News Links

12/14 MSU State News
Rathje named Third-Team All-American

12/8 MSU State News
Face time with Cathy George

12/7 MSU State News
Solid season ends for Spartan volleyball

12/6 MSU State News
Rathje earns AVCA All-Mideast Region honors

12/4 MSU State News
Volleyball beats Arizona, falls to Texas in First Round of NCAA Tournament

12/1 MSU State News
MSU set to open NCAA Tournament vs. Arizona

11/30 MSU State News
Tough Big Ten prepared volleyball for NCAA Tournament

11/29 MSU State News
Rathje, Abron earn All-Big Ten honors

11/27 MSU State News
Volleyball draws Arizona in First Round of NCAA Tournament

11/27 MSU State News
Volleyball falls to Penn State in seniors' last game at Jenison Field House

11/22 MSU State News
Volleyball looks for season sweep over U-M

11/21 MSU State News
Moster wins her 3rd Big Ten Freshman of the Week award

11/20 MSU State News
Volleyball beats Northwestern after upsetting No. 7 Illinois

Spartans surprise Hambly's team

11/18 MSU State News
Volleyball upsets No. 7 Illinois

11/17 MSU State News
Volleyball looks for wins 20 and 21 vs. Illinois and Northwestern

11/14 MSU State News
Volleyball receives 3 National Letters of Intent

11/13 MSU State News
Volleyball beats Wisconsin in 4 sets

11/10 MSU State News
Spartan volleyball looks to Wisconsin on Saturday

11/8 MSU State News
Spartans fight for position in crowded Big Ten

11/6 MSU State News
Volleyball splits 2 weekend matchups

11/3 MSU State News
Volleyball hits road for important conference games

11/2 MSU State News
Spartans following similar path as 2007 team

10/30 MSU State News
Volleyball falls to Purdue in four sets

10/27 MSU State News
Volleyball set to host No. 11 Purdue

10/27 MSU State News
Volleyball beats Indiana in 4 sets

10/25 MSU State News
Volleyball hits midpoint in Big Ten season

10/24 MSU State News
Moster earns two weekly conference awards

10/23 MSU State News
Volleyball falls to No. 23 Ohio State in four sets

10/20 MSU State News
Volleyball hits the road to take on No. 23 Ohio State

10/19 MSU State News
Volleyball beats No. 21 U-M in front of excited home crowd

10/18 MSU State News
Volleyball expects big crowd for U-M game

10/16 MSU State News
Volleyball beats Northwestern, nearly upsets No. 1 Illinois

10/13 MSU State News
Volleyball set for 2 tough road matchups

10/9 MSU State News
Volleyball splits pair of conference games

10/6 Minnesota Daily
Struggling Gophers look to right the ship with pair of games in Michigan

10/6 MSU State News
Volleyball set to host pair of Big Ten games

10/5 MSU State News
Volleyball set for strong 2nd half of season

10/2 MSU State News
Volleyball rebounds to beat Iowa

10/1 MSU State News
Volleyball loses to Nebraska in 5 sets

9/29 Daily Nebraskan
NU volleyball faces challenges in upcoming back-to-back matches against Michigan and Michigan State

9/29 MSU State News
Volleyball set to meet national power Nebraska

9/25 MSU State News
Volleyball goes 1-1 in 1st weekend of conference play

9/22 MSU State News
Volleyball hopes non-conference success translates to conference play

9/18 MSU State News
Volleyball dominates Spartan Invitational

9/15 MSU State News
Volleyball welcomes 3 teams to E.L. for Spartan Invite

9/13 MSU State News
Alexis Matthews taking charge for MSU volleyball

9/12 MSU State News
Jenison Field House receives about $500,000 in upgrades

9/11 MSU State News
Volleyball suffers first loss, rebounds to win 2 matches

9/11 Lansing State Journal
Spartans stifle Canisius, S. Illinois-Edwardsville

9/6 MSU State News
Clutch play has MSU volleyball off to hot start

9/5 MSU State News
Volleyball continues hot start, improves to 6-0

9/1 MSU State News
Volleyball hopes to carry momentum from tournament victory into weekend

8/30 MSU State News
MSU volleyball wins first 3 games of season, takes UCF Classic in Orlando

8/27 Lansing State Journal
Spartans open season with two victories

8/23 Detroit News
Alexis Mathews emerges as a high-flying threat

6/29 Cincinnati Community Press
Ursuline’s Moster ready to take talents north

2011 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.

2011 Annual Awards Presented

The following awards were presented at the annual volleyball banquet on January 8, 2012 at the University Club:

Kirkby Scholar-Athlete Award: Jenilee Rathje
Blue Collar Award: Stefanie Shiramizu
Playmaker Award: Kori Moster
Coach's Award:
Carli Weiler
MVP Award: Jenilee Rathje

The SideOut Club Service Award for 2011 recognized Bob and Julie Skandalaris for their donation that funded this year's major renovation of Jenison Field House.

The SideOut Club presented Coach George with a check for $12,000 for use by the volleyball program.

