Michigan State Opens 2nd Half Of Big Ten Play With Nebraska, Iowa

  0 volleymob | October 26th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

Press Release courtesy of Michigan State Athletics


  • Michigan State opens a three-game homestand this week, welcoming No.7 Nebraska and Iowa to East Lansing.
  • Friday’s match is an 8 pm first serve with which will air live on Big Ten Network and will have a webstream on BTN2Go. Mike Wolf and Audrey Flaugh call the action.
  • Saturday’s showdown with Iowa is a 6:30 start and airs on BTN2Go.
  • 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 on MSUSpartans.com.
  • Fans are reminded that a no-bag policy has been put int
  • Michigan State opens a three-game homestand this week, welcoming No.7 Nebraska and Iowa to East Lansing.
  • o effect for all indoor athletic venues, effective Oct. 20. See the link above for a list of permitted and prohibited items.TEAM NOTES 
  • Michigan State took wins away from both Michigan (3-1) and Maryland (3-0) in week five of Big Ten action. The Spartans have won three straight.
  • The Spartans got through the first half of Big Ten play with an 8-2 mark, the best start to the Conference season for MSU since the 1996 team started 12-0.
  • The Spartans played just four home games in the opening half of the Conference slate and three in the pre-B1G schedule. MSU is a perfect 7-0 at Jenison Field House this season.
  • In the first 10 Big Ten matches of the season, the Spartans have played five teams ranked seventh or higher in the AVCA national poll and own a 3-2 mark in those contests Four of those top-10 matches were road affairs, as only the 3-1 win over No. 7 Wisconsin came at Jenison Field House.
  • MSU’s two losses in Big Ten play came on the road at No. 2 Penn State and No. 4 Nebraska. MSU will face both at home in this three-game homestand.
  • With three wins over top 10 teams so far this season, it is the most top-10 victories in a single season in school history.
  • The Spartans have concluded their home-and-home series for 2017 with two teams – Maryland and Wisconsin – with a perfect 4-0 mark against those squads. Nebraska, Penn State, MIchigan, Northwestern, and Indiana are MSU’s other two-plays for 2017. Both matchups with Northwestern and Indiana remain in the second half of the schedule for MSU, along with single games against Iowa, Illinois, and Purdue.
  • Michigan State maintained the No. spot 10 in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) national poll, MSU’s highest spot occupied in the national poll this season.
  • Six Big Ten programs earned spots in the latest AVCA coaches poll, all among the top 17: No. 1 Penn State, No. 5 Minnesota, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 10 MSU. and No. 17 Purdue. Both Michigan and Illinois are receiving votes.
  • 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 returned 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).
  • Eleven Big Ten volleyball teams are ranked in the top 50 of the NCAA RPI through Oct. 22, including nine of the top 31: No. 1 Penn State, No. 2 Minnesota, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 13 MSU, No. Purdue, No. 23 Illinois, No. 29 Michigan, No. 31 Ohio State, No. 42 Iowa and No. 45 Maryland. Northwestern (No. 66) and Indiana (No. 90) are in the top 100.
  • MSU is 2-18-2 all-time against Nebraska, with both of those victories coming in East Lansing. MSU has waged all-out battles with Nebraska in recent seasons – while the last seven matches between the teams have gone to the Huskers, all of them have been at least four sets and two of the last three were five-set affairs.
  • Mikeala Foecke leads the offensive attack for John Cook’s Nebraska squad with 3.37 kills per set, while senior Annika Albrecht is right behind with 3.17. Middle Brianna Holman is averaging 0.96 blocks and 2.46 kills per frame while hitting a team-best .322
  • The Oct. 4 game in Lincoln between the teams was then a showdown of the two Big Ten unbeatens – the Spartans and Huskers both entered the week at 4-0 in Conference action. No. 14 Michigan State had its six-match winning streak snapped by the Huskers, 3-1 (19-25, 15-25, 25-21, 19- 25).
    The teams engaged in lengthy rallies with entertaining defensive battles, as each team had more than 160 attempts. MSU hit just .147 in the match, coming on stronger as the match went on after committing 16 errors in the first two sets combined. MSU attempted a comeback down 2-0, taking the third set 25-22 after trailing by as many as six points.
  • MSU owns a sizable lead in the all-time series with Iowa (48-24), winning 15 straight over the Hawkeyes. The teams met twice in 2016, a 3-0 win for MSU in East Lansing and a 3-1 decision in Iowa City.
