets|| Purchase Tickets
Family Four Pack (Fri. Only) | Four Seats, Four Treats Package (Sat. Only)
|Live Video Streams||vs. Maryland | vs. Ohio State|
|Radio|| SpartanSportsNetwork.com |
John Kreger, pxp
|Download Game Notes||Michigan State | Maryland | Ohio State|
|Cathy George Weekly Press Conference||Watch|
|Social Media||@MichStVB | Facebook|
|Promotions|| FRIDAY: MSUFCU Night (two free tickets with MSUFCU membership card)
Children's Cancer Awareness Night
Donations of art supplies for Sparrow Hospital Pediatric Playroom accepted
SATURDAY: Free admission with MSU football vs. Iowa ticket stub
Alumni Recognition | Chloe Reinig All-America Banner Raising (post-game);
Autograph Session: Freshmen (post-game)
Michigan State has the opportunity to play in front of its home fans for the first time since Sept. 2 as it opens its home Big Ten schedule against Maryland (Friday) and Ohio State (Saturday) at Jenison Field House.
MSU will have a radio broadcast of all matches - home and away - throughout the rest of the season. John Kreger returns behind the mic for the call on SpartanSportsNetwork.com.
Live statistics for both matches will be available via Gametracker, accessible on MSUSpartans.com.
Both matches this weekend will air on BTN2Go.
Friday night's match is an MSUFCU match, and members can show their MSUFCU card at the door to gain two free admissions to the game. Tickets can also be claimed in advance by visiting the MSUFCU Community Events page..
Anyone attending Saturday afternoon's MSU football game vs. Iowa can show their ticket stub at the door to gain free admission to the volleyball match vs. Ohio State.
This will be MSU Volleyball's Alumni Weekend, and the alumni will be recognized during the intermission of Saturday's game against Ohio State.
Friday evening, MSU will hold it's annual Children's Cancer Awareness Night. The team will be wearing Lacey's Laces, and will be accepting donations of new art supplies for the Sparrow Hospital Pediatric playroom at the door. Fans are asked to consider a donation (either cash or of art supplies) for this worthy cause.
After Saturday's game against Ohio State, the Spartans will raise Chloe Reinig's All-America banner to the rafters of Jenison Field House. Reinig played for the Spartans from 2013-16 and earned Honorable Mention All-America honors in 2014 as a sophomore. She was a two-time All-Region selection, 2014 All-Big Ten honoree, and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three times.
Michigan State opened Conference play on a high note, downing No. 5 Wisconsin (3-2) and No. 1 Minnesota (3-0) in road matches. The Spartans snapped a five-game skid against the Badgers, and also ended the Gophers' 40-game home match winning streak that dated back to 2014.
The Spartans began Big Ten play with a 2-0 record for the first time since 2013. That season, the Spartans knocked off No. 1 Penn State 3-2 and No. 13 Ohio State 3-0 in a pair of road matches.
Michigan State catapulted up to No. 16 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) national poll. MSU began the season at No. 17 and was among teams receiving votes last week.
MSU took town top-five opponents in back-to-back games for the first time in program history.
The Spartans won their fifth consecutive Big Ten opener, dating back to a 2013 win at No. 1 Penn State.
The Spartans went 7-2 in non-conference action, dropping true road contests at Georgia Tech and (RV) Notre Dame. The Spartans won two of the three tournaments they played, and had one entire weekend of games (at No. 2 Florida, and against American and UNC-Greensboro) washed out due to Hurricane Irma.
The Big Ten again promises to be the pacesetter in Division I volleyball this season, despite losing the most 2016 All-Americans (9) to graduation of any conference in the country. The Big Ten returns 17 2016 All-Americans, six more than the Big 12 (11) and seven more than the Pac-12 and SEC (10 each).
The Big Ten went a combined 128-27 in non-conference action (.826), just edging out the Pac-12 (104-22, .825). The SEC also won more than 100 games, going 105-40 (.724).
Seven Big Ten programs earned spots in the latest AVCA coaches poll, with four teams ranked among the top 10: No. 3 Minnesota, No. 3 Penn State, No. 7 Wisconsin, and No. 8 Nebraska. The Spartans sit at No. 16 Michigan State, followed by No. 18 Purdue and No. 23 Michigan. Illinois and Ohio State are receiving votes in the poll.
MSU is 7-0 all-time against Maryland, one of the most recent additions to the Big Ten Conference. Four of those meetings came prior to the Terps joining the B1G, and the teams have met just once each season in the three years of Maryland's membership. Steve Aird's team enters the weekend at 12-2 on the season and 1-1 after the first week of Big Ten play, and is led by Michigan native Gia Milana, who averaged 3.18 kills and 2.36 digs per set. Erica Pritchard is second on the team in kills (3.04) , and Hailey Murray is third with 2.06 kills and second in blocks (1.06)
MSU trails the all-time series against Ohio State by a 31-46 margin. The teams split their meetings in 2016, each winning 3-0 on their home court. MSU has won four of the last six meetings overall. Luisa Schirmer leads the attack with 3.0 kills per set and adds 2.58 digs, and Ashley Wentz is third with 2.51 kills per frame. Veteran Audra Appold has been out with an injury in recent matches, and she averages 2.71 kills per set. Lauren Witte is OSU's blocking leader with 1.22 per frame.