Jenilee Rathje Wins Dual Honors

Senior Jenilee Rathje was selected to the 2011 Academic All America Second Team, as well as the AVCA All America Third Team. She is the third Spartan volleyball player to win the academic award and the ninth named to the AVCA team. [AVCA story] [Academic story]

Seven Spartans Named to Academic All-Conference Team

The Academic All-Big Ten Team for fall sports was announced December 7, 2011. MSU volleyball was well-represented, with honors going to Amy Dentlinger, Kristen Kelsay, Gina Lang, Chelsey Probst, Jenilee Rathje, Stefanie Shiramizu, and Becca Zlabis. [full story]

Spartans Selected for NCAA Tournament

The MSU volleyball team will play Arizona in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday, December 2 in Austin, Texas. [full bracket and schedule] The match will be at 5:30 p.m. EST in Gregory Gym on the campus of the University of Texas. [ticket information] The other first round match will pit Texas State against national number 1 seed Texas at 8:00 p.m.

Arizona has a season record very similar to MSU's. They are 19-12 overall and 11-11 in Pac-12 play, finishing in 7th place. The two teams are quite close in the polls and the computer rankings. Also like MSU, Arizona suffered a final-week loss to their in-state rival, who finished several games behind them in the conference. MSU and Arizona had no common opponents this year. Arizona has two notable victories, both over UCLA.

A win over Arizona would likely see MSU face Texas at 8:00 p.m. Saturday. Texas has been ranked in the top five nationally for much of the season. They lost twice to Minnesota early in the season, and defeated Penn State.

Player of the Week? Moster Again!

The Spartans' incredible libero Kori Moster was honored again by the Big Ten on November 21 with her third selection as Freshman of the Week. She averaged over 6 digs per set in the four-set victory over #7 Illinois. [full story]

Two Huge Victories

November 18th and 19th produced two very different, but both huge, wins for the Spartans. First was their upset of #7 Illinois, powered by a balanced attack from all over the court. Second was a comeback against Northwestern, overcoming a two-set deficit to win 3-2. This was the first win from that far behind since 2003, as well as the first such win ever at Jenison Field House since it became the home of MSU volleyball in 1993. [Illinois story] [Northwestern story]

Hadley Orr Completes 2012 Early Signees

On November 14, MSU Volleyball announced the three first signees for 2012. In addition to Halle Peterson and Maggie Halloran, the new class will include Hadley Orr, a 6-foot outside hitter/defensive specialist from Forest, IN. Her mother, Marianne Smith, was the Big Ten's very first volleyball All-American, at Purdue in 1985. [full story]

Maggie Halloran Signs on for 2012

On November 9, Maggie Halloran, a 6-3 outside hitter from Ann Arbor, Michigan signed to play for the Spartans starting in the fall of 2012. Her club team from Premier Academy (also where Kyndra Abron played) was runner up at the AAU Nationals this summer and she was named to the tournament All-Star team. [full story]

Rathje Earns Academic All-District Honor

On November 10, senior Jenilee Rathje was selected to the Academic All-District V Volleyball First Team. These awards are based on accomplishment both on the court and in the classroom. This is the first such honor for a Spartan volleyball player since Michelle Kopka was chosen in 2003. [full list]

Moster Wins Second Award

Kori Moster was named the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player and Co-Freshman of the Week for October 24. She averaged 6.5 digs per set against two ranked opponents last week, and now leads the league in digs per set with 5.0. [full story]

Moster Named Freshman of the Week

Kori Moster received serve 34 times without a single error for the Big Ten opening weekend, and averaged 4.3 digs per set. For her performance, she was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for September 26. [full story]

Halle Peterson to Join Spartans in 2012

In October 2010, setter Halle Peterson of Rockford, Michigan verbally committed to play volleyball at MSU next year. Three weeks later she tore her right ACL in a district final. Now she has recovered and is playing her senior year with the Rockford Rams, Jenny Rood's alma mater. [2010 story] [2011 story]

Spartans Conclude Pre-conference Play with 11-1 Record

A win over Sacred Heart on September 17 completed one of the best pre-conference seasons ever for Green and White volleyball. They won 11 of 12 games, with a 34-4 record in sets.

Jenilee Rathje won MVP honors in three of the four tournaments, while Kyndra Abron was selected three times to the all-tournament teams. Also earning all-tournament honors were Alexis Mathews (twice), Natalie Emro, Carli Weiler, and Kori Moster.

Four Spartan Games Scheduled for Big Ten Network

MSU volleyball will be featured on four Big Ten Network broadcasts this season. Two of these will be road games, starting with the conference opener Friday, September 23 at Purdue. The other road broadcast will be from Minnesota on Wednesday, November 9. The cameras and crews will come to Jenison for the Michigan game Wednesday, October 19, and then again a week later for the Indiana game. Those two games will have a later 8:00 pm start because of the broadcast. [full BTN schedule]

Conference Coaches Expect Gains for Spartans

The Big Ten Coaches' Preseason Poll released August 17th ranked the Spartans sixth in the conference, a significant improvement from last year's ninth-place finish. Factors in the Spartans favor include the return of six starters andthe likelihood of four seniors in the starting lineup. Senior Jenilee Rathje was named to the preseason all-Big-Ten team.

