2020 Season Results

Big Ten finish: 3-12, 12th place (T)

Overall record: 3-12, not ranked

News Links

6/1 Illinois State Magazine
Where are they now? Cathy (Olson) George ’85

4/3 MSU State News
MSU volleyball loses in four sets to Rutgers in season finale, 'We left it all on the court'

4/2 MSU State News
MSU volleyball prepares for season finale, senior night as they host Rutgers

3/28 MSU State News
MSU volleyball splits their series at Iowa, getting their first win in over a month

3/21 MSU State News
MSU struggles offensively as they lose their 2nd match to Penn State

3/20 MSU State News
MSU volleyball back after month-long COVID break, falls short to Penn State

3/19 MSU State News
MSU Volleyball prepares for Penn State after nearly month long pause due to COVID-19

2/22 MSU State News
No. 1 Wisconsin defeats Spartan volleyball on Saturday, Sunday

2/18 WLNS
Michigan takes advantage of no ‘Jam Jenison’ event, tops MSU in four sets

2/18 MSU State News
MSU volleyball falls short to rival Michigan

2/17 Lansing State Journal
Michigan State vs. Michigan volleyball: Photos from the Jenison Field House

2/17 MSU State News
Sarah Franklin cements herself among best freshmen in Big Ten

2/17 MSU State News
'It is not on 1 person to beat Michigan' as MSU volleyball prepares for rivalry game

2/16 Lansing State Journal
Michigan State volleyball gears up for daunting week behind freshman phenom Sarah Franklin

2/15 MSU State News
MSU beats Maryland twice to pick up 1st wins of the season

2/12 MSU State News
Michigan State volleyball looking to put 1st win under their belt against Maryland

2/2 The Only Colors
MSU Volleyball: Ohio State Sweeps The Spartans

2/1 MSU State News
MSU volleyball continues rocky start to season in first match with Ohio State

2/1 WLNS
Michigan State swept by Ohio State in home opener

1/30 MSU State News
MSU volleyball deals with COVID-19 schedule change, new matchup with Ohio State

1/24 MSU State News
Despite second loss to Minnesota, Spartans show promise in season opener

1/23 WLNS
Michigan State volleyball begins its long-awaited season at Minnesota

1/21 MSU State News
Michigan State volleyball recognizes veteran presence as season opener nears

1/22 Lansing State Journal
Michigan State volleyball captains Meredith Norris and Jayme Cox are ready to play - 5 months later than planned

1/5 MSU State News
Michigan State volleyball faces uphill battle as season becomes reality

11/12 MSU State News
Volleyball announces four recruits to join for 2021 season

8/18 MLive.com
A closer look at Michigan State’s unprecedented athletic budget crunch

8/17 Lansing State Journal
For MSU's non-revenue sports, like volleyball and soccer, an 'unknown world' awaits

8/13 WILX 10
Coaches react to the Big Ten announcement of fall sports cancellation

2020 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.

A Different Senior Night, with surprises

With the Covid restrictions there can't be a traditional Senior Night with a full home audience for this year's seniors, so we can only acknowledge them remotely for their time at MSU.

Honorees this year are Meredith Norris, Julia Hatcher, Alyssa Chronowski, Elena Shklyar, Lauren Swartz, and Bella Legarza. Congratulations to all!

You may note three unusual things about that list. Senior Jamye Cox is not included, reportedly because she will return to play a fifth year as the first Spartan to take advantage of the additional year of eligibility granted by the NCAA for the disrupted fall season. Elena Shlyar was listed as a junior this year but will earn her degree early and may go on to use her fourth (and fifth?) year of eligibility at another school. Bella Legarza was not on the team roster this year, which would have been her senior season, but she is being recognized as a graduating senior nevertheless.

More Covid-19 Postponements for the Spartans

MSU volleyball matches versus Purdue on March 12 and 13, 2021 will not be played as scheduled due to Covid-19 issues within the Spartan program. So far this season eight matches have been postponed with only one one of them played on a later date. There are only three additional weeks left in the season, so the postponements will likely become cancellations. [full story]

Volleyball Season Put on Hold for Two Weeks

The Spartans' scheduled volleyball matches for February 27 through at least March 6 will not be played as scheduled due to Covid-19 issues within the program. That will leave only four weeks in the season, so it may be impossible to reschedule the matches. [full story]

MSU's last opponent, on February 20 and 21, was Wisconsin. The Badgers announced this week that they have also suspended activities for 14 days due to a number of Covid-19 cases within the program.

