#22 Michigan State Sweeps Spartan Challenge

  0 Kaitlynn Bianconi | September 18th, 2016 | ACC, Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News


Michigan State Spartans, No. 22-ranked team, defeated the DePaul University Blue Demons in 3 (25-12, 25-24, 25-23) to close out the Spartan Classic.

The tight match had 25 score ties, and the Blue Demons lost by just two points in the final two sets. Spartan player Autumn Bailey was named Tournament MVP, with 9 kills, 1 ace and 5 digs against DePaul.

Michigan State jumped to a 7-2 lead in the first set, and controlled the game by keeping a consistent 5-point lead over DePaul through the set. The Blue Demons couldn’t seem to get going, leaving the Spartans open to claim a 13-lead for the final set point.

DePaul stepped it up in the second and third sets. Although Michigan State was able to take their biggest lead in the second game 21-15, DePaul’s service run from Caitlyn Coffey helped the Blue Demons come within a point of the Spartans. Michigan State only won by a two-point margin.

DePaul claimed its first lead in the match, with a 7-3 lead to open the third set. MSU had a 3-point run, but some unforced errors let DePaul answer and tied the score 15-15. Michigan State slid by with a win to end the tournament, but they got lucky- 7 of the total 11 errors the Spartans made in the match were committed in the third set.



Courtesy of Michigan State Athletics

No. 22 Michigan State improved to 11-1 on the year and captured the Spartan Classic title with a 3-0 win over DePaul (25-12, 25-23, 25-23) on Saturday evening. DePaul falls to 6-6 on the year and finishes third in the Spartan Classic field with a 1-2 weekend record; Notre Dame finished second with a 2-1 weekend mark and Maryland-Eastern Shore fell in all three matches they played.

The Spartans were led in the match by Holly Toliver’s double-double, hitting .435 (10-0-23) with two aces, 12 digs, and three blocks. Brooke Kranda abnd Autumn Bailey each had nine kills, with Kranda adding a season-best five blocks. Alyssa Garvelink hit .455 (6-1-11) and tied her season high with seven blocks.

The Spartans out-blocked their guests 10-4, and dialed up a season-best 11 service aces for the second straight game and third time this year. MSU hit .326 on the night, committing just 11 errors (four in the first two sets combined before seven in the third frame).

The match featured 25 tie scores and 14 lead changes between the teams, as the scrappy Blue Demons overcame a .040 hitting percentge in the first set to hit .429 in the second. DePaul had 38 digs to MSU’s 27, and fell by just two points in each of the final two sets.

Autumn Bailey earned Tournament MVP honors, posting nine kills, an ace, and five digs vs. the Blue Demons. On the weekend, the outside hitter averagd 4.22 kills per set and hit .405, adding eight service aces (0.89 per set) and 1.78 digs per set. Joining her on the All-Tournament team was teammates Garvelink and setter Rachel Minarick., as well as setter Colleen Smith of DePaul, who had a double-double with 19 assists and 12 digs.

Michigan State opens Big Ten play next weekend when it hosts Iowa (Friday) and Nebraska (Saturday) at Jenison Field House.

“I thought we let things get away from us a bit in the second two sets, and that can’t happen in a Big Ten match if we don’t want to pay for it dearly. We actually hit the ball really well in sets one and two. I thought that our offense was pretty balanced, and our serving game again was strong. In all, I think we have to be pleased with an 11-1 non-conference record, but we know that we start back at 0-0 on Monday when we start preparing for our Big Ten opener.”
— Head Coach Cathy George


  • SET ONE: MSU jumped out to a 7-2 advantage, and maintained the five-point advantage through a 12-7 lead. MSU reeled off three straight points to extend their lead to eight, at which point the Blue Demons called their second time out. MSU never took its foot off the gas, going up by 10 at 22-12 and closed it out with a pair of Garvelink blocks, sealing the 25-12 victory. Kranda and Toliver each with three kills, and Kranda added three big blocks. MSU hit .400 in the frame, as compared to .040 for their guiests.


  • SET TWO: The visiting Blue Demons didnt allow any big Spartan runs in the second frame, and MSU’s built to its largest lead at 21-15. DePaul cut it to three on a service run by Caitlyn Coffey that included two service aces, and then a killl by Myah Reed and a block by Jasmine King and Brittany Maxwell got them within a point of the Spartans at 23-22. The teams traded kills to make it 24-23, and Kranda ended the comeback attempt by the Blue Demons with her sixth kill of the night to secure a 25-23 set victory and 2-0 match lead. Toliver and Autumn Baileyeach had four kills in the set, while Kranda and Fitterer each posted three. MSU hit .419 in the set, but allowed DePaul 15-3-28 (.429), which kept the set close.


