The Service Line

Volleyball News from the MSU SideOut Club
Vol. IV No. 1
August 1998


Pre-Season Big Ten Polls Released
SideOut Club Events Scheduled
Team Notes
Vlietstra Named Second Assistant
SideOut Club Calendar for 1998
SideOut Club Report
1998 Schedule
Credits and Copyright Notice

Pre-Season Big Ten Polls Released

MSU Picked for Third-Place Finish; Wrobel a Unanimous Choice

Big Ten coaches expect the top and bottom of the conference to remain about the same as last season, with some shakeups in the middle. That's the message of the 1998 pre-season poll, which shows Penn State receiving all ten first-place votes. (The voting was short one participant when Iowa's coach didn't get a ballot in by the deadline.) Wisconsin, last year's co-champion, was also given a vote of confidence, winding up in second place.

The MSU Spartans took an encouraging third place in the poll. This appears to be a significant move up from last season, when they finished fifth, but is not so surprising when you remember that they were only one victory away from a tie for third in 1997. Nevertheless, it shows that the coaches expect rapid development from our young roster.

Illinois made the largest advance in the poll, up to the fourth spot after a seventh-place Big Ten finish with an 8-12 record in 1997. The Illini return all six starters, which probably had a large influence on their strong showing in the poll.

The biggest drop in the poll belongs to the University of Michigan, who wound up in seventh in spite of last year's third-place finish. They were hurt by the graduation of two star seniors, setter Linnea Mendoza and middle blocker Sarah Jackson.

The full rankings were as follows:
Rank School Votes 1997 Finish
1 Penn State 110 1
2 Wisconsin 97 1
3 MSU 81 5
4 Illinois 76 7
5 Minnesota 67 5
6 Ohio State 66 3
7 Michigan 53 3
8 Indiana 41 8
9 Northwestern 32 9
10 Purdue 27 10
11 Iowa 10 11

The coaches also chose a pre-season all-conference team, in which one of the four unanimous choices was MSU's Jenna Wrobel. If Jenna should be chosen at the end of the season as an all Big-Ten player, she would be only the third player in conference history to win this honor all four years of her career. Mary Eggers of Illinois and Andrea Gonzalez of Minnesota are the two previous players who both accomplished this feat, from1985 to 1988.

Last year's Big-Ten Player of the Year Bonnie Bremner was another unanimous pick of the coaches, as were her teammate Lauren Cacciamani, and Ohio State setter Jen Flynn.

Penn State led all schools with four players chosen. Wisconsin and Illinois were represented by three players each, while Ohio State had two. The youth of our conference is shown by the fact that only three of the 14 players are seniors, compared with seven seniors on last year's 12-member team.

The pre-season all-conference team includes 14 members due to ties in the voting:
Player Year Pos School
Jenna Wrobel Sr OH MSU
Jen Flynn* Jr S Ohio State
Bonnie Bremner* Jr S Penn State
Lauren Cacciamani* Jr MB Penn State
Christy Chapman Sr MB Illinois
Tracey Marshall Jr OH Illinois
Sara Sorrell Jr MB Illinois
Nicole Branagh So OH Minnesota
Dana Sterns So OH Ohio State
Christy Cochran Sr OH Penn State
Carrie Schonveld Jr OH Penn State
Kate Fitzgerald Jr OH Wisconsin
Kelly Kennedy Jr MB Wisconsin
Colleen Neels Jr S Wisconsin

*unanimous selection

SideOut Club Events Scheduled

Sunday August 16th will kick off the 1998 season for MSU volleyball fans, when the MSU SideOut Club holds its second annual Meet-the-Team Picnic. The event will serve as a membership drive, so please bring friends, neighbors and relatives who may be interested in MSU volleyball.

You're invited to Jenison Field House at 5:30 pm to watch the last hour of the team's first day of practice. When practice ends, the SideOut Club will provide food and drink for everyone attending. The team will return shortly to join us for the meal, after which Chuck Erbe will introduce the players and fill us in on the state of MSU volleyball for 1998.

There is no charge for the event, but we will accept donations to cover the costs of food. Last year's event was well attended and enjoyed by all, so you won't want to miss it this year!

Less than two weeks later will see the return of the alumni match after an absence of a few years. This will be played at 1:00 pm Saturday, August 29th, prior to the MSU home football game. Admission will be free. The SideOut Club will have the merchandise counter open, so you can get an early chance at new apparel designs as well, as new types of items.

The coach's luncheons were so well-received last year that we've expanded the schedule for 1998. A luncheon will be held prior to every Big Ten home Saturday match, starting with the September 26 Purdue date, plus a bonus one for the Wednesday, November 4th matchup with Michigan.

Luncheons will be held at Reno's East on Abbott Road just north of Saginaw in East Lansing, starting at 11:30 am. The cost is expected to be $7 to cover food and soft drinks.

