2016 Final Results

Big Ten finish: 13-7, 5th place

Overall record: 25-9, ranked #19

NCAA Tournament: 2nd round

Upcoming Home Events

8/19 Green vs. White Exhibition

[list of events]

News Links

1/9 MLive
Holland's Alyssa Garvelink named MVP of Michigan State volleyball team

12/8 MSU State News
3 Spartans earn AVCA postseason honor

12/4 MSU State News
Senior Spartans left it all on the court in season-ending loss to Arizona

12/4 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball stunned by Arizona, ousted from NCAA tournament

12/3 MSU State News
No. 9 Spartans upset by Arizona in NCAA Tournament

12/2 MSU State News
MSU volleyball advances in NCAA Tournament after sweeping Fairfield

12/2 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball thumps Fairfield in NCAA tourney opener

12/1 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball begins NCAA tourney run in friendly confines of Jenison

11/30 MSU State News
Spartan volleyball team preps for home NCAA Tournament game against Fairfield

11/29 MSU State News
MSU volleyball to host opening rounds of NCAA Tournament

11/27 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball team excited, relieved to host NCAA tournament games

11/20 MSU State News
No. 13 MSU swept by No. 3 Wisconsin

11/19 MSU State News
Spartans rebound but lose in five sets to No. 2 Minnesota

11/13 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball beats Michigan, moves closer to hosting NCAA tournament

11/13 MSU State News
MSU extends winning streak to six games after 3-1 win against No. 17 U-M

11/12 Holland Sentinel
Alyssa Garvelink powers MSU volleyball past Michigan

11/9 Purdue Exponent
Purdue Volleyball: Boilers ready for Spartan serve second time around

11/5 MSU State News
MSU volleyball host Illinois, defeat Fighting Illini 3-0

11/4 MSU State News
MSU volleyball opens four game home stand with 3-0 win over Northwestern

11/3 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball enters crucial home stand on pace to host NCAA tourney

10/29 MSU State News
Spartan volleyball improves to 7-4 in Big Ten play, sweep Hoosiers

10/22 MSU State News
No. 11 MSU volleyball swept by No. 19 Ohio State University

10/18 Lansing State Journal
Discipline main factor behind Alyssa Garvelink's breakout junior season

10/16 MSU State News
No. 14 MSU Volleyball takes down No. 3 Minnesota

10/12 Holland Sentinel
Alyssa Garvelink powers MSU volleyball to national ranking

10/9 MSU State News
MSU volleyball earns 3-1 victory over Maryland

10/9 MSU State News
MSU Volleyball Sweeps No. 14 Ohio State

10/9 MSU State News
Grind of Big Ten play proves to be no problem for MSU volleyball

10/7 MSU State News
MSU to play No. 14 Ohio State and Maryland at Jenison

9/30 Lansing State Journal
No. 18 MSU volleyball swept at No. 16 Penn State

9/28 MSU State News
MSU volleyball's Bailey and Fitterer are friends both on and off the court

9/26 MSU Athletics
1976 Volleyball Squad Paved Path, But Enjoyed Considerable Success

9/26 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball loses heartbreaker to No. 1 Nebraska

9/25 MSU State News
MSU volleyball splits weekend series between Iowa and No. 1 Nebraska

9/23 Lansing State Journal
Spartan volleyball tops Iowa to win Big Ten opener

9/21 MSU State News
Spartans set to face No. 1-ranked Nebraska in weekend set

9/18 MSU State News
MSU improves to 11-1 after sweeping Spartan Invitational

9/16 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball beats Notre Dame to move to 9-1

9/14 MSU State News
No. 22 Spartans to host Notre Dame in Spartan Classic

9/13 MSU State News
MSU volleyball earns top-25 ranking after sweeping Western Kentucky

9/9 Lansing State Journal
Michigan State volleyball sweeps Cincinnati

9/8 MSU State News
Junior libero Abby Monson looks to be a key factor for MSU volleyball

9/7 MSU State News
MSU volleyball heads south to compete in Western Kentucky Invitational

9/5 MSU State News
MSU volleyball shows growth from last season through maturity and development

9/4 MSU State News
Spartans fall to No. 7 Florida in Spartan Invitational finale

9/4 MSU State News
MSU sweeps day one of Spartan Invitational, will play No. 7 Florida

7/28 Petoskey News Review
Spartan support helps make Petoskey Volleyball Camp one of Northern Michigan's best

2/20 MLive
Halle Peterson wraps up four special years at Michigan State



What's Going On in Spartan Volleyball

Spartans at #17 in 2017 Preseason Poll

The 2017 Preseason AVCA Coaches' Poll, released on August 9, has the MSU volleyball team ranked number 17, similar to their preseason rankings in 2013 and 2014. It is higher than their final rank of 19 last season, due to a large returning squad and promising freshmen. [full poll]

Join or Renew for 2017!

