News Links

1/9 MSU State News
Former spiker to play pro in Korea

12/5 MSU State News
Spartans face tough opponent in NCAA Round of 16

12/3 Lincoln Journal Star
Michigan State volleyball team back on track

12/2 MSU State News
MSU sweeps Kentucky, Dayton, moves to sweet 16

12/2 Lansing State Journal
Spartans roll into Round 3

12/1 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball team rolls into second round

11/26 MSU State News
Hopeful spikers look to take winning streak into tournament

11/25 MSU State News
MSU closes season with wins, finish 6th in Big Ten

11/15 MSU State News
Volleyball inks recruiting class

11/11 MSU State News
MSU tops Ohio State, falls to No. 1 Penn State on weekend

10/29 MSU State News
MSU ousts U-M, vies for Big Ten standing

10/22 MSU State News
Spikers turn corner in Big Ten with sweep

10/12 MSU State News
Volleyball looks to improve Big Ten standing

10/4 MSU State News
MSU drops weekend pair

9/21 Penn State Daily Collegian
Rose seeks 900th win in Big Ten opener

9/19 MSU State News
Sister, Sister: Duo lights up court

9/17 MSU State News
MSU ups unbeaten streak to 9, readies for a tough road schedule

9/14 Central Michigan Life
CMU: A block-free zone

9/12 MSU State News
MSU looks to extend win streak

9/4 MSU State News
Spikers win Invite for 7th straight year

8/29 MSU State News
Spartans look to rebound at Invitational

8/28 MSU State News
Spikers stumble in road contests

8/24 Lansing State Journal
Spartans start the season with tough test out West

7/20 Lansing State Journal
2007 MSU Athletics Hall of fame inductees

4/25 MSU State News
Emerging from the sidelines

2007 News Archive

Note: Because many of the news items on this page link to current-news sites that are updated frequently, some links in the archive may no longer work.

2007 Annual Awards Presented

The following awards were presented at the annual volleyball banquet on January 13, 2008:

SideOut Club Service Award: Jenny Bond
Kirkby Scholar-Athlete Award: Lisa Naymick
Most Improved Player Award: Lauren O'Reilly
Unsung Hero Award: Mischelle Nelson
Blue Collar Award: Jenilee Rathje
Defensive Player Award: Miken Trogdon
Offensive Player Award: Katie Johnson
Coaches' Award: Jess Hohl
Most Valuable Player: Ashley Schatzle

The SideOut Club presented Coach George with a check for $10,000 for use by the volleyball program.

Katie Johnson Turns Pro

Senior outside hitter Katie Johnson spent two months in Korea playing for the Korean Expressway team in the professional volleyball league there. She was hired to replace a player who was injured midway through the season. The opportunity was very appealing because it allowed her to try living and playing in a foreign country without the typical six-month commitment. [full story] [State News story]

Cathy George to Coach A2 National Team

USA Volleyball has announced that MSU's Cathy George and Jerritt Elliott of Texas will be the head coaches for the two A2 national teams that will train in Atlanta in May, 2008 and then play in the USA Volleyball Adult Open Championships. These teams are made up of players selected during tryouts in January and February. Those who try out are primarily college players who have aspirations to eventually join the national team. [full story]

Two MSU players, Vanessa King and Jenilee Rathje, were among 113 players who tried out in February, but were not chosen. The USA Volleyball website has links to photo galleries where you can see them in action, JR wearing number 36 and Vanessa in number 68. One who did make the A2 team is from our area, however—Dominique Olowolafe, who played at Haslett High School and will be a sophomore at Cal Poly next fall.

Annual Meeting

The annual SideOut Club meeting for 2008 will be held in conjunction with the spring tournament at Jenison Field House on April 12. All members are invited to attend. The meeting will be conducted at 1:10 p.m.

During the annual meeting we will be electing new board members. If you or someone you know would be interested in serving on the SOC Board please contact Carole Brogan, SOC President, at (517) 230-6940. We welcome everyone's participation in any capacity.

Ashley Schatzle Named Third Team All-American

Ashley Schatzle became the sixth Spartan volleyball player in history to be named an All-American, as she was chosen for the 2007 AVCA Division 1 All-America Third Team. This puts her in elite company among this year's Big Ten players, as only Penn State (with 4 players), Wisconsin (2 players) and MSU were represented on the first second and third All-America teams. [MSU story] [AVCA story]

Two Sweeps Take Spartans to Regional

The Spartan volleyball team made it to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in program history after sweeping both Kentucky and 15th-seeded Dayton. They will play 2nd-seeded Nebraska at 8 p.m. EST Friday, December 7 in Madison, Wisconsin. Iowa State will play 10th-seeded California in the other regional semifinal at 6:00 p.m. EST. Iowa State upset 7th-seeded Wisconsin to get to the regional. [ticket information]

Schatzle and Johnson Named to Conference Teams

Ashley Schatzle was chosen as a member of the 2007 All-Big Ten Team for the second consecutive year, and Katie Johnson was an honorable mention choice for the third time. [MSU story] [Big Ten story]

Jess Hohl Wins Final Weekly Award

Jess Hohl's 2.3 blocks and 1.2 digs per game against Indiana and Purdue have earned her the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award for November 26. [full story]

Spartans Selected for NCAA Tournament

The MSU volleyball team will play Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday, November 30 in Dayton, Ohio. [full bracket] [schedule] The match will be at 5:00 p.m. at the Frericks Center on the campus of the University of Dayton. [directions] [ticket information] The other first round match will pit Lipscomb against number 15 seed Dayton at 7:00 p.m. The Frericks Center is billed as the third largest volleyball-only facility in college volleyball.