The Spartan victories on the weekend were fueled much by MSU successes instead of opponent errors. Of MSU's 101 points scored in the Badger win, MSU had 63 kills, 13 blocks and four aces (80 points) - which included 100 kills and three blocks in the fifth set. Against Minnesota on Sunday, MSU had 55 kills and six blocks along with six aces. (67 of 75 points).
MSU is holding opponents to a .128 hitting percentage, which ranks second in the Big Ten and fifth nationally. Corpus Christi hit .211 (9/2) - the high for the opponents MSU has faced. MSU has held five of 11 opponents to under .100 this season.
The Spartans are second in the Big Ten and rank 21st nationally in service aces (1.69 per set), while ranking third in the conference and 15th nationally in blocks (2.90/s). MSU is also in the top 40 nationally in kills (14.14, 25th), assists (13.19, 31st), and digs (16.75, 39th). MSU has 61 service aces on the season, and has allowed just 31. Wisconsin had a season-high six against the Spartans (Sept. 22).
MSU's 13 blocks at Wisconsin (9/22) tied its season best, set vs. Notre Dame (9/15) The Spartans remain second in the Big Ten with 2.90 blocks per set, and have had seven double-digit blocking efforts in 11 matches.
With 16.75 digs per set, the Spartans are atop the B1G rankings. MSU had a season-high 84 digs vs. the Badgers and had four players with double-digit digs, led by Autumn Bailey's 25.
MSU continues to have a well-distributed offense. In each of the two matches last weekend, the Spartans had three players in double-figure kills, and on the season has four players averaging between 2.5 and 3.24 kills per frame.
The Spartan senior class was the No. 6 recruiting class in the country back in 2014, while the current freshman class was ranked No. 9 this past summer by PrepVolleyball.
Cathy George celebrated her 600th career victory with the 3-0 sweep of San Diego State (Sept. 1), and needs nine to become the all-time winningest coach in Spartan history. Annelies Knoppers won 250 games from 1974-84, and Chuck Erbe was 244-140 in his 12-year tenure (1993-2004). George is 241-165 in her 13th season at MSU.
George is the third Big Ten head coach to amass 600 wins, along with Penn State's Russ Rose (1,218) and Wisconsin's John Cook (632). She ranks 22nd among active coaches in coaching victories.
Eight of MSU's nine victories this season have come by 3-0 scores. The Green and White owned 18 three-set victories in 34 matches last season. The Spartans went 18-6 in three-set matches overall, 5-0 in four-setters, and were 2-3 in their five-set affairs.
The Spartans are one of just three Big Ten programs to finish .500 or better in Big Ten play in each of the last six seasons -- Penn State and Nebraska are the other two.
Michigan State shattered single-game and a pair of single-season attendance records last season. MSU had a program best 6,838 fans for Jam Jenison on Nov. 12 vs. Michigan, and ranked sixth in the country in both total attendance (53,895) and average attendance (2,994), both program bests. Before the 2017 pre-season camp began, MSU had established a new program mark with more than 1,000 season tickets sold.
MSU garnered considerable attention in the national awards this week, as Autumn Bailey was named the VolleyMob National Player of the Week and Rachel Minarick was the PrepVolleyball National Player of the Week.
Bailey was also the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the first weekly honor for the Spartans in 2017.
In six of 11 matches this season, the Spartans have gone with an all-senior starting lineup: OH's Autumn Bailey, Brooke Kranda, and Holly Toliver, MB's Alyssa Garvelink and Megan Tompkins, setter Rachel Minarick, and libero Abby Monson. In the games vs. Corpus Christi and Central Michigan, sophomore setter Maggie Midgette got the nod, dishing out a career-best 38 assists in each game, a pair of 3-0 sweeps. Jamye Cox has earned the libero jersey and started there the last four matches.
A key to the Spartans' success this season is a widely-distributed offense (and defense). MSU boasts four players averaging between 2.58 and 3.24 kills per set, three who average 1.03 blocks per set or more, and five starters boast dig averages of 2.8 or more per set.
An outside hitter, Bailey averaged 4.75 digs per frame, committed just one reception error in 43 attempts (.977), and added 3.75 kills per set as MSU swept perhaps the most difficult road swing in the Big Ten this season, at No. 5 Wisconsin (3-2) and No. 1 Minnesota (3-0). In the first match of the weekend, she established her MSU career best with 25 digs and added 16 kills for her first double-double of the season. She added a second double-double on Sunday at No. 1 Minnesota to the tune of 13 digs, 14 kills, and an assist.
Autumn Bailey currently is second among the Spartans with 3.06 kills per frame, is hitting .230, and is averaging 3.77 digs and 0.20 aces per set. She ranks second on the team and 10th in the Big Ten in digs per set - the only six-rotation player in the league to rank in the top 15 in digs.
