2021 Final Results

Big Ten finish: 4-16, 11th place (T)

Overall record: 11-18, not ranked

Upcoming Home Events

4/13 Inside MSU Volleyball Luncheon

[list of events]

News Links

1/14 Lansing State Journal
'Trailblazer' Cathy George retires as MSU volleyball coach; national search to begin

1/14 MSU State News
MSU Volleyball Coach Cathy George announces retirement

11/22 MSU State News
MSU volleyball falls short to in-state rival Michigan during annual Jam Jenison

10/21 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball takes down No. 7 Purdue, as Cathy George gets win No. 300 as a Spartan

10/19 MSU State News
MSU volleyball's errors holding the squad back from top of standings

10/18 MSU State News
MSU volleyball falls short in two game home-stand against Wisconsin and Maryland

10/14 MSU State News
MSU volleyball to host No. 3 Wisconsin and Maryland this weekend

10/11 MSU State News
MSU volleyball falls short in first home weekend of Big Ten play

10/8 MSU State News
MSU volleyball to compete in first home weekend of Big Ten play

9/30 MSU State News
MSU volleyball to take on Iowa and Nebraska in second weekend of Big Ten play

9/20 MSU State News
Michigan State volleyball rallies for a 3-0 sweep during Green & White Classic

9/19 Lansing State Journal
MSU volleyball sweeps CMU, IUPUI and Oakland to close out non-conference season

9/17 MSU State News
MSU volleyball to host Green and White Volleyball Classic

9/8 MSU State News
MSU volleyball returns from BYU invitational 2-1

8/22 MSU State News
MSU Volleyball Green vs. White Scrimmage '21

8/21 WLNS
MSU welcomes fans back for Green & White scrimmage

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


What's Going On in Spartan Volleyball

Volleyball to be Played at Breslin This Fall

That's the word from MSU Athletic Director Alan Haller in a story published in The Detroit News on June 6. In an interview with Matt Charboneau of the paper, Haller is quoted as saying that he will be "making sure the volleyball team is playing and practicing more at the Breslin Center for the 2022-23 season".

This move is part of an effort that Haller describes as preparing all MSU sports to "go after success". Another significant part of the effort for volleyball is "plans to raise anywhere from $12 million to $17 million for [Head Coach] Johnson’s team to have its own space", in other words, a dedicated facility for volleyball.

Volleyball fans have been waiting for this for years. It still seems like a difficult task, so let's hope MSU is able to make it happen! [full story]

First Luncheon with the New Coach

You are invited to join us for a special edition of Inside MSU Volleyball at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 13th at Reno’s East, 1310 Abbot Road, East Lansing.

This is your opportunity to meet new Head Volleyball Coach Leah Johnson and the rest of the Spartan staff while enjoying lunch at Reno’s! You will hear from Coach Johnson on how her first few weeks have been in East Lansing, her immediate tasks, and what her vision is for Michigan State Volleyball!

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. with a full lunch menu available for your purchase. Bring a friend…bring your family…bring any Spartan fan you know!

Spartans Welcome a Middle Blocker, Lose a DS

Lauren Schutter, a 6' 2" middle blocker from Alma, Kansas has signed to attend MSU in the fall, after initially being recruited to Illinois State by new MSU head volleyball coach Leah Johnson. Lauren was a three-sport star at Wabaunsee High School, excelling at volleyball, basketball and track. [full story]

The same day, Penn State volleyball announced that defensive specialist Gillian Grimes, originally an MSU signee for former head coach Cathy George, will now play as a Nittany Lion instead. [full story]

MSU Adds Two Transfers

The month of March starts off with the fall 2022 volleyball roster increasing by two. Setter Zoe Nunez transfers in as a graduate student from Notre Dame where she was twice named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team. [full story]

Outside hitter Aliyah Moore joins the Spartans from Illinois State, following new MSU head coach Leah Johnson. Aliyah, who will be a sophomore, was named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman team for 2021. [full story]

Sarah Franklin Leaves for Wisconsin

After two seasons playing for the Spartans, outside hitter Sarah Franklin has transferred to the University of Wisconsin. She led the Spartans in kills per set in 2021 and earned first-team All-Big Ten Conference honors. [full story]

Leah Jonson Joins the Spartans as Sixth Head Volleyball Coach

It was announced on February 7, 2022 that Leah Johnson will be the new volleyball coach at Michigan State University. She comes to MSU after five seasons at Illinois State University where she took the Redbirds to the NCAA tournament four consecutive times and was named the 2021 AVCA North Region Coach of the Year. Prior to that she was the head coach a Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville for six seasons. She had a notable career as a defensive specialist at Missouri State from 2000-2003. We look forward to the experience, energy, and enthusiasm she will bring to Spartan volleyball! [full story]

Big Changes Coming for 2022

Following the announced retirement of head coach Cathy George, it appears that 2022 may bring the biggest roster changes in Spartan volleyball history. As of January 22 it's being reported that three of MSU's statistical leaders have put their names in the transfer portal to find a spot at another school. This is in addition to the reports at the beginning of the month that two graduating seniors with remaining eligibility will play elsewhere while pursuing graduate degrees. Talia Edmonds will go to University of Hawai'i with two remaining years of eligibility, while Molly Johnson is going to New Mexico State with one year of eligibility.