  • Iowa enters the match with an overall record of 15-8, and sits at 4-6 through the first half of Big Ten play. Fourth-year head coach Bond Shymansky’s squad is led by Taylor Lewis, who is averaging 3.49 kills and hitting .275, while Jess Janota leads the team in blocking (0.91 blk/s) and is contributing 2.46 kills per set, good for third on the team. Chaire Sheehan is averaging 2.79 kills per set and 2.25 digs per frame.
  • MSU is holding opponents to a .162 hitting percentage, which ranks second in the Big Ten and 30th nationally. Wisconsin hit a season-best .295 against MSU (Oct. 7), one of just eight opponents to hit .200 or better. MSU has held five opponents under .100.
  • The Spartans are second in the Big Ten and rank 15th nationally in service aces (1.69 per set). MSU boasts three individuals among the league’s top five in aces per set (Rachel MinarickHolly Toliver, and Brooke Kranda).
  • Overall, MSU ranks in the top 30 nationally in six categories: 30th in opponent hitting percentage (.162), 15th in aces (1.69/s), 16th in kills (14.36/s), 16th in assists (13.38/s), and 25th in hitting percentage (.266). MSU is also 25th in winning percentage (15-4, .789), and is 50th nationally in blocks per set (2.41).
  • MSU has 108 service aces on the season and ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 1.69 per frame. The Spartans have allowed just 51 aces against.
  • MSU has had six double-digit blocking performances this season, and only one in Big Ten play. The Spartans rank fifth in the league in blocking (2.41/s)
  • With 15.77 digs per set, the Spartans are third in the B1G rankings. MSU has seven players averaging between 2.28 and 3.40 digs per set.
  • MSU continues to have a well-distributed offense. The Spartans have three players averaging better than 3.0 kills per frame, and four between 2.56 and 3.30.
  • MSU has hit .300 or better six times in the first 10 Big Ten matches, including each of the last three and four of the last five. MSU’s B1G low was .147 on the road at Nebraska (Oct. 4), while its high was .396 vs Ohio State (Sept. 30).
  • Over its last three matches, MSU is averaging 15.20 kills per set and hitting .347 with 1.9 blocks and 2.10 aces 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 three wins 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 247-167 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 (1,232) and Wisconsin’s John Cook (676). She ranks 22nd among active coaches in coaching victories.
  • MSU’s match at Nebraska (Oct. 4) was the 1,000th match coached in the career of Cathy George.
  • 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 has averaged 3,855 fans for each of its three Big Ten matches at Jenison Field House, and 2,917 over six home matches. MSU currently ranks 13th in Division I in overall attendance (20,421) and ninth in average attendance (2,917).PLAYER NOTES 
  • In the last 11 of the last 12 matches, the Spartans have gone with a senior-dominated starting lineup: OH’s Autumn BaileyBrooke Kranda, and Holly Toliver, MB’s Alyssa Garvelink and Megan Tompkins, setter Rachel Minarick, and freshman libero Jamye Cox.
  • A key to the Spartans’ success this season is a widely-distributed offense (and defense). MSU boasts four players averaging between 2.58 and 3.30 kills per set, three who average 0.75 blocks per set or more, and four starters boast dig averages of 2.28 or more per frame.
  • More evidence of balance: MSU’s trio of Brooke KrandaAlyssa Garvelink, and Autumn Bailey all averaged exactly 3.43 kills per set in last week’s games, with Garvelink adding 1.14 blocks per set and hitting .561.
  • MSU also has three players among the top five in the Big Ten (and among national leaders) in service aces per set:Rachel Minarick (0.42, 2nd B1G/37th nationally), Holly Toliver (0.40, 4th B1G/50th), and Brooke Kranda (0.38, 5th B1G/76th).
  • Three Spartans average nearly a block per set or better: Alyssa Garvelink (1.48, 2nd B1G/14th nationally), Megan Tompkins (0.84), and Brooke Kranda (0.75).
  • Rachel Minarick was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week on Monday. She averaged an impressive 13.86 assists per frame and posted a pair of double-doubles in guiding MSU to a pair of .300+ hitting performances against Michigan and Maryland. She established a new career best with 58 assists and added 11 digs, a pair of blocks, and a service ace in a mid-week win over the Wolverines, and then had 39 assists and 10 digs in a sweep of Maryland.
  • Early in the second set at Maryland, Minarick pushed her career assist total over 4,000, becoming the third Spartan and 45th Big Ten setter to achieve that milestone. She enters the weekend with 4,021 career helpers, which ranks 13th among active Division I players.