Sarah Franklin—Freshman Player of the Week

On February 15, 2021, the Big Ten named outside hitter Sarah Franklin the Big Ten Freshman Player of the Week for her performance in dual victories over Maryland. Most notable was her offensive game, with an average of 4.5 kills per set. [full story]

Matches vs. Michigan Postponed; Ohio State Moved Up

After opening the 2021 spring season with back-to-back matches at Minnesota, the Spartans are already faced with a Covid-related postponement of the next two matches against Michigan, January 28 and 30. The Ohio State matches originally scheduled for the following weekend have been moved up five days to fill the gap.

The University of Michigan has suspended all athletic activities and is requiring quarantine of all athletes for at least 14 days after numerous positive tests for the more transmissible new Covid variant. [full story]

Spring 2021 Schedule Announced

On December 29, 2020 the Big Ten Conference announced the dates for the postponed 2020 fall women's volleyball season, now scheduled for January through April 2021. It will consist of 11 weeks and 22 games, all within the Conference. Each team will meet up with eleven opponents, playing them in back-to-back games over two days at home or away to reduce travel to a minimum. The Spartans will play Michigan both at home and away because of the short travel distance involved. Nebraska and Indiana are the two teams not on the MSU schedule. [full schedule]

Fall Student-Athletes Granted Another Year of Eligibility

The Division I Board of Governors announced on August 21 that student-athletes in fall sports will have an additional year of eligibility in their sport, if they want to use it. In addition to women’s volleyball this also affects field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and football. The NCAA also reaffirmed that they will attempt to hold scaled-back championships for fall sports in the spring. [full story]

2020 Volleyball Season Postponed Until Spring 2021

On August 11, the Big Ten conference announced the postponement of all fall varsity sports competition because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The announcement allowed for "the possibility of competition in the spring" depending on continuing evaluation of the situation. The PAC-12 conference made a similar announcement later that day. Combined with earlier postponements from other conferences, almost half of Division I volleyball programs will not be competing this fall. More postponements are expected. [full report]

MSU is Top-Ten in Attendance Again

According to the annual attendance report released by the NCAA at the beginning of April, Spartan volleyball for 2019 attracted over 3,000 fans per match for the third consecutive year. This was good for a rank of number 7 in the nation. This was the fifth year in a row with a top-ten ranking for MSU. [full report]

Spring 2020 Schedule Annouced CANCELLED

The Spartans will start spring season play at home on March 21, hosting a matchup with Western Michigan at Jenison Field House. This is followed by two away tournaments: March 28 at University of Dayton, and April 4 at the KIVA Tournament in Louisville. They finish two weeks later on April 18 versus Michigan at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.

Two Spartans Attend National Team Tryouts

Two MSU volleyball players will try out for the USAVB national team in Colorado Springs February 21-23. Juniors Alyssa Chronowski and Jamye Cox will join 208 other athletes vying for spots in the elite high performance program. [full story]

Coaching Changes for Spartan Volleyball

January 2020 saw two announcements of new coaching appointments—Associate Head Coach Paul Koncir and Assistant Coach Dominique Gonzalez. Both Paul and Dominique may look familiar due to their previous Big Ten experience. We saw Paul on the bench for Indiana for 7 years as their Assistant and then Associate Head Coach. You may remember Dominique as the libero on Penn State’s back-to-back national championship teams in 2013 and 2014, where she was also team captain for three years. A warm welcome to Paul and Dominique! [Paul Koncir story] [Dominique Gonzalez story]

2019 Annual Awards Presented

The following awards were presented at the annual volleyball banquet on January 19, 2020 at the Kellogg Center:

SideOut Club Service Award: John Faust
Academic All-Conference Selections: Alyssa Chronowski, Jamye Cox, Julia Hatcher, Sam McLean, Maggie Midgette, Meredith Norris, Lauren Swartz, Talia Edmonds, Rebecka Poljan, Elena Shklyar
Kirkby Scholar-Athlete Award: Sam McLean, Lauren Swartz
Most Improved Award: Biamba Kabengele
Most Inspirational Award: Bella Legarza
Extra Mile Award: Maggie Midgette
Spartan Award:
Sam McLean

Eileen Ellis, president of the SideOut Club, announced the Club's donation of $10,000 for use by the volleyball program.