The 2017 season is right around the corner! Now is the time to join the SideOut Club, or to renew your current membership. Download the membership form and mail it in now. [Membership form]

2017 Schedule Released

The 2017 volleyball season schedule has the Spartans at home for only one pre-conference tournament (September 1-2), along with three road trips to face challenging opponents.

The pre-conference schedule is unusual in that it has the Spartans tackling five opponents that they also faced in last year's pre-conference season. After playing San Diego State on the road last year, we welcome the Aztecs to East Lansing this year. MSU hosted Florida and Notre Dame in separate tournaments in 2016; in 2017 the Spartans will travel to those schools. Finally, MSU will meet both Central Michigan and Southern Illinois at neutral sites for the second consecutive year.

The visits to Georgia Tech (August 25-26), Florida (September 8-9), and Notre Dame (September 15-16) should be good preparation for Big Ten conference play, which begins on the road at Wisconsin on September 22, with a return for the home opener against Maryland on September 29. [full schedule]

"Volleyball 101" Session

On May 21, 2017, the Spartan Fund sponsored "Volleyball 101", an introductory session for Spartan fans covering the rules of the game, strategy, and more. It was especially intended for new fans, or fans coming from other sports, who wanted the additional understanding of volleyball that would add to their enjoyment of the game. For those who attended and may have missed the handouts, we provide them here for download. [Main handout] [Rules PowerPoint] [Serve receive]

"Home" Exhibition April 21

Spartan Volleyball will host a spring event at East Lansing High School this year rather than in Jenison Field House. The Green vs. White exhibition play is scheduled for Friday, April 21, 2017, at 7:30 pm.

The spring schedule will open three weeks earlier on April 1 at the Ohio Valley Volleyball Center in Louisville, Kentucky. On April 8, the Spartans will be at a tournament at the Oak Lawn Pavilion in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Participants will include Illinois State, University of Chicago, and Loyola (Chicago).

April 12 brings a midweek 6:30 p.m. game against University of Michigan at Dakota High School in Macomb, Michigan.

(Note: because of the nature of spring scheduling, all times are subject to change, but will be more firm as the events get closer.)

New Assistant Coach — Jesse Ortiz

MSU volleyball has filled out the coaching staff for 2017 with a new assistant coach, Jesse Ortiz. He spent three years as assistant at Miami (Ohio) following similar positions at Ferris State and Sonoma State. [full story]

J.T. Wenger Hired at Texas-Arlington

After one year as MSU's assistant volleyball coach, J. T. Wenger has accepted the position of head coach at University of Texas Arlington. Coincidentally, Spartan head coach Cathy George held the same position at Texas-Arlington from 1989 to 1993. We wish J.T. the best in this new chapter of his life! [full story]

2016 Annual Awards Presented

The following awards were presented at the annual volleyball banquet on January 8, 2017 at the Kellogg Center:

SideOut Club Service Award: Carole Brogan
Academic All-Conference Selections: Autumn Christenson, Allyssah Fitterer, Alyssa Garvelink, Rachel Minarick, Chloe Reinig, and Megan Tompkins
Kirkby Scholar-Athlete Award:Rachel Minarick
Most Improved Award: Lauren Swartz
Most Inspirational Award: Autumn Christenson
Extra Mile Award: Allyssah Fitterer
Playmaker Award:
Alyssa Garvelink
MVP Award:
Alyssa Garvelink

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

Garvelink and Bailey Earn All-America Honors

On December 16, 2016, MSU junior middle blocker Alyssa Garvelink was named to the 2016 Division I All-America second team, and junior outside hitter Autumn Bailey earned honorable mention recognition.

Alyssa is now the fourth Spartan to earn second-team honors, the first since Lauren Wicinski in 2013. Autumn now has her third consecutive honorable mention, following two such awards while playing at Marquette University. [full story]

Garvelink, Bailey, and Fitterer Named as All-Region Selections

A trio of Spartan volleyball players won honors in the AVCA North Region for 2016. Juniors Alyssa Garvelink and Autumn Bailey were selected for the All-Region team, while Senior Allyssah Fitterer was an Honorable Mention pick. [full story]

Big Ten Season Honors for Four Spartans

Alyssa Garvelink has earned First Team All-Big Ten honors for 2016, with Rachel Minarick and Autumn Bailey garnering Honorable Mention selections. Allyssah Fitterer was the team's recipient of the Sportsmanship Award. [full story]

MSU Seeded No. 9 in NCAA Tournament

Michigan State volleyball will host the first two rounds of the 2016 NCAA Division1 volleyball tournament as the number 9 seed in the country. This is the highest seed for the Spartans since 1995 when they were seeded number 6. This will be the fifth time MSU has hosted the opening rounds of the tournament, following 1995, 1996, 1998, and 2003.

