MSU Volleyball is Back at Home to Host No. 20 Ohio State
Oct. 19, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State volleyball takes on No. 20 Ohio State at Jenison Field House on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m., and the match will be streamed live on BTN.com. MSU swept Michigan on Wednesday night, capturing its first win in Ann Arbor since 2006.
A Look at the Spartans Michigan State is led on the outside by junior Lauren Wicinski and senior Amy Dentlinger. Wicinski leads MSU and tops the conference in both points (5.21) and service aces per set (0.56). Dentlinger averages 2.58 kills per set while Wicinski records 4.35 per set, also best in the Big Ten. Alexis Mathews is the anchor in the middle for the Spartans and she averages 1.31 blocks per set, good for third in the conference and is also fifth in the conference with a .399 hitting percentage. Sophomore libero Kori Moster reels in 4.48 digs per set, third best in the conference and also averages 0.32 service aces per set. At setter, Kristen Kelsay leads the Spartans with 7.21 assists per set and freshman Halle Peterson brings in 4.72 per set.
Michigan State head coach Cathy George is in her eighth season at the helm of the Spartans and has a career record of 502-333. MSU made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a season ago.
Michigan Recap The Spartans swept Michigan, 3-0, and snapped a three-match losing streak in the process. Michigan State won by scores of 25-20, 25-17 and 25-20 to pick up its first win in Ann Arbor since 2006 when the Spartans beat Michigan 3-0 in Cliff Keen Arena.
Sophomore Taylor Galloway netted another double-double, her fourth of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs. Junior Lauren Wicinski led all players with 18 kills and had nine digs against the Wolverines. MSU hit .312 percent in the match and held Michigan to just .113 percent on the night.
Scouting Ohio State The Buckeyes were swept by Penn State on Wednesday, Oct. 17, and fell to Purdue, 3-1, before defeating Indiana, 3-1, last weekend. Senior Mari Hole leads the Buckeyes and is sixth in the conference with 3.92 kills per set. Fellow senior Emily Danks ranks fourth in the Big Ten in service aces and junior Davionna DiSalvatore brings in 3.77 digs per set. Ohio State is 14-7 and 5-4 in the Big Ten.
Series History: MSU trails 27-43 in the all-time series.
EVE Night All fans who bring two canned goods, or new or gently used winter coats, scarves, mittens and gloves will receive free admission to the match on Saturday night against Ohio State. These items will be donated to EVE, an organization to help End Violent Encounters.
Promotions on Saturday The first 500 fans in attendance on Saturday night will receive a certificate for a free dessert at Chili's, while supplies last. And also members of the Jr. Spartans wearing their t-shirt will get in free, along with two parents.
Back on Track MSU snapped its first losing streak of the season beating Michigan on Wednesday night after dropping its last three matches before the meeting in Ann Arbor. Michigan State hadn't lost three in a row since the 2010 season.
One Step Closer to Retaining the Flag The Spartans took one step closer to keeping the "State Pride" Flag in East Lansing after sweeping Michigan on Wednesday. Beginning in 1990 the two state of Michigan began a "State Pride" season series to celebrate the in-state rivalry. A state of Michigan flag bearing the motto "Tuebor" or "I will defend," serves as a symbol of the of the volleyball rivalry.
Michigan State will host the Wolverines on Nov. 21 to decide the "State Pride" winner on either matches won, games won, or total points.
Wicinski Leading the Big Ten Junior Lauren Wicinski is leading the conference in points per set (5.21), kills (4.35) and aces (0.56), in her first action in the Big Ten after transferring from Northern Illinois. Wicinski has notched more than 10 kills in 19 of 21 matches this season at outside hitter.
Five Set Demise The Spartans are 1-3 in five-set matches this season but have lost their last three to conference opponents. MSU fell to Illinois last weekend after taking a 2-0 lead and dropped five-set matches earlier in the season to Purdue and Minnesota. All three conference opponents were ranked at the time and the Spartans only win in five sets came against IPFW at the Spartan Invitational.
Double-Double Action Four different Spartans have recorded at least one double-double this season and the most recent being Taylor Galloway on the road at Michigan, Galloway recorded 10 kills and 11 digs in the match, recording her fourth double-double of the season. Galloway and Lauren Wicinski each notched double-double against Illinois last weekend. Wicinski had 22 kills and 18 digs against the Fighting Illini and Galloway recorded 11 kills and 14 digs. It was the sixth double-double of the season for Wicinski.
Big Ten Level Volleyball After starting the season 12-0 in non-conference play, MSU is 4-5 in the Big Ten. Four of its five losses have come against ranked opponents in the conference.
Michigan State has battled a statistical letdown as well as the competition level has increased. MSU is hitting just .224 percent in conference play and was averaging a mark above .300 in non-conference play. Opponents in the Big Ten are averaging a .218 hitting percentage against MSU.
National Attendance Figures Currently the Spartans rank No. 23 in total attendance during the 2012 season among all NCAA Division I teams. This marks the eighth straight season MSU has been ranked in the top-25 in national attendance and is averaging 1,583 fans through 10 home matches this season.
Coverage on the Big Ten Digital Network The Spartans next three conference matches will each be featured on the Big Ten Digital Network and streamed live on BTN.com. Fans can follow Michigan State volleyball starting with the match-up against Ohio State on Saturday, Oct. 20, followed by road contests at Indiana and Purdue.
Hitting Percentage Tells the Story The Spartans have been out hit in five matches this season and has lost each one of them. Michigan State dropped matches to then-No. 6 Nebraska and then-No. 17 Purdue, before losing a five-set heartbreaker at No. 10 Minnesota on Oct. 6. This past weekend, MSU was out-hit by both Northwestern and then-No. 22 Illinois, losing both Big Ten matches.
Coaching Milestone for George Head coach Cathy George became the 34th active coach to reach 500 career wins after MSU swept Iowa on Saturday, Sept. 29. George currently has a record of 502-333 during her 26 years of coaching and is in her eighth year at MSU. George has also compiled wins at North Dakota State, Texas-Arlington, and Western Michigan.
Defensive Player of the Week Junior middle blocker Alexis Mathews was been named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Monday, Sept. 17. Mathews averaged 1.70 blocks per set and also had 2.6 kills per set. She recorded 17 blocks at the Holiday Inn Charleston/Mt.Pleasant Invitational and was named to the named to the All-Tournament Team. Mathews is the second MSU player to receive conference recognition this season.
Sophomore Kori Moster garnered Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday, Sept. 3.
Quick Out of the Gate Michigan State got out to a 12-0 start to open the season, its third best start in program history before losing to then-No. 17 Purdue, 3-2. The mark of 12-0 ties the 2009 start. The Spartans best start was in 1975 when they began the season at 19-0 mark in 1975. It tied the best start during head coach Cathy George's tenure.
Freshman Making an Impact
Setter Halle Peterson has been a huge addition to the Spartans offense and is averaging 4.72 assists per set for MSU. She recorded her first career double-double against IPFW with 27 assists and 12 digs and has notched double-digit assists in 19 of the 21 matches this season.
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