The Support Group of
Big Ten finish: 10-10, 7th place (tie)
Overall record: 19-14, not ranked
NCAA Tournament: 2nd round
8/20 Green & White Exhibition
Meet the Team!
7/28 Petoskey News Review
Spartan support helps make Petoskey Volleyball Camp one of Northern Michigan's best
12/6 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball tourney run comes to an end
12/3 Holland Sentinel
Alyssa Garvelink powers Spartans to NCAA tourney
11/29 Lansing State Journal
MSU earns fifth straight NCAA volleyball tourney berth
11/19 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball tops Northwestern, 3-1
11/10 Omaha World-Herald
Huskers know slumping Spartans still dangerous
11/6 MSU State News
MSU volleyball hopes to boost NCAA Tournament resume vs. ranked opponents
10/30 MSU State News
MSU volleyball heads into challenging road stretch
10/25 MSU State News
MSU volleyball fights hard, falls short vs. No. 5 Penn State
10/22 MSU State News
MSU volleyball scores major upset victory against No. 6 Ohio State
10/22 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball team upsets No. 6 Ohio State
10/21 MSU State News
Volleyball heads into toughest stretch of season
Cathy George Talks MSU Volleyball Milestone Win
10/15 MSU State News
George gets 200th victory on volleyball's breast cancer awareness night
10/14 MSU State News
Volleyball coach Cathy George aims for 200th victory at MSU
10/7 MSU State News
MSU volleyball looks to improve Big Ten record on the road
9/26 MSU State News
MSU volleyball defeats Indiana in Big Ten opener
10/1 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball downs No. 23 Michigan in straight sets
9/24 Lansing State Journal
Volleyball stoked MSU’s golden age 20 years ago
9/1 Lansing State Journal
Top MSU volleyball player Autumn Bailey out for season
9/1 MSU State News
MSU Volleyball loses Autumn Bailey to season-ending ACL injury
8/28 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball looks to return to league’s elite
8/27 MSU State News
MSU volleyball team enters season with bigger goals
MSU spiker Reinig has bigger goals in mind
3/23 Holland Sentinel
MSU's Alyssa Garvelink soaks in U.S. tryout
Burlington's Bailey transfers to Michigan State
The 2016 AVCA Division I Coaches Preseason poll shows the MSU volleyball program getting quite a few votes, but not quite enough to crack the top 25. This is about the same spot they finished in the final poll for 2015. Indications are that the team should be stronger this year, so we're expecting the Spartans to climb in the poll. [full poll]
MSU's 2016 opening home tournament will feature an appearance by the Florida Gators. Florida has one of the top volleyball programs in the country, ranked number 10 in the 2016 AVCA pre-season poll, and this will be their first appearance in Jenison Field House. The game is set for Sunday September 4 at 3:30 p.m. [full 2016 schedule]
On February 17, 2016, head coach Cathy George announced the selection of JT Wenger as an assistant coach for Michigan State volleyball. JT has most recently been associate head coach at University of Colorado for the last two years. He played volleyball at UCLA in 2001 through 2004 and has had a wide variety of other coaching experience prior to Colorado. [full story]
Associate Head Coach Mike Gawlik has accepted the head coaching position for Central Michigan University's women's volleyball team. Mike had been with the Spartan volleyball program since 2005, first as volunteer assistant coach, then as assistant coach, and finally associate head coach. We're thrilled to have had Mike here for these many years and we wish him the very best in the rest of his career! [full story]
The following awards were presented at the annual volleyball banquet on January 10, 2016 at the Kellogg Center:
SideOut Club Service Award: Jan Holcomb
Academic All-Conference Selections: Allyssah Fitterer, Alyssa Garvelink, Rachel Minarick, Chloe Reinig, Maggie Halloran, Kristen Muir, and Halle Peterson
Kirkby Scholar-Athlete Award: Maggie Halloran
Most Improved Award: Brooke Kranda
Most Inspirational Award: Halle Peterson
Playmaker Award: Megan Tompkins
Extra Mile Award: Autumn Christenson
MVP Award: Rachel Minarick
The SideOut Club presented Coach George with a check for $9,500 for use by the volleyball program.