  • SET THREE: DePaul raced out to a 7-3 lead, but a Monson ace and some big swings by Toliver get the match back to 7-7. With the set tied 12-12, MSU reeled off three straight points on a kill and an ace by Minarick and a Toliver kill – but some Spartan miscues allowed DePaul to answer with a 3-0 run of its own to tie it back up at 15-15. The Spartans scored five of the next eight points to pull ahead 20-17, capped with Monson’s fourth ace of the night, her career high. The visitors, who let a 2-0 match lead slip away earlier in the day to Notre Dame, hung in on every point, and used a 4-0 run to pull ahead, 23-22. A block by Allyssah Fittererand Minarick tied the game at 23-23, a kill from Garvelink made it match point, and Garvelink and Kranda closed it out for MSU on a block at the right pin to secure the match win. MSU hit just .220 in the frame, committing seven of its 11 errors in that third set.


  • Holly Toliverhad 10 kills and hit a season-best .435 (10-0-23) and added 12 digs and three blocks for her second double-double of the season.
  • Brooke Krandafinished with nine kills and her season-best five blocks.
  • Alyssa Garvelinkhad six kills, hit.455, and a tied her season high with seven blocks.


  • MSU’s winning streak has reached six straight games, matching the Spartans’ longest winning streak in each of the last two seasons.
  • MSU’s record of 11-1 is the best non-conference ledger since the 2013 team started 11-1.
  • MSU had 11 service aces for the second straight match, and third time this season. MSU had 31 aces over three matches this weekend (3.44 per set)
  • The Spartans had a weekend high of 10 blocks, their fourth double-digit blocking match of the year.
  • Abby Monsondealt out a career-best four service aces, and added three digs and four assists.
  • Autumn Baileyhad a nine kills and five digs and added one block.
  • DePaul hit .220, the third-highest hitting percentage of any opponent this season.

2016 Spartan Classic All-Tournament Team

Mere Serea, Maryland-Eastern Shore
Colleen Smith, DePaul
Jemma Yeadon, Notre Dame
Katie Higgins, Notre Dame
Alyssa Garvelink, Michigan State
Rachel Minarick, Michigan State
MVP: Autumn Bailey, Michigan State


Spartan Stats

Holly Toliver (10 kills, 2 aces, 12 digs, 3 blocks)
Brooke Kranda (9 kills, 5 blocks)
Autumn Bailey (9 kills, 1 ace, 5 digs, 1 block)

Follow the Spartans on Facebook, Instagram @michstvb and Twitter @MichStVB


Courtesy of DePaul Athletics

EAST LANSING, Mich. – In the final match of the Spartan Classic and non-conference schedule, DePaul fell to No. 22 Michigan State, 3-0 (25-12, 25-23, 25-23). The Blue Demons finish the non-conference slate with an even 6-6 record, while Michigan State moves to 11-1.

Colleen Smith closed the weekend with a double-double for the Blue Demons with 19 assists and 12 digs. Smith was named to the All-Tournament Team at the end of the night.

Brittany Maxwell tied for the match-high in kills with 10. Maxwell and Caitlyn Coffey recorded a team-high three total blocks each.

Returning to the court on short rest, DePaul opened the match against Michigan State with a 3-3 tie. The Spartans recorded the next five points to grab the advantage. As the set continued, MSU built on its lead and eventually won the opening frame, 25-12.

The second set featured a strong answer from the Blue Demons. DePaul and Michigan State battled throughout the frame early that featured 12 ties and a score of 15-15. After this point in the set, MSU went on a 6-0 rally, but DePaul battled back. The Blue Demons rallied for four straight points, thanks to two Coffey service aces, and were back in the set, only down by two. Later in the frame, Jasmine King secured a kill that cut the deficit to one, 24-23, but the Spartans answered with set point.

Much like the second set, the third set featured tight play between the two teams. A total of eight ties early in the frame had neither side jumping out to a lead larger than three. With the score set at 15-all, the Spartans produced a 3-0 rally and held the lead late into the frame. Down by three at 21-18, a clutch 5-1 run by DePaul gave the Blue Demons the lead. The Spartans closed the set on a 3-0 rally and won the match.