Team Notes

1998 Team Captains

For the first time in the history of the team, the MSU Spartans have chosen three players--Jenna Wrobel, Jenny Whitehead, and Tammy Vonderheide-- as co-captains for 1998. Captains are selected by a vote of the players, and since there was a tie in the voting, the coaches decided to go with three captains.

Jenna is expected to be the only senior starter this year, and was co-captain with Corie Richard last season, so she is a natural choice for captain. Jenny joined the program the same year as Jenna, but is in her junior year of eligibility due to her red-shirt freshman year when she had shoulder surgery. Tammy is a true junior, so is the youngest of the captains, but has played in virtually every match during her first two years.

Wrobel & Landry in International Tournament

Jenna Wrobel (above) and Christie Landry (left) played on two teams representing the United States in the Sibillini international 20-and-under tournament at Comunanza, Italy in July. (In case you're wondering how 21-year-old Jenna was allowed to play, each team was permitted two players over 20.)

Jenna's Nike Blue team, coached by Alec Peters, finished fourth out of sixteen teams, and she was honored as Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Christie played on the younger Nike White team, which had a lower-half finish. It had been hoped she would see some time setting, but was instead called on to play the right side. MSU recruit Erin Hartley had planned to play, but chose to rest instead.

The tournament included junior national teams from Germany and Albania, as well as squads from Italy, Russia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Yugoslavia.

Walk-on Players Complete the MSU Roster

The MSU volleyball program announced the addition of three more players to the roster for fall. Two of them, Kayleen Cook at 5'4" and Katie Kowalski at 5'7", will be primarily defensive specialists. Kayleen is a junior transfer student from Glen Oaks Community College. Katie was a National Honor Society member in high school, and was a second-team all-state selection. 5'10" Lisa Ashton could play the right side, or as setter, and was valedictorian of her high school class.

The complete 1998 roster is shown below, listed in order of class standing.
No. Name Year Ht. Pos. Hometown/High School
11 Jennifer Stroffe Gr./Sr. 6-1 OPP Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar/UCSB
6 Jenna Wrobel Sr./Sr. 6-0 OH Naperville, IL/Naperville Central
3 Kelly Penney Sr./Sr. 5-8 DS/S Mundelein, IL/Carmel
15 Jenny Whitehead Sr./Jr. 6-4 MB/OPP Jenison, MI/Jenison
8 Tammy Vonderheide Jr./Jr. 5-8 OH Stewardson, IL/Stewardson-Strasburg
13 Kayleen Cook Jr./Jr. 5-4 DS Mendon, MI/Mendon/Glen Oaks CC
9 Vicki Basil So./So. 5-10 S Bay City, MI/Bay City Central
12 Sarah Gustin So./So. 6-3 MB Hesperia, CA/Hesperia Christian
1 Christie Landry So./So. 6-2 S Naperville, IL/St. Francis
5 Jessica Sanborn So./So. 6-2 MB Colbert, WA/Mead
10 Maren Witzel So./Fr. 6-0 MB/OH Palmer, AK/Colony
4 Lisa Ashton Fr./Fr. 5-10 OPP/S Watervliet, MI/Watervliet
7 Erin Hartley Fr./Fr. 6-2 OH Midland, MI/Midland
14 Katie Kowalski Fr./Fr. 5-7 DS/S Dearborn, MI/Dearborn
2 Angela Morley Fr./Fr. 6-4 MB Holland, MI/West Ottawa

Starting Lineups

The early word on a possible starting lineup for the Spartans puts Christie Landry at setter, Jenny Whitehead opposite, Sarah Gustin and Jessica Sanborn in the middle, and Jenna Wrobel and Erin Hartley on the left. Vicki Basil will compete for the starting setter spot, while Jennifer Stroffe will contend for the opposite position. Maren Witzel will provide backup at either the middle or left side.

It also appears likely that Angela Morley will see 1998 as a red-shirt season.

Recruits Making Names for Themselves

The Kalamizuno Frogs juniors team featuring two of MSU's new recruits turned in an excellent performance at the U.S. Junior National Championships in Dallas, Texas at the beginning of July. Erin Hartley, Angela Morley and their teammates earned a fifth-place finish in the 18-Open, the top girls' division. In addition, Erin was named to the all-tournament team for her outstanding play.

Off-Season Training

MSU players have been active on the volleyball court over the summer. They all stayed on campus for the summer, playing volleyball and working hard in the weight room. According to Chuck Erbe, "I expect that we will see dramatic improvements in strength and power of all our players this fall."

Christie Landry and Vicki Basil went to Sports Performance in Illinois for a five-day setter camp in early July. During the last week of July, all of the Spartans went to Sports Performance for a college-player camp.

Adidas Named New