Courtesy: Michigan State Athletics
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State welcomes fans back to Jenison Field House to kick off the 2018 volleyball season with the annual Green & White Exhibition match on Saturday, Aug. 18.
The match begins at 4 pm at Jenison Field House, and admission is free for all patrons. After the match, the Spartans will autograph posters, which will also be available for free at Jenison.
“This is a great chance for our fans to come and see what this 2018 team is all about,” said Cathy George, who begins her 14th season on the Spartan sidelines. “We graduated a tremendous class of seven athletes, four of whom were All-Americans last year. This year’s team will be a young, exciting team to watch develop – two top-15 recruiting classes with lots of talent and a great work ethic. This is a great chance to come out and see what our new players have to offer before our season gets underway.’
• Coming off a 24-9 season with a trip to the Elite Eight in 2017, MSU opens the 2018 campaign at No. 22 in the AVCA national poll. The Big Ten coaches selected MSU ninth in the pre-season B1G survey.
• MSU’s streak of seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is the third-longest in the Big Ten, behind Penn State and Nebraska. In addition, MSU, Nebraska, and Penn State are the only teams to finish .500 or better in Big Ten play in each of the last seven seasons (2011-17).
• Head Coach Cathy George enters her 14th season at Michigan State and 32nd overall with a 21-398 overall mark and is 56-172 while at MSU. She ranks 19th among active coaches for total wins in NCAA Division I volleyball.
• The Spartans will have many fresh faces in 2018. After the graduation of seven seniors last year, Michigan State has reloaded with the No. 15 recruiting class in the country, adding them to a talented class of sophomores which was ranked No. 9 when they entered college a year ago.
• The Spartans have just three upperclassmen – senior Maddie Haggerty, who missed the 2017 season with injury, and juniors Samantha McLean, a back-row specialist, and setter Maggie Midgette.
• Michigan State continued its streak of record-breaking attendance marks last season. MSU averaged 3,141 fans over 13 home dates in 2017, a new program best after establishing the same mark in 2016 (2,994). The Spartans ranked ninth nationally in average attendance, and 12th in total attendance (40,834).
• The Spartans open the season next week at the Tennessee Classic, taking on Chattanooga and Belmont in addition to the host Volunteers. MSU plays four of its first five weekends on the road, and hosts the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational Aug. 14-15 at Jenison Field House.