Volleyball Hits the Road to Face Indiana, Purdue
Oct. 24, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State volleyball will face both Indiana and Purdue in road Big Ten contests this weekend. The Spartans will square off against the Hoosiers on Friday, Oct. 26 and against the Boilermakers on Saturday, Oct. 27. Both matches will be streamed live on BTN.com.
WATCH: Indiana and Purdue Preview
A Look at the Spartans Junior Lauren Wicinski leads MSU on the outside and tops the conference in points (5.38), service aces (0.58) and kills per set (4.49). Alexis Mathews, a Detroit, Mich. native, is the anchor in the middle for the Spartans and she is fourth in the conference with 1.28 blocks per set and also has a .390 hitting percentage, fifth-best in the Big Ten. Sophomore libero Kori Moster reels in 4.47 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 7.13 assists per set and freshman Halle Peterson brings in 4.71 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 502-334. MSU made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a season ago.
Recapping Last Week The Spartans snapped a three match losing streak and swept Michigan on Wednesday, Oct. 17, its first win in Ann Arbor since 2006. Taylor Galloway netted another double-double, her fourth of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs. MSU then lost a hard fought match to No. 20 Ohio State, 3-1, on Saturday, Oct. 20. Junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski paced MSU with 29 kills and had a .323 hitting percentage.
Scouting Indiana The Hoosiers are 10-12 on the season and are coming off 3-1 victories over both Purdue and Wisconsin last weekend. The Hoosiers are led by junior Jordan Haverly on the outside and she is seventh in the Big Ten with 3.92 kills per set. Freshman setter Katie Gallagher averages 10.42 assists per set and junior Caitlin Hansen averages 3.58 digs per set.
Series History: MSU is 44-28 against Indiana.
Scouting Purdue The Boilermakers are 14-7 and 5-5 in the Big Ten this season. No. 21 Purdue lost to both Indiana and Minnesota last weekend, 3-1. Senior Ariel Turner leads Purdue on the outside with 4.23 kills per set, third in the Big Ten. Junior Carly Cramer reels in 4.03 digs per set and Anna Drewry averages 1.10 blocks per set.
Series History: The Spartans trail Purdue, 28-47, in the all-time series.
Wicinski Player of the Week Junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski was named the Big Ten Player of the Week as announced by the conference office on Monday, Oct. 22. Wicinski tallied 18 kills, nine digs and two solo blocks in a 3-0 sweep at Michigan on Wednesday, Oct. 17. Against No. 20 Ohio State, Wicinski had a season-high 29 kills, four service aces, six digs and two blocks in a tough 3-1 loss to the Buckeyes. For the weekend, Wicinski recorded 6.7 kills per set and averaged a .333 hitting percentage.
Wicinski is the third Spartan to earn recognition from the Big Ten this season as Kori Moster and Alexis Mathews were each named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 3 and Sept. 17 respectively. Wicinski is the first Spartan to earn outright player of the week since Kyndra Abron on Aug. 31, 2009.
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. Wicinski contributed with 18 kills, nine digs and two solo blocks in a 3-0 sweep at Michigan on Wednesday, Oct. 17.
On the Road in the B1G Michigan State has two road contests impending is 3-2 this season away from home in the Big Ten. The Spartans have wins at Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan. Michigan State is just 1-4 at home in the conference.
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.
Mathews and Moster on Defense Junior middle blocker Alexis Mathews is fourth in the conference in blocks per set with 1.28 and Mathews is also second all-time in blocks per set at Michigan State. Mathews is also fifth in the Big Ten in hitting percentage with a .390 mark.
Libero Kori Moster is third in the conference in digs with 4.47 per set but is also on pace for second all-time at MSU in digs per set. Moster also is eighth in the conference in service aces with 0.32 per set. Both Mathews and Moster have been named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week this season.
Wicinski Leading the Big Ten Junior Lauren Wicinski is leading the conference in points per set (5.38), kills (4.49) and aces (0.58), in her first action in the Big Ten after transferring from Northern Illinois. Wicinski has notched more than 10 kills in 20 of 22 matches this season at outside hitter.
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 on Oct. 13. 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 4-6 in the Big Ten. Five of its six losses have come against ranked opponents in the conference.
Michigan State has struggled offensively as the competition level has increased. MSU is hitting .221 percent in conference play and was averaging a mark above .300 in non-conference play. Opponents in the Big Ten are averaging a .232 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 1,597 fans through 11 home matches this season.
Hitting Percentage Tells the Story The Spartans have been out hit in six matches this season and has lost each one of them. Michigan State fell to then-No. 20 Ohio State this past weekend 3-1 and all six matches have been against Big Ten opponents.
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.
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.
at the official