The Spartans will face Fairfield at 7:30 p.m. in Jenison Field House on Friday, December 2. At 5:00 p.m. Arizona will take on Cleveland State. The two Friday winners will play Saturday at 7:00 p.m. for the right to advance to the regional the following weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Tickets for Friday's and Saturday's matches go on sale Monday, November 28 at 10:00 a.m. [full story]

Win Over Iowa Caps a Great Season!

The Spartan volleyball team defeated Iowa 3-1 on Saturday to complete an outstanding 2016 regular season. It's now expected that the Spartans will be selected as one of the top 16 teams who will host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament starting December 2. This would be the first time MSU has hosted since 2003.

The team's 2016 overall record of 24-8 is the best in two decades, since the Big Ten championship team of 1996. Their Big Ten record of 13-7 was last matched in 2001, and this year's 5th-place finish in the conference is the best since 2007.

Future Spartan Meredith Norris named Michigan's Miss Volleyball

When Meredith Norris enrolls at MSU in the spring, she will do so as the top volleyball player in the state. On November 14, 2016, the 6' 3" outside hitter was named Michigan's Miss Volleyball. Meredith is the daughter of MSU volleyball team physician Dr. Robert Norris.

The last Miss Volleyball to become a Spartan was Kyndra Abron, the winner in 2007.

[full story]

Awards to Two Spartans for the Second Week in a Row

For the week of November 14, 2016, two Spartans were again chosen for Big Ten Player-of-the-week honors. Junior middle blocker Alyssa Garvelink repeated her performance of last week as Co-Defensive Player of the Week. She was joined by junior setter Rachel Minarick who was named Setter of the Week. Congratulations to both Rachel and Alyssa! [full story]

Three Recruits Announced for 2017

For the 2017 season, MSU volleyball will be joined by three athletes who rank among the top 40 Volleyball Senior Aces:
- Alyssa Chronowski, a 6-2 outside hitter from Munster, Indiana,
- Jamye Cox, a 5-3 libero from Oregon, Ohio, and
- Meredith Norris, a 6-3 outside hitter from Corunna, Michigan.

All three players will enroll at MSU for spring semester 2017.
[MSU press release]
[Chronowski story]
[Cox story]
[Norris story]

Bailey, Garvelink Win Conference Honors

Spartans copped two of the Big Ten weekly awards for November 7, 2016, with outside hitter Autumn Bailey named Player of the Week and middle blocker Alyssa Garvelink sharing the Defensive Player of the Week honor.

The two juniors helped the Spartans to authoritative wins over Illinois and Northwestern, moving into fourth place in the conference standings. Bailey averaged 3.8 kills per set while hitting .391. Garvelink averaged 2.3 blocks per set. [full story]



Previous 2016 News

MSU Moves Up in the Rankings

After a very good pre-conference run of victories, the AVCA Coaches Poll for September 19 shows MSU on the rise, with a national ranking of #20. This is the highest ranking for the Spartans at this point in the season since 2013. In addition, the Pablo computer rankings put the Spartans at number 14.

Spartans Ranked Just Below Top 25 in Preseason Poll

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]

Florida Game Highlights 2016 Pre-Conference Season

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]

MSU Volleyball Welcomes New Assistant Coach

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]

Mike Gawlik Leaving Spartans to Join Chippewas

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]

Annual Meeting in Jenison April 16

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!

Spring Tournament April 16

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.)


Big Ten and Other News

Big 10 Down Slightly in 2017 Preseason Poll

For the first time since 2003, no Big Ten volleyball team was ranked among the top three in the nation in the Preseason AVCA Coaches' Poll for 2017. Overall, however, the conference did well, with eight teams making the top 25. Big Ten teams took four consecutive spots starting at number four, with Minnesota earning the highest ranking. [full poll]

Coaching Change at Illinois

On February 10, 2017, Chris Tamas was named head volleyball coach at the University of Illinois. He was an All-American and four-year starter at the Univeristy of the Pacific and his eight years as an assistant coach include stints at Nebraska, Minnesota, and others. [full story]

Tamas is replacing eight-year head coach Kevin Hambly, who was just hired into one of the premier programs in the country, Stanford University, replacing John Dunning who retired this year. [full story]

Big Ten On Top of the Preseason Poll

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]

Video Challenge Approved; Pursuit Rule Eliminated for 2016

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]

Coaching Change at Northwestern

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]

Big Ten Sets Record for Tournament Teams

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.