Bailey established a new MSU-career high with 25 digs at Wisconsin, and then contributed 16 digs in the most recent match at Minnesota - both which eclipsed her previous season high of 15. She has had seven matches with double-digit digs.
With her eight kills against Southern Illinois, Bailey moved past the 1,500 mark for her career. With 1,059 in her two seasons at Marquette and 474 in a Spartan uniform, Bailey sits at 1,533 - good for eighth among active Division I players. She also has 1,213 career digs, which is 59th.
Minarick had an impressive weekend as well. On Friday at Wisconsin, she was just off her career bests in both assists (53) and blocks (6), while adding three kills, five digs, and an ace in a five-set win. On Sunday, she contributed 43 assists in three sets to go along with four kills, 10 digs and three blocks for her third double-double of the season.
Minarick set MSU to 55 kills in the Minnesota match, a three-set sweep. On the weekend, she averaged 12.0 assists, 1.12 blocks, and 1.88 digs per frame.
Minarick averages 10.47 assists (10th, B1G), 0.50 aces (second, B1G/21st nationally), and 2.47 digs per set. She is currently sixth all-time at MSU with 3,722 career assists. She needs just 20 to move past fifth-place Natalie Emro (3,742, 2008-11), and 51 to catapult into third place all-time - Courtney DeBolt had 3,773 (1992-95).
Minarick is 14th among all current Division I players in career assists.
Brooke Kranda averages 3.24 kills per set to lead the MSU offense, (14th in the Big Ten) and is averaging 1.03 blocks and 0.32 aces per set (14th, B1G).
Last weekend, Kranda averaged 4.38 kills, 1.0 digs, and 0.5 blocks per set in MSU's two B1G victories. She had 20 kills in the Wisconsin win (Sept. 22), two off her career best. She then turned in a match-best 15 kills and two aces at Minnesota (Sept. 24).
Holly Toliver ranks third on the team kills per set (3.0) and is contributing 2.0 digs and 0.49 aces, and 0.54 blocks per frame. She is third in the B1G and 33rd nationally in aces per set.
Toliver had 12 each kills and digs, and also chipped in three blocks, in the win at Wisconsin, and then had 10 kills, three assists, three aces, three blocks, and seven digs in the win over the Gophers.
Alyssa Garvelink will graduate as one of MSU's top blockers in school history. She currently ranks fifth all-time at MSU in both total blocks (471) and block assists (423). Her 1.23 blocks per set average over four years is fourth all-time at MSU.
Garvelink currently second in the B1G and third nationally in the B1G in blocks per set (1.81), which is her career-best average. Her hitting percentage of .354 ranks 14th in the Conference, and she's contributing 2.54 kills/set.
Garvelink continues to be a major focus for opposing defenses, as she was limited to seven and eight kills last weekend; she led all players with nine blocks in the Wisconsin match, however (tying her season best) and adding three against the Gophers.
Three Spartans average better than a block per set: Garvelink, Brooke Kranda (1.03) and Megan Tompkins (1.03). Garvelink is fifth among active NCAA Division I players in total career blocks (471), and is 11th in blocks per set (1.23).
Senior middle Megan Tompkins is averaging 1.03 blocks per set (good for third on the team), and also chipping in 1.23 kills per frame.
Tompkins established a season best with seven blocks against Notre Dame (Sept. 15). She tied for the team high in that match with Brooke Kranda. She had seven combined blocks in the two B1G matches last weekend (0.88/s)
Abby Monson had started 40 consecutive matches at libero, and is averaging 4.28 digs per set , good for sixth in the Big Ten in that category. She missed two matches with injury, but came in as a serving sub vs. Minnesota (her hometown) and delivered an ace in her first attempt.
Jamye Cox averaged 3.0 digs per set on the weekend for MSU, and has been the Spartan libero in each of the last four matches.
Cox has played the most sets of any of MSU's freshmen (35 of 36) and is averaging 2.80 digs per frame, good for third on the team behind Monson and Bailey. She is fourth in the Big Ten among freshmen in digs.
Three Senior Aces are among the five freshmen on MSU's 2017 roster. Alyssa Chronowski (No. 30), Jamye Cox (No. 40), and Meredith Norris (No. 25) all enrolled at MSU in January and already have a semester of college courses under their belts. Julia Hatcher and Bella Legarza round out the Spartan newcomers. In addition, redshirt freshman Lauren Swartz will see her first collegiate action this fall after redshirting a year ago and earning the team's Most Improved Award.
MSU has two 2017 graduates who are pursuing their graduate degrees at other universities and playing beach volleyball during their fifth year of collegiate eligibility: Allyssah Fitterer will play at Hawaii, and Chloe Reinig will play this spring at Loyola-Marymount in Los Angeles.
MSU has its first mid-week match of the season next Wednesday at No. 8 Nebraska, a match that will air live on BTN at 8 pm ET. The Spartans will then welcome No. 7 Wisconsin for a rematch on Saturday (Oct. 7). The gametime against the Badgers has been moved up to a 4 pm start.