The coaches picked Penn State to repeat as conference champion, with Illinois and Nebraska tied for second. [full story]

New Director of Volleyball Operations Selected

Jennifer Dhaenens has been named Director of Volleyball Operations, replacing Carmen Jones, who departed in May. Carmen took a position as office manager for a physical therapist, a position that will allow her to spend more time with her family.

Jen Dhaenens comes to us from the Top Gun Volleyball Club, based in Howell. She played volleyball at the University of Michigan in the 80's and spent 15 years as an assistant coach at U-M and Eastern Michigan. [full story]

Volleyball Tailgate Party, October 8

Come out to join fellow MSU fans for the 12th Annual Spartan Volleyball Tailgate on Saturday, October 8, 2011 before the match against Minnesota. We will start around 3:30 pm at the usual location in front of the south entrance to Jenison Fieldhouse and continue until game time at 7:00. Bring a dish or grillable item to share. Also needed are grills and folding tables. If you can bring a grill or folding table, or if you have any questions, please contact Cathy Caswell at 332-4353 or at

Dana Cooke Named to Hall of Fame

On September 22, 2011, Dana Cooke will be inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame. She will be the second volleyball player, after Val Sterk, to be so honored.

Among numerous accomplishments, Dana co-captained the Spartans to the 1995 NCAA national semi-final and the 1996 regional final. [full story]

2011 Schedule Posted

The MSU Spartans' schedule for fall 2011 is now available. Under the new 12-team Big Ten scheduling, MSU will play only one game against Penn State (in East Lansing) and Ohio State (in Columbus) this year, while playing two games against all other conference foes.

In non-conference play, MSU will host two home tournaments, September 2-3 and 16-17. They open the season with a tournament at Central Florida, coached by former MSU associate head coach Todd Dagenais. The non-conference schedule includes one 2010 NCAA tournament competitor, Sacred Heart. [full schedule]

Rathje Wins Service Award

Jenilee Rathje was chosen from all MSU student athletes as the winner of the 2011 Dr. James Feurig Service and Achievement Award. The award honors success in academics and athletics combined with involvement in community activities. [full story]

Mathews and Weiler Bring Home Medals

Alexis Mathews and her USA Red team placed second at the 2011 USA Volleyball Open Championships on May 31, just edging out Carli Weiler and her third-place USA White team. They were among 36 college players selected for three teams representing the USA Volleyball A2 program at the annual Championships. [full story] [MSU release]

Coaches' Dinner May 4

The SideOut Club will hold a coaches' dinner at the Hall of Fame Café on Wednesday, May 4th at 5:30pm. Chuck Riley has worked with the Hall of Fame to get us a very great price ($12) on a delicious meal that includes: Bourbon Chicken, Oven Fired Penne Pasta, Hall of Fame Salad with Chicken, Fabulous Fish & Fries. Each meal has appropriate side dishes, a chopped salad (soup if the salad entree is chosen), rolls, water, and assorted non alcoholic beverages. Plan on joining us that evening, and bring a friend or 10…

Annual Meeting in Jenison April 9

The SideOut Club’s Annual Meeting will be held at 3pm on April 9, 2011 in Jenison Field House, during the spring tournament (see below). 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 9th.

Spring Tournament Schedule

Spartan volleyball will host the University of Cincinnati in Jenison Field House for a practice/competition event on Saturday, April 9, 2011. Note that this is a change in location from the original announcement. The teams will play wash drills starting at noon, with a best-3-of-5 game scheduled for 4:00 pm.

For the two weekends preceding and the weekend following the home event, the Spartans will compete in tournaments. On March 26, they will be at the Great Lakes Center in Aurora, Illinois, with competition starting at 9 am. On April 2, they will be at the Dunes Volleyball Club Operation Center in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, starting at 9 am. The April 16th event is at the University of Michigan, starting at 9 am.
[March 26 schedule] [April 2 schedule] [April 16 schedule]

Big Ten and Other News

2012 Brings Refereeing Change

Starting in fall 2012, referees for NCAA women's volleyball will use the signaling order that has been used internationally for several years. When a play ends, the first referee will first signal which team has won the point, and will then signal the nature of the fault that ended play. This is the reverse of the signaling order that has been in use for decades.

More Distinction Mandated for Libero Uniforms by 2013

You may have noticed that on some teams, including MSU, it can be hard to pick out the libero at a glance because the libero jersey is quite similar to the regular jersey. This will change by 2013, when the NCAA will require that either the libero or her teammates must wear a jersey with body and sleeves that are of the same color. (It can have a limited amount of trim that is a different color.) The color used for that jersey must clearly contrast from the predominant color of the alternate jersey.

Big Ten Network Will Air AVCA Showcase

The American Volleyball Coaches Association Showcase will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. The tournament, scheduled for August 26 and 27, 2011 in State College, PA, will feature Penn State and Minnesota from the Big Ten and USC and Oregon from the PAC10. [full story]