The MSU volleyball team bounced back from their longest losing streak since 1993 to qualify for the 2015 NCAA tournament for the fifth consecutive year. They won the last four matches of the conference season in convincing fashion, including a road win over 14th-ranked Purdue.
The team will travel to Seattle, Washington to play Arkansas State on Friday, December 4, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The winner of that match will play the winner of Washington vs. Denver in the second round, Saturday at 10:00 p.m.
Arkansas State stands out in the tournament field for having the best overall record in the country this year, with 28 wins to only one loss. The Sun Belt Conference champions are also ranked number 24 in the Coaches' Poll. However, they have played only one top-50 opponent during the entire season, which resulted in a loss. MSU has much more experience against top teams including five wins. In the Pablo computer rankings, MSU and Arkansas State are essentially even with only 50 points separating them.
Washington is the number five seed in the tournament, but is ranked number one in the country in both the Coaches' Poll and the Pablo computer rankings.
For the last five years, the Spartan volleyball team has been one of the most consistent performers in the Big Ten Conference. During that period, they have been one of only four teams to finish with a .500 or better conference record every year. The others to do this were Penn State, Nebraska, and Purdue.
In addition, only three teams (MSU, Penn State and Nebraska) have made it to the NCAA tournament each of the last five years. In those tournament appearances the last four years, MSU advanced to the Sweet 16 twice and to the second round twice, with an overall tournament won-loss record of 6-4.
Rachel Minarick was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week for November 23, tying her with Lauren Carlini at three awards apiece this year. [full story]
Alyssa Garvelink was named the Big Ten Player of the Week for October 19 for her outstanding performance against Maryland and Rutgers, including a .588 hitting percentage for the week. She is the first Spartan to win this award since Lauren Wicinski almost two years ago.
In addition, Rachel Minarick was named Big Ten Setter of the Week for the second time this season. [full story]
For the opening weekend of the 2015 Big Ten season, MSU volleyball revelled in the return of an amazing 17 members of the 1995 volleyball program.
This was an unheralded team that energized the campus and surprised Division I volleyball with their 1995 run to the Big Ten title and then on to the national final four matches in Amherst, MA. It resulted in awards unmatched since that time for Spartan volleyball, including national Coach of the Year and three All-Americans. [full story]
For only the second time, two Spartan volleyball players have won Big Ten Player of the Week awards in the same week.
On September 21, 2015, sophomore libero Abby Monson was named co-Defensive Player of the Week and sophomore setter Rachel Minarick was named Setter of the Week. It was the first such award for each of them, and the first Setter of the Week award for any Spartan. [full story]
Sophomore middle blocker Megan Tompkins won her first conference award September 14, 2015, being named the Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week. She averaged 2 blocks per set for the week, but also had a very impressive offensive performance including a .628 hitting percentage. [full story]
MSU's non-conference volleyball schedule for 2015 is an ambitious one, featuring four opponents who were ranked above the Spartans at the end of 2014. Unfortunately for hometown fans, these premier matches will all occur on the road.
The matches against #17 Kentucky and #24 Arkansas-Little Rock are part of the season opener tournament in Lexington, Kentucky, while the visits to #7 North Carolina and #25 Duke complete the non-conference season just before the Spartans return home to start the Big Ten season. In between, MSU will host one tournament and travel to another in New Hampshire.
The Big Ten schedule will be nearly identical to last year's, except that the location of every match will be switched between home and away. One result of this is that we will have only a single Friday match in East Lansing. The remaining nine Big Ten matches at home will be played on Wednesdays and Saturdays. [full schedule]
The SideOut Club’s Annual Meeting will be held Saturday, April 16, 2016 in Jenison Field House, between games during the spring tournament (see below). The meeting is scheduled for noon in classroom 209 in Jenison.
All members are encouraged to attend. The Club’s annual financial statement will be presented and there will be an election for the Board of Directors. The Annual Meeting also serves as a forum for members to voice any suggestions or concerns. Hope to see you on the 16th!