Cathy George Retires After 17 Seasons at MSU

On January 14, head volleyball coach Cathy George announced her retirement from Michigan State University. She had been the Spartans' coach since 2005. She was the fifth head coach in the history of Spartan volleyball and also the winningest. The SideOut Club and all volleyball fans will miss her and wish her the best in retirement! [full story]

Volleyball Banquet to be Rescheduled

UPDATE: Due to the ongoing pandemic, the previously announced volleyball banquet has been postponed until a future date, to be determined later.

The 2021 year-end volleyball banquet will be held Sunday, January 9, 2022 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. Doors will open at 11 a.m. with the program starting at 11:30. Admission is $35 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under. You can buy tickets online until January 5, but seating is limited.

Sarah Franklin Earns All-Conference Award

MSU's Sarah Franklin was one of nineteen players named to the 2021 All-Big-Ten volleyball team on December 1, 2021. Franklin finished the season ranked sixth in the conference in kills with 404. Nebraska and Purdue led all schools with three all-conference selections each. Minnesota's Stephanie Samedy repeated as Player of the Year.

Rebecca Poljan was chosen for Michigan State's Sportsmanship award. [full story]

Julia Bishop Captures Freshman of the Week Honor

Julia Bishop earned her first Big Ten honor on November 8, 2021, chosen as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week. In the Rutgers match on Friday Julia split setting duties in a 5-2 rotation with Celia Cullen until Celia was injured in set 3. The following night against Penn State, Julia was the only MSU setter in the 5-game match. Her stats were impressive across the board for a setter, in digs, kills, blocks, hitting percentage, and serving, resulting in two double doubles.

There were two somewhat unusual aspects to the award. First, it's rare for a player in a two-setter rotation to win an award, because it's hard for one of them to stand out with only half the playing time. Second, the match against Penn State resulted in weekly awards for both Julia and Penn State's setter Gabby Blossom who was named Big Ten Setter of the Week. [full story]

Franklin Named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week

Sarah Franklin's outstanding performance at the Green & White Classic tournament earned her the Freshman of the Week honor from the Big Ten for September 20, 2021. She accomplished this with impressively balanced stats: 4.2 kills, 2.1 digs and 0.6 blocks per set with a .320 hitting percentage. [full story]

SideOut Club Annual Meeting August 21

The SideOut Club’s Annual Meeting will be held on August 21, 2021 following the Green & White scrimmage. Be aware that masks are required inside all buildings on the MSU campus, including Jenison Field House.

The 2021 volleyball team will introduce themselves to everyone in attendance and then there will be a brief meeting that will include election of SideOut Club board members. Due to COVID restrictions, there will be no associated picnic event this year.

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 all on the 21st.

2021 Fall Schedule Announced

The Michigan State volleyball program released its fall 2021 schedule on Friday, June 11. It will include two tournaments at home and one away, as well as home matches with North Carolina and Duke as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. [full schedule]



Previous 2021 News



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


Big Ten and Other News

Franklin Chosen for Collegiate National Team

Former Spartan Sarah Franklin is one of nine Big Ten volleyball players selected for the 2022 U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team. These college athletes will train alongside the U.S. Women's National Team in Anaheim, California June 19-25. [full story]

Monson Named Head Coach at Carleton College

Former MSU Spartan Abby Monson has been hired as head volleyball coach for Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Abby was a libero/defensive specialist at MSU from 2014 to 2017. [full story]

Eight Big Ten Teams in NCAA Tournament

Big Ten volleyball topped all conferences with eight teams selected to compete in the 2021 NCAA tournament. This has been a familiar position for the Big Ten for a couple of decades now. Wisconsin, the conference champion, is seeded number 4 in the nation. [full story]

Cox, Shklyar Head to the PAC-12

Jamye Cox has enrolled at Arizona State University for fall 2021 as a graduate student and will use her fifth "pandemic" year of eligibility to play on the Sun Devils' volleyball team. Elena Shklyar is now in the graduate program in journalism at the University of Arizona and will play for the Wildcats. [Cox story] [Shklyar story]

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]