Dec. 1, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Michigan State volleyball will make its second straight appearance in the second round and will face defending National Champion UCLA on Saturday night at Pauley Pavilion. The Spartans defeated San Diego, 3-2, and the Bruins swept LIU Brooklyn to advance to the second round. The match is set for 10 p.m. ET and will be streamed live.
San Diego in Five
The Spartans advanced to the second round by defeating San Diego in five-sets last night. MSU hit .500 percent in the final set and notched 10 kills to along with zero errors. The Spartans were led by double-doubles from both Alexis Mathews and Lauren Wicinski. Mathews recorded 14 kills and 10 blocks, while Wicinski had 20 kills and 10 digs and also had three service aces.
Career-High for Moster
Kori Moster, Big Ten Defensive Player of the year, led the Spartans defensively in the match against the Toreros and recorded a career-high 29 digs. Moster now had 1,035 career digs at MSU and is second all-time in a single season at Michigan State.
Free Live Coverage of the Tournament
All weekend matches will be streamed live and at no cost for fans wishing to watch the Spartans in California. Michigan State vs. UCLA will be streamed at www.pac-12.com/live/uclabruins.
A Glance at UCLA
The defending national champion Bruins are the seventh-seed in the tournament and earned the right to host by finishing in to top-16. UCLA took down LIU Brooklyn last night 3-0. UCLA finished the regular season at 22-7 and tied for fourth in the Pac-12 at 14-6. Senior Tabi Love leads the Bruins with 4.54 kills per set and senior Rachael Kidder isn't too far behind at 4.00 kills per set. Libero Bojana Todorovic averages 3.90 digs per set and freshman Becca Strehlow and sophomore Megan Moenoa each average over 10 assists per set.
Series History: The Spartans are 0-4 all-time against the Bruins.
Last Meeting: MSU fell to UCLA in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2000, 3-2.
Coach: Michael Sealy is in his third season at UCLA and led the Bruins to a National Championship last year.
A Look at the Spartans
Michigan State is led on the outside by junior Lauren Wicinski; she leads the team and the conference in points (5.31), and service aces (0.66) and is second in the Big Ten in kills per set (4.39). Alexis Mathews, a native of Detroit, Mich., is the anchor in the middle for the Spartans and she is fifth in the conference with 1.20 blocks per set and also has a .385 hitting percentage, also fifth-best in the Big Ten. Sophomore libero Kori Moster ranks second in the Big Ten with 4.53 digs per set, and also averages 0.26 service aces per set. At setter, Kristen Kelsay leads the Spartans with 7.03 assists per set and is ninth in the conference with 0.28 service aces per set. Freshman Halle Peterson also chips in with 4.68 assists 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 509-337. The Spartans made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a season ago.
Spartans Out West
Michigan State is making its 15th NCAA Tournament appearance and the third in the last four seasons. The Spartans made it to the second round last season after defeating Arizona, before falling to top-seeded Texas. MSU's best finish in the tournament was in 1995 when they made it to the national semifinals.
Wicinski in the Record Book
Lauren Wicinski sits alone atop the single season record book for aces in a season. Wicinski has recorded 77 aces on the season and broke the previous record of 75 at home against Michigan. Previous record holder Jane Zenner had held the mark since 1983.
All-Big Ten Accolades
Michigan State volleyball had four individuals recognized on Tuesday, Nov. 27 as the Big Ten Conference released the postseason honors and awards for the 2012 season. Kori Moster earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was also named All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. Junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski was named to the 16-member All-Big Ten team and Halle Peterson was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. Kristen Kelsay, a co-captain, was MSU's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship award.
- Moster, a co-captain, led the team in digs this season with 530 and was second in the conference with a mark of 4.53 per set. She also moved into second place all-time for digs in a single season at Michigan State.
- Wicinski led the team in kills, aces and points this season and was seventh in the NCAA and first in the Big Ten with 5.31 points per set. She is also second in the Big Ten and 21st in the NCAA with 4.39 kills per set and ranked third in the NCAA and first in the Big Ten in aces with 0.66.
- Peterson has played in 113 sets this season and proved a vital role in the Spartans' 6-2 offense averaging 4.68 assists per set and recorded two double-doubles this season.
- Kelsay has started at setter in all 32 matches this season and has notched double-digit assists in all 32 contests. The Wheaton, Ill., native averages 7.03 assists per set and also ranks ninth in the Big Ten in service aces with 0.28 per set.