The Spartans will host a nine-team spring tournament in Jenison Field House on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Teams will include MSU volleyball alumni, Wright State, Toledo, Bowling Green, Findlay, Ferris State, Grand Valley State, and Central Michigan. Games will start at 9 a.m. and admission is free. [full schedule]
The tournament will be the first chance for fans to see the team's two new freshman middle blockers, Olivia Bishop and Sarah Shafiq, who just arrived at MSU for spring semester.
The spring schedule will open four weeks earlier on March 19 with the Grand Rapids Hall of Fame Volleyball Showcase at Aquinas College. MSU will play Michigan at 6:30 p.m.
March 25 brings a 7:30 p.m. game against Ohio State at the Premier Academy in Maumee, Ohio. On April 9, the Spartans will be at the KIVA Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.
(Note: because of the nature of spring scheduling, all times are subject to change, but will be more firm as the events get closer.)
The Spartans' first-round NCAA Tournament game against Arkansas State will be streamed live from Seattle Friday at 8:00 p.m. EST. The second-round game on Saturday at 10:00 p.m. will be streamed from the same address [Washington Live Stream]
Johnny Mac's Sporting Goods will be taking orders online until September 1, 2015 for Nike-branded MSU Volleyball shirts in several styles. These are different than what is currently being sold at the SideOut Club merchandise table. Visit the special website to see what is offered and to place an order. [Visit the website]
The SideOut Club’s Annual Meeting will be held Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Jenison Field House, during the spring tournament (see below). The meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. which corresponds to one of the time slots in the tournament when the Spartans are not scheduled to play. It will be held in one of the classrooms in Jenison.
All members are encouraged to attend. The Club’s annual financial statement will be presented and there will be an election for the Board of Directors. The Annual Meeting also serves as a forum for members to voice any suggestions or concerns. Hope to see you on the 25th.
The Spartans will host a six-team spring tournament in Jenison Field House on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Teams will include MSU volleyball alumni, IPFW, Wright State, Ferris State, and Northwood. [tournament schedule]
The spring schedule will open five weeks earlier on March 21 with the Grand Rapids Hall of Fame Volleyball Showcase at Aquinas College. MSU will play Michigan at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $5.
On March 28, the Spartans will be at the KIVA Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Participating teams will include Indiana, Louisville, Western Kentucky, Lipscomb, Dayton, Illinois State, Cincinnati, Ohio, Memphis, Xavier, Austin Peay, and Morehead State.
For the last spring road trip, on April 18, MSU will be one of 19 teams competing at the Academy Collegiate Tournament in Indianapolis. Other teams will include Ball State, Butler, Illinois State, Indiana, Indiana State, IUPUI, Lipscomb, Purdue, Ohio University, Ohio State, Dayton, Illinois, Indianapolis, Louisville, Valparaiso, Western Kentucky, and Xavier.
(Note: because of the nature of spring scheduling, all times are subject to change, but will be more firm as the events get closer.)
Defending national champion Nebraska is ranked number 1 in the 2016 AVCA Division I Coaches Preseason poll, with a total of 7 Big Ten teams in the top 25, more than any other conference. [full poll]
The NCAA has approved a video review system to challenge referee calls starting in the 2016 season. In 2015 there was a similar experimental system used at a few schools.
The Playing Rules committee also voted to eliminate the little-used pursuit rule due to safety concerns. [full story]
Keylor Chan is out as head volleyball coach at Northwestern University after 16 seasons. 2015 was a losing season for the Wildcats, their first since 2008. Their overall record during Chan's tenure was 228-247.
Taking over in Evanston is Shane Davis, moving from just a few miles away after 12 years leading the Loyola University men's volleyball program, a stint that included two national championships. [full story]
Chan, who is married to former Spartan volleyball player Maren Witzel, has accepted the position of head coach at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. [full story]
The Big Ten has a record number of nine teams in the 2015 NCAA tournament, more than any other conference, including five of the 16 seeded teams as well as four of the top seven seeds.