News Links

12/6 MSU State News
MSU's season ends in NCAA tourney

12/2 MSU State News
Spartans look to make most of second chance

12/1 MSU State News
Abron receives annual Big Ten honor

11/29 MSU State News
MSU invited to NCAA Tournament with 5-15 Big Ten mark

11/24 MSU State News
Athletic sophomore keys Spartans in crucial assist role

11/23 MSU State News
Happy ending won't come easy vs. No. 1 Nittany Lions

11/22 MSU State News
No. 12 Gophers come back, beat Spartans

11/19 MSU State News
Volleyball team prepares for what could be final home game

11/18 MSU State News
Volleyball team drops match at U-M in five sets

11/17 MSU State News
MSU finishes Big Ten schedule against top teams

11/15 MSU State News
Spartans rally for weekend split

11/12 MSU State News
MSU remains calm through stretch

11/8 MSU State News
Volleyball team struggles in ill., falls to 16-10

11/4 MSU State News
Volleyball team rides 2 straight wins into weekend

11/1 MSU State News
Freshman becoming regular contributor to volleyball team

11/1 MSU State News
Losing streak ends with lopsided sweep

10/30 MSU State News
Volleyball team looks to end 6-game skid this weekend

10/26 MSU State News
Volleyball team loses sixth straight

10/19 MSU State News
MSU manages to win 1 set in 2 losses

10/16 MSU State News
Schatzle finding game at right time

10/16 MSU State News
Defending champs come to E.L. this weekend

10/15 Livonia Observer
MSU's Abron learning the ropes in rugged Big Ten

10/14 Mount Pleasant Morning Sun
Rathje flies back to form

10/16 Ohio State Lantern
Women’s volleyball team treks to state up north

10/12 MSU State News
Volleyball team swept in 2 weekend games

10/9 MSU State News
Spartans facing tough test in upcoming Big Ten road trip

10/5 MSU State News
Seniors anchor young MSU team

10/5 MSU State News
Spartans pull together weekend sweep at home

10/2 MSU State News
Volleyball team returns home after long journey

9/25 MSU State News
Breaking down the Big Ten: Volleyball

9/25 Purdue Exponent
Conference play begins against ranked opponents

9/24 MSU State News
Sophomore thriving after returning from injury

9/21 MSU State News
Volleyball team racks up another tourney win

9/18 Lansing State Journal
Unbeaten MSU off to Clemson tourney

9/17 MSU State News
Recruiting class of '12 making huge impact

9/15 Muskegon Chronicle
Karabas continue to thrive at MSU

9/14 MSU State News
One more tournament, one more title for Spartans

9/10 MSU State News
Volleyball hopes to build on undefeated record

9/9 MSU State News
Tight-knit sisters bring winning equation to MSU

9/2 MSU State News
Long road ahead for undefeated Spartans

9/1 MSU State News
Spartans beat No. 12 USC, win MSU Showcase

8/30 Lansing State Journal
Spartan volleyball plays the spoiler again

8/28 Lansing State Journal
Depth, balance to drive Spartans


2009 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.

2009 Annual Awards Presented

The following awards were presented at the annual volleyball banquet on January 10, 2010 at the University Club:

Academic All-Conference Selections: Allyson Karaba, Mandi Karaba, Mischelle Nelson, Jenilee Rathje
Kirkby Scholar-Athlete Award:
Jenilee Rathje
Blue Collar Award: Allyson Karaba
Newcomer Award: Cheyenne VanDerSteen
Offensive Award: Kyndra Abron
Defensive Award:
Allyson Karaba

The SideOut Club Service Award for 2009 recognized the many years of volunteer work by Jim and Eilleen Ellis, who were not present for the ceremony.

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

Kyndra Abron Wins Season Honors

Sophomore Kyndra Abron has been named an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Honorable Mention All-America for 2009. This follows her earlier recognition with an honorable mention spot on the AVCA All-Mideast Region Team and as a member of the 2009 All-Big Ten Team. [All-America release] [All-Region release] [Big Ten release]

MSU Qualifies for NCAA Tournament!