Kentucky had their best season in fifteen years with a record of 22-9, finishing fourth overall in the Southeastern Conference. This is the third consecutive year they have advanced to the NCAA tournament. They have one win this season over a ranked opponent, splitting their two matches against conference foe LSU, who finished the season ranked just below the top 25 in the CSTV/AVCA poll. Last week's Pablo computer rankings have Kentucky at number 46 while MSU was at number 28.

A win over Kentucky would likely pit MSU against Dayton, with the match scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Saturday at the Frericks Center. Dayton tied with MSU last week in the computer rankings, and was pegged at number 15 in the CSTV/AVCA poll. At 32-1 Dayton claims the best won-loss record in the country this year, including wins over Purdue, Miami and Ohio, each of whom was in the lower ranks of the top 25 at one time during the season. They also defeated Illinois early in the season. Their one loss was to conference runner-up Xavier.

The last time MSU and Dayton met was in Jenison Field House for the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2003, where Dayton pulled off an upset victory 3-2.

Banquet Set for January 13

The Spartan Volleyball Banquet will be held Sunday, January 13 at the University Club on Forest Road. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. with brunch served at 11:00. The cost is $30 for adults and $15 for children. Contact Nancy Lumley at for more information.

Watch Friday's Match on the Web

MSU's regional semi-final match with Nebraska at 8:00 p.m. Friday, December 7 will be broadcast via the Internet. According to the Wisconsin web site "The regional semifinal matches will be video streamed live on under the Game Day link." It's not clear whether this will be free or not.

NCAA Matches at Dayton Sold Out

The University of Dayton announced on Thursday that tickets were all sold out for the Friday and Saturday NCAA tournament matches. [press release] [news report]

O'Reilly Named Player of the Week

Lauren O'Reilly's performance in MSU's first Big Ten weekend sweep of the season earned her the award as Big Ten Player of the Week for October 22. Her 18 assists per game versus Minnesota was the highest in the Big Ten so far this year. [full story]

Rathje Earns Weekly Honor

Freshman middle blocker Jenilee Rathje was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for September 10 after her performance in the Harvard Invitational. She had 29 blocks for the weekend, including 11 against Harvard, setting a new Big Ten freshman record for blocks in a match. [full story]

Looking for Alums

The MSU volleyball office is trying to correct and complete the contact information it has for alumni of the program. If you are a former Spartan volleyball player and you did not receive notification of the 2007 Alumni Celebration, please contact Tami Tranter by email, or call the volleyball office at (517) 353-1756.

Are You a Fanatic Fan?

Then sign in at the promotions table at every game you attend, for a chance at a big prize. The fans with the most attended home games will be eligible for a drawing at the last home game of the season to win a $250 gift certificate to the Spartan Bookstore.

Spartans Make Appearance on National Poll

The MSU Spartans were the number 40 vote getters in the preseason AVCA Coaches' Poll released on August 14th, which placed them seventh among Big Ten teams. Nebraska and Stanford, opponents in last year's national championship match, were ranked first and second. Penn State led all Big Ten contenders, in third place nationally. Five Big Ten teams made the top 16, which is the strongest showing ever for the conference. [full story]

2007 Roster Released

The 2007 Spartan volleyball roster has been announced, featuring five new freshmen. Only two seniors departed at the end of last season, so five of last year's starters are back for the new year. However, if you saw the team in spring tournament play, you know that several other players left the program. Most recently Katie Vandermeer has departed, leaving freshman Lauren O'Reilly as MSU's only setter. [full roster]

New Recruit Summary

According to various press reports, the four following players have committed to MSU for 2008:
Kyndra Abron, a 6-4 OH from Livonia
Natalie Emro, a 6-2 setter from St. Louis, MO
Carli Weiler, a 5-7 L from Chicago, IL
Rebecca Zlabis, a 6-0 OH from Wheaton, IL.