Saturday marked the end of the non-conference slate for the Blue Demons. DePaul now looks to BIG EAST play when the Blue Demons open at Providence on Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. CT.

2016 Spartan Classic All-Tournament Team

Mere Serea, Maryland-Eastern Shore
Colleen Smith, DePaul
Jemma Yeadon, Notre Dame
Katie Higgins, Notre Dame
Alyssa Garvelink, Michigan State
Rachel Minarick, MIchigan State
MVP: Autumn Bailey, MIchigan State

Blue Demon Numbers

Brittany Maxwell (10 kills, 1 ace, 1 dig, 3 blocks)
Caitlyn Coffey (7 kills, 2 aces, 1 dig, 3 blocks)
Jameson MacPhie (7 kills, 1 dig, 1 block)

Keep track of the Blue Demons on Facebook, Twitter @DePaul_Vball and Instagram @depaul_vball

Michigan State Dominates Notre Dame


No. 22 Michigan State volleyball team defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in straight sets (25-17, 25-13, 25-19) to open the Spartan Classic Friday night.

Before the game, senior Chloe Reinig was recognized for earning 1,000 career kills, becoming the first Michigan State player to achieve the milestone since 2013, and the 21st player overall to earn the honor.

The Spartans kept a comfortable lead through the beginning part of the first set. MSU’s offense was crushing Notre Dame, with just two errors in the first set overall. The kills the Spartans were racking up showed in the score- they led 16-10, and quickly 22-16. MSY closed it out with more kills to claim the 25-17 win.

Notre Dame lost an early lead in the opening of the second set, but after a well-placed timeout, the Irish were able to come back to tie the score 6-6. The Spartans had a 6-0 run that had the Irish scrambling to stop their momentum. Michigan State pushed its lead to 19-10, and only allowed Notre Dame 3 more points in the set.

The Fighting Irish leapt to an 8-5 lead in the third set, but gave the Spartans a sideout to seal their fate. MSU tied up the game, and continued with a 12-3 run. Although the Irish tried to mount a small run, but they couldn’t fight off match point.



Courtesy of Michigan State Athletics

SPARTAN SYNOPSIS- Michigan State took down Notre Dame in straight sets (25-17, 25-13, 25-19) on Friday evening in their first game of the Spartan Classic at Jenison Field House. The Spartans improve to 9-1 on the season, while the Irish fall to 7-3.

The Spartans came out of the gate with hot hands, hitting .519 in the opening set, and hit .367 for the match – their season high. The Spartans held the Irish to just .086 for the match, the sixth opponent held to a .100 hitting percentage or lower. MSU also served up nine service aces and had 41 digs, getting three players with seven digs or more.

Prior to the game, senior Chloe Reinig was honored for surpassing 1,000 career kills, She is the first Spartan to reach that milestone since Lauren Wicinski in 2013, and the 21st player in program history.

MSU is back in action for its final non-conference matches of the season on Saturday, taking on Maryland-Eastern Shore (11:30 am) and DePaul (6 pm) at Jenison Field House.

“I was really pleased with much of what we did tonight. I thought it really all started from our serve – we were aggressive and served well, and that led to a lot of opportunities for us throughout the match. We obviously hit really well, too – and it was nice to see some of our players break through with a good night. We’ll have to turn this around quickly to play two matches tomorrow, but the focus will continue to be on what we do and tightening up some things that we’d like to see executed a bit better.”
Head Coach Cathy George

  • SET ONE: MSU maintained a lead between two and four points for most of the early part of the opening frame. Reinig was the hot hand early with kills on three of her first four swings, and MSU was out to a 12-9 lead hitting .529 ( 9-1-17). The Spartans were tallying kills at a rapid rate, committing just two errors in the frame overall. MSU scored five of the next six points to go ahead 16-10, and kept pressing – the Spartans pulled ahead by eight – their largest lead – at 22-16, and closed it out on kills by Kranda and Bailey for a 25-17 set one victory. MSU got five kills from Bailey in the set (5-0-8, .625) and four each from Reinig and Kranda as the Spartans hit .519 (16-2-27) to open the match.


  • SET TWO: Irish coach Jim McLaughlin called an early time out as his team fell behind 4-1 early, but Notre Dame battled back to tie it at 6-6.Autumn Baileystepped in to serve after the Spartan sideout, and dished out a pair of aces in MSU’s 6-0 run to double up their visitors, and Notre Dame called a time out to try to stall MSU’s momentum. The Spartans continued their hot run, pushing their lead to seven and eventually nine, 19-10. Every Spartan tip and attempt was seemingly a golden touch, as MSU closed out the second set with a 25-13 win to take a 2-0 match lead. Bailey added six kills and four digs, while Fitterer and Garvelink each had four kkills. Monson came up with seven big digs in the set.


  • SET THREE: Notre Dame took its largest lead of the night at 8-5 in the third set, but a service error gave MSU the sideout, and a Bailey kill and an Irish shot wide tied the frame at 8-8. MSU continued on to post an 12-3 run, limiting their visitors to a -.042 hitting percentage as they built to a 17-11 lead. The Spartans got impressive play from back row playersAbby Monsonand Kristen Brashear, who both were in double-digit kills by the middle of the third set. The Spartans weathered a small Irish run, holding a 22-18 edge with Toliver stepping in to serve – she delivered up an ace, the Spartans’ eighth of the night. The Irish fought off match point, but Bailey stepped in and served up her third ace of the night to seal a 25-19 third-set victory and the 3-0 sweep.



  • MSU had nine service aces, the fourth straight match with five or more. The Spartans’ season high is 11, set vs. Morgan State on Sept. 3.
  • The Spartans hit a season-best .367 (44-11-90), but tied for a season-low with just three team blocks.
  • Notre Dame hit .086 in the match, MSU’s sixth opponent it has held to .100 or lower.
  • The Green and White captured their seventh three-set victory in 10 matches. MSU is 7-1 in three-set matches overall.
  • Abby Monsonhad 13 digs and seven assists, her fourth double-digit dig outing in the last five mathes..
  • Chloe Reinigwas honored before the match for her 1,000 career kills. She had the second-most in the match with 8, pushing her career total to 1,057.
  • Brooke Krandatied her career best with three service aces for the second consecutive game. She also had three vs. Morgan State. (Sept. 3) and Western Kentucky (Sept. 10). She also had season-bests of seven kills and 16 swings.
  • Allyssah Fitterer’s7-0-9 performance (.778) is her highest hitting percentage of the season. She hit .533 in her last match vs. Western Kentucky.
  • Autumn Baileyhad 14 kills for the second consecutive match, hitting a season-best .407 (14-3-27) and tying her season high of three service aces.
  • Kristen Brashearhad her first double-digit dig performance in a Spartan uniform, with 10.

Up Next: The Spartans will face DePaul in the final non-conference match of the season.

Follow the Spartans on Facebook, Instagram @michstvb and Twitter @MichStVB


Courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Notre Dame fell to No. 22 Michigan State on Friday evening in East Lansing by a final score of 3-0. The loss snaps a season-best four match win streak and moves the team’s record to 8-3 on the season.


The Irish struggled to find their rhythm from the opening serve on Friday evening, as Michigan State jumped out to an early lead to take control of the match. The Spartans recorded a 25-17 first set victory and then used their momentum to take the second set by a final of 25-13 to go up 2-0 in the contest.

Notre Dame gained an early advantage in the third set at 8-5 but was unable to sustain the success, as Michigan State scored the next four points to force a timeout from the Irish. Notre Dame battled the Spartans for the remainder of the stanza but came up short, falling by a final of 25-19.


Caroline Holt handed out 23 assists and recorded five digs and a kill in the contest. The junior notched assists on 23 of Notre Dame’s 25 kills.


Jemma Yeadon kill knotted the second set score at 6-6 after the Irish dropped the opening set. Michigan State immediately responded by reeling off six straight points of its own to take control of the second set and put the Spartans in the driver’s seat for the victory.


  • The Irish win streak ends at four matches.
  • Notre Dame is now 4-8 against the Spartans in the all-time series.
  • Maddie Plumlee recorded her first ace of the season.

For complete coverage of the tournament, visit Spartan Classic Tournament Central.


The Irish wrap up their stay in East Lansing against DePaul on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Notre Dame then returns to the Joyce Center on Friday, Sept. 23 for the ACC opener against Louisville at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available by visiting UND.com/BuyTickets.

Irish Numbers

Jemma Yeadon (9 kills, 6 digs, 2 blocks)
Sam Fry (7 kills, 1 dig)

Keep up with the Fighting Irish on Facebook, Twitter @NDVolleyball and Instagram @ndvball

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