Despite a tenth-place finish in the Big Ten, MSU's overall season record of 17-15 was good enough to earn a spot in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The Spartans will go to Lexington, Kentucky to play the Kentucky Wildcats on Friday, December 4. A victory in that game would lead to a second-round game against either Oregon or Clemson.

The top five teams in the Big Ten all qualified for the tournament, but the next four who finished ahead of MSU (Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue, and Wisconsin) all failed to meet the eligibility requirement of a better than .500 overall winning percentage. MSU's .531 percentage, combined with an RPI ranking of number 37 in the nation, as well as wins over the number 5 seed Illinois and top-20 USC, was good enough to earn the berth. [full bracket]

Kelsey Kuipers Signs On for 2010

MSU has announced the signing of Otsego middle blocker Kelsey Kuipers to the recruiting class of 2010. The 6'-1" three-sport athlete was a finalist for the 2009 Michigan Miss Volleyball title. [press release] [Kalamazoo Gazette story]

Join Us for a Tailgate Party!

Come out to join fellow MSU fans for the 10th Annual Spartan Volleyball Tailgate Party on Saturday, November 14, 2009 before the match against Purdue. We will start around 3:30 at the usual location in front of the main entrance to Jenison and continue until game time at 6:30. Bring a dish or grillable item to share. Also needed are grills, charcoal and folding tables. If you can bring a grill, charcoal or folding table, or if you have any questions, please contact Cathy Caswell at 332-4353 or at

Help Spartan Volleyball "Bust Breslin" !

The volleyball program is hoping for a big crowd in the Breslin Center on Wednesday, October 21 for the televised game against the Michigan Wolverines. Last year's "Bust Breslin" event saw attendance of over 5,300, which was a new record for MSU volleyball.

MSU Federal Credit Union members get in free, as do high school volleyball teams. The first 1,000 people through the doors will get a free "Bust Breslin" T-shirt.

Spartans Off to a Record Start

For the first time since the Big Ten initiated a full conference schedule for volleyball in 1985, the MSU Spartans will begin the conference season with a spotless record. As of September 21, the team has the distinction of being one of only eight Division I teams without a loss. In addition, only one of the other seven teams—Penn State—can match MSU's 12-0 record. The Spartans' performance so far has bumped them up to the number 16 spot in the national rankings.

Defensive Player of the Week—Allyson Karaba

Allyson Karaba won her second Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award on September 21 for her performance in the Clemson Classic. She averaged 4.7 digs per set and passed 31 out of 32 opportunities. [full story]

Preconference Concludes in South Carolina

MSU's last preconference tournament appearance will be at the 2009 Clemson Classic. They open the tournament against 6-1 Furman at 11 am Friday, and play the host Tigers (7-2) at 7 pm. Saturday at noon they conclude the tournament against Presbyterian (4-6).
[Furman Friday Gametracker]
[Clemson Friday Gametracker]
[Presbyterian Saturday Gametracker]

Budget Cuts End Volleyball Away Broadcasts

Many fans may have noticed this already—MSU is no longer webcasting volleyball road matches due to the expense involved. John Kreger will continue to be heard announcing home games. [full story]

Spartans Head for Chicago

MSU continues preconference play at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Their first opponent is Duquesne, at 6:00 pm Friday, September 11. On Saturday, they meet Georgia State at 1:00 pm, followed by UIC at 8:00 pm. You can follow these games live through the links below.
[Duquesne Friday Gametracker]
[Georgia State Saturday Gametracker]
[UIC Saturday Gametracker]

Spartans Travel to Ohio

MSU will play at Cleveland State University this weekend, with the opening match against Syracuse on Friday, September 4 at 1:00 pm. They will play the host team twice, at 7:00 pm Friday and 4:00 pm Saturday. You can follow these games live through the links below.
[Syracuse Friday Gametracker]
[CSU Friday Gametracker]
[CSU Saturday Gametracker]
[video streaming for both CSU games]

MSU Enters Top 25 Poll

An undefeated opening weekend, including an upset of No. 12 Southern California, bumped the Spartans up to No. 20 in the AVCA Coaches Poll for August 31, 2009. This is only the second time since the 2003 season that MSU has ranked this high in the national poll. [complete ranking]