Previous 2020 News



For news from previous years, click on "Archive" in the top menu.


Big Ten and Other News

Haggerty Named Assistant at Clemson

Former Spartan outside hitter Maddie Haggerty has been promoted to assistant volleyball coach at Clemson University only two seasons after her playing days at MSU. In an interesting twist, Maddie will replace Clemson's previous assistant Jesse Ortiz, who held that position for only one year after leaving the same position at MSU. Jesse was hired earlier in the month as head coach at South Alabama. [full story]

Holly Toliver to Play in U.S. Pro League

Former Spartan outside hitter Holly Toliver will play in the inaugural season of the Athletes Unlimited pro volleyball league. The season will be played entirely in Dallas, Texas starting February 27, 2021 using an unusual format where the composition of the teams changes each week. [full story] [Holly Toliver profile]

NCAA Tournament to be Played Entirely in Omaha

On February 3, 2021, the NCAA announced that all matches of the 2021 Division I volleyball tournament will be played at the CHI Health Center Arena and Convention Center in Omaha, Nebraska where the championship rounds were already scheduled. The tournament matches will start April 13 and conclude April 24. [full story]

Rules Changes for 2020, Mostly Administrative

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel has approved seven rules changes that went into effect starting with the 2020 volleyball season. None of the changes affect the play on the court.

For example, there will be an option to use a third official to conduct all video challenge reviews. Players will be allowed to choose alternative uniform bottoms, such as shorts or leggings, as long as all teammates wear matching colors. [summary of all changes]

Wisconsin Selected First in Big Ten and in the Nation

In the January 2021 preseason polls, the Wisconsin Badgers were predicted to top their conference by the Big Ten coaches and as the national favorites by the AVCA Coaches. [Big Ten poll] [AVCA poll]

Championships Scheduled for April with Reduced Field

The delayed 2020 NCAA volleyball championships will be held April 22-24, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. The regular season will end April 3. The tournament leading up to the championships will be reduced from 64 to 48 teams, but will be played over the course of two weekends as usual.

NCAA Will Not Hold Any Fall Championships

NCAA President Mark Emmert said on August 17 that the NCAA will not hold Division I fall championships this year. This means no NCAA tournament for volleyball, because fewer than half of the DI teams will be playing volleyball this fall. [full story]

No Pre-conference Competition for Fall 2020

The Big 10 conference announced July 9 that IF the conference is able to participate in fall sports the schedules will be limited to only the normal in-conference season. For volleyball this would eliminate the first four weeks typically filled with tournament play. Of course, it has not yet been decided whether the season will be played at all, when it would start, and whether fans will be allowed (or how many). [full statement]

Ella Wrobel, Jenna's Niece, is Top 2022 Wisconsin Recruit

The Wisconsin State Journal reported on June 27, 2020 that Ella Wrobel of Plainfield, Illinois has committed to play volleyball at the University of Wisconsin. The 6' 4" outside hitter is regarded as one of the top high-school players in the nation. Her aunt, Jenna Wrobel, was an outside hitter for MSU from 1995-1998, and is one of the Spartans' all-time greats. [full story]

Jen Flynn Returns to OSU as Head Coach

Ohio State announced on January 17, 2020 the hiring of Jen Flynn Oldenburg as the head coach of the women's volleyball program, replacing Geoff Carlston. Jen was a star player for OSU in the 1990's, when she became the first conference player to be named All-Big Ten at two different positions (setter and outside hitter). With this appointment, there are now three women head coaches for volleyball in the Big Ten. [Flynn story] [Carlston story]

Rutgers Names Schweihofer Head Coach

Caitlin Schweihofer is the new head volleyball coach at Rutgers University, replacing CJ Werneke for the 2020 season. This follows one year as head coach at Northeastern and five years at LaSalle. [Schweihofer story] [Wernecke story]