Follow the Team to Ypsilanti

One of the closest away matches comes up at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday September 11 at Eastern Michigan University. It's an easy trip down to Ypsilanti, so let's see lots of Spartan fans there to cheer the team to victory! [directions to  the match]

Langston and Wallin on Pro Tour

Alums Brooke Langston and Megan Wallin have been testing the sands of the pro beach volleyball tour this summer, but each with her own partner. They have played in the qualifier tournaments for several of the AVP tour beach events. UPDATE: As of September 1, Brooke and her partner Chara Harris had qualified for seven tournaments, resulting in 13th-place finishes at Cincinnati and Seaside Heights, and 17ths in New York, Boston, Louisville and Chicago. [Louisville story]

Fall Schedule

The Spartans will travel to both coasts for tournaments during the 2007 pre-conference season, with the traditional Labor Day weekend Spartan Invitational sandwiched in between. For the Big Ten season things will look a little different, as Michigan will be the unpaired team this year leaving MSU with Northwestern as a traveling partner.

Home matches will start earlier this year, at 6:30 p.m. instead of 7:00. (Note that the September 15 match against Central Michigan will be moved back to 7:30 p.m. if the MSU football game begins at 3:30. [schedule]

"Meet the Team" August 11

The SideOut Club Board would like to welcome all SOC members and their guests to join the Board for an exclusive preview of the 2007 MSU women's volleyball team on Saturday, August 11, 2007. The session will run from 8:30am - 11:45am. A "Meet the Team" picnic will follow the practice at approximately 12:00 noon.

Annual Meeting

The annual SideOut Club meeting will be held following the "Meet the Team" picnic at Jenison Fieldhouse. During the annual meeting we will be electing new board members. If you, or someone you may know, would be interested in serving on the SOC Board please contact Carole Brogan, SOC President, at (517) 230-6940. We welcome everyone's participation in any capacity.

Miken Trogdon Wins Sportsmanship Award

Miken Trogdon was honored by the Big Ten Conference with the 2007 Outstanding Sportsmanship Award for MSU's female athletes. Basketball player Drew Neitzel was chosen from MSU's male athletes. [full story]

Johnson Selected for National A2 Team

Katie Johnson is one of 20 college players selected to train as part of the A2 developmental program of the U.S. national team and represent them in the USA Volleyball Championships. The competition will be held in Austin, Texas, May 26 through June 2, 2007. [full story and roster] [championship site]

New Recruit Summary

The Spartans have announced three recruits for 2007:
Jenilee Rathje, a 5-11 OH/MB from Mount Pleasant
Megan Schatzle, a 6-1 OH from Monroe
Lauren O'Reilly, a 5-10 S from Langley British Columbia.

Also listed on the 2007 roster are:
Allyson Karaba, a 5-7 DS/L from Muskegon
Vineece Verdun, a 6-2 MB from Bloomfield Hills

Spring Luncheon

Come join the coaching staff and your fellow SideOut Club members for a new event—the spring coaches' luncheon. The date is Monday, May 14, the time is 12 noon, and the place is Gilbert & Blake's restaurant at 3554 Okemos Road a little north of Jolly Road. Be entertained by your enthisiastic coaches for the price of your meal (complete lunch menu available).

Spring Schedule

MSU will host a spring practice tournament from 9 a.m, to about 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Visiting teams will be Northwood, Hillsdale, Central Michigan, and Miami-Ohio, plus a team of MSU alumni that is expected to include such players as Erin Hartley, Jenny Rood, Kim Schram, Angela Morley, Nicole Colaluca and Allison Ianni. [full schedule]

The Spartans' other spring tournament appearances will be as follows (click for details):
Western Michigan University (March 24)
Bowling Green State University (March 31)
Great Lakes Center (Chicago, April 14).

Second Recruit for 2008

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Carli Weiler, a 5' 7" libero from Chicago, has committed to play for the Spartans starting in 2008. She plays for the famed Mother McAuley High School team as well as the 1st Alliance club. Carli is ranked by some as being among the very top liberos in the 2008 class.


Big Ten and Other News

Ohio State Coach to Retire

Jim Stone has announced that he will retire next year after 26 seasons as head volleyball coach at The Ohio State University. During his tenure his teams won three Big Ten championships and played in 15 of the last 18 NCAA tournaments. He won numerous coaching awards, and coached two players who were named AVCA National Player of the Year. [full story]

2007 Rules Changes

The playing rules for NCAA women's volleyball have no significant changes for 2007, although there is one procedural change that some fans may notice. When a team wants to make more than one substitution, the substitutes cannot approach the court together as they usually did in the past. Instead, they must enter the substitution zone one at a time, with the next substitute approaching only after the prior sub has been waved onto the court. The rationale for the change is that this will make it easier for the scorekeeper to record substitutions.

New Coaches for the Hoosiers

Sherry Dunbar, a Ball State graduate and former head coach at the College of Charleston has been named head volleyball coach at Indiana University, replacing Katie Weismiller. Former Spartan Sarah Gustin has joined Dunbar as assistant coach, after three years in that role at College of Charleston. [Dunbar story] [Weismiller story] [Gustin story] [Gustin interview]

Michigan High School Volleyball Season Will Change in 2007

The U.S. Supreme Court on April 2 let stand a lower court ruling that Michigan high schools must change their sports seasons to better accommodate girls. As a result, high school volleyball will move to the fall, matching the schedule in the other 49 states. [full story] [MHSAA calendar]