Kyndra Abron Earns First Player of the Week Award

Kyndra Abron's MVP performance in the MSU Showcase has also earned her the award as Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for August 31, 2009. Interestingly, her impressive accomplishment came while playing in a somewhat unexpected position. Kyndra was expected to see most playing time in the middle this season, but a pre-season injury kept Becca Zlabis on the bench for the opening weekend. The resulting shuffling of players put Kyndra back on the right side, where she looked right at home. [full story]

Vanessa King Named to Preseason Team

The prognostications of the Big Ten volleyball coaches were announced August 13, 2009, and MSU fans were pleased to see the unanimous selection of middle blocker Vanessa King to the all-conference preseason team. There were four other unanimous picks from three schools on the 14-member squad. Penn State led with four overall selections, two of them unanimous.

The ranking for teams was changed this year to predict only the top six finishers. Penn State garnered the top spot, followed by Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Purdue. [full results]

Three TV Games for MSU

The Big Ten released its television schedule on August 5, and it includes two Spartan home games and one road game.

First up is the Michigan game at Breslin on October 21. This will be a live broadcast, with a starting time of 7:00 pm. Four weeks later on November 18 there will be a televised rematch from Ann Arbor, starting at 6:00 pm. Finally, the November 21 game at Jenison against Minnesota will be broadcast on November 22 at 8:00 pm. [full schedule]

Fall Schedule Announced

The 2009 volleyball schedule starts with an impressive lineup for the MSU Invitational Tournament August 28 and 29.

MSU's first opponent, on Friday night will be Southern California, who finished 2008 ranked #13 in the nation. MSU has not hosted a Pac-10 team since 1996.

Saturday night's foe will be North Carolina who reached the second round of the NCAA tournament last year. The Tar Heels will be led by East Lansing's own Heather Brooks, who was named an honorable mention All-American in 2008. [full schedule]

Annual Meeting April 27

The Sideout Club 2009 Annual Meeting will be held on April 27 at noon at the Hall of Fame Café on Lake Lansing Road in East Lansing. The annual meeting will be held to elect board members and review the Club financial report. Coach George will update us on the progress of the volleyball team so far this spring and give us an inside peek into the 2009 season and outlook. We hope to see you all on the 27th.

Spring Tournament Schedule

Spartan volleyball will host Western Michigan for a competition/practice event on Saturday, April 11, 2009. This will take place in the women's basketball auxiliary gym on the east side of the Breslin Center. Fans can enter at the ticket office entrance, located on the south side of the arena; the auxiliary gym is located on the mezzanine level.

Also participating will be alumni teams from both schools, who will play an exhibition against each other. The morning (9:00 to 11:30) will be devoted to training exercises, with the actual matches played in the afternoon (alumni at 1:30, MSU vs. WMU at 3:00). The gym will be open all day, with no admission charge, so fans can come to watch whatever portion interests them.

For the two weekends preceding the home event, the Spartans will compete in tournaments in Illinois. On March 28, they will be at the Great Lakes Center in Aurora Illinois, and on April 4, they will be at the Three Wise Men Tournament at Loyola University in Chicago.

Big Ten and Other News

Vander Meer Named NAIA All-American

Former Spartan Katie Vander Meer, now playing at Aquinas College, has been named to the NAIA All-America third team. [full story]

NCAA Approves Sand Volleyball

The NCAA has approved women's sand volleyball as a varsity sport for Division I and II schools starting with the spring 2011 season. This follows experimental spring sand tournaments the last couple of years involving a dozen or so schools.

Proponents see it as an additional opportunity for women athletes and a way to capitalize on the growing popularity of the pro sport. However, others have raised questions about the effect of this addition. For example, is sand volleyball too specialized to the point where it favors schools in warm climates? Will it only be added by schools with large athletic budgets? Will this become an additional responsibility for indoor coaches or will new coaches be hired? Will sand volleyball attract new athletes, will it become a second sport for indoor players, or will it draw players away from the indoor game?

An NCAA committee will be developing guidelines for the sport over the course of the next year to try to address these questions. [full story]