  • Minarick averages 11.15 assists (sixth, B1G/27th nationally), 0.42 aces (2nd, B1G/37th nationally), and 2.58 digs per set.
  • Minarick is a CoSIDA Academic All-America candidate who boasts a 3.97 cumulative GPA as a Kinesiology major. She is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honoree, and last year earned CoSIDA Academic All-Region kudos.
  • Alyssa Garvelink will graduate as one of MSU’s top blockers in school history. She currently ranks fifth all-time at MSU in total blocks (499) and fourth in block assists (448). Her 1.21 blocks per set average over four years is fifth all-time at MSU.
  • Garvelink currently second in the B1G and 14th nationally in the B1G in blocks per set (1.48), which is her career-best average. Her hitting percentage of .383 ranks sixth in the Conference (14th nationally), and she’s contributing 2.56 kills/set.
  • Garvelink hit .561 last week with just one hitting error in 41 tries as MSU took a four-set decision from Michigan and swept Maryland on the road. She averaged 3.43 kills per set and 1.14 blocks per frame, and pushed her career block total to 499 on Saturday against the Terps.
  • Garvelink is seventh among active NCAA Division I players in total career blocks (499), and is 14th in blocks per set (1.21).
  • Garvelink, like Minarick, is a CoSIDA Academic All-America nominee. She owns a 3.36 GPA as a Communications major.
  • Brooke Kranda averages 3.30 kills per set to lead the MSU offense, (13th in the Big Ten) and is averaging 0.75 blocks and 0.38 aces per set (5th B1G and 76th nationally). Kranda had 11 kills and hit .588 at Maryland, after posting three aces to go with 13 kills and three blocks against Michigan.
  • Autumn Bailey currently is second among the Spartans with 3.25 kills per frame, is hitting .257, and is averaging 3.50 digs per set (10th, B1G). She has also made just five reception errors on the year in 268 tries, a 98% reception percentage. She leads the team and ranks 10th in the Big Ten in digs per set – the highest among six-rotation players in the league.
  • Bailey recorded her sixth double-double in Big Ten play last week against Michigan, when she had a team-best 16 kills and 10 digs while hitting .300. She came back with eight kills, nine digs, and a pair of blocks against Maryland- snapping a seven-match streak of double-digit terminations.
  • Nationally, Bailey ranks ninth among active players in kills. She has 1,631 career terminations (which includes 1,059 in her two seasons at Marquette), and she is fifth among active players in career attempts (4,387). She is 13th among active players in kills per set (3.92), and also boasts 1,297 career digs, which is 71st – but she is seventh in career digs among six-rotation players.
  • Holly Toliver ranks third on the team in kills per set (3.03) and fourth in hitting percentage (.245) and is contributing 2.28 digs and 0.40 aces, and 0.53 blocks per frame. She is fourth in the B1G and 40th nationally in aces per set.
  • Senior middle Megan Tompkins is averaging 0.84 blocks per set (good for second on the team), and also chipping in 1.30 kills per frame.
  • Tompkins averaged 0.57 blocks, 2.14 kills, and hit .429 last week vs. Michigan and Maryland. Over the last four matches, she is averaging 2.0 kills, 0.64 blocks, and 0.5 digs per set, hitting .426.
  • Jamye Cox has been the Spartan libero in each of the last 10 matches. Last week, Cox averaged better than five digs per set (5.29) in helping MSU to a pair of victories in which it hit .300 or better in both matches. She had 20 digs in a midweek home win over Michigan, establishing a new season high in Big Ten games for the freshman. She followed that up with 17 digs in the road sweep of Maryland.
  • Cox is averaging 3.16 digs per set on the season, which ranks 11th in the Big Ten. She has worn the libero jersey for the last 10 matches, over which she is averaging 3.95 digs per set.
  • Cox has played the most sets of any of MSU’s freshmen (63 of 64). She is second in the Big Ten among freshmen in digs per frame.
  • Abby Monson is averaging 3.11 digs per set as a back row specialist. Monson came off the bench and had two digs, an assist, and a service ace on match point to seal the victory over Michigan.
  • Samantha McLane has become a regular contributor for the Spartans in the back row, and is averaging 1.30 digs per set and boasts a .972 serve receive percentage – just three errors in 108 opportunities.
  • 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 wraps its three-game homestand on Wednesday with a rematch against No. 1 Penn State at Jenison Field House, and then travels to Chicago on Saturday for the first meeting of two this season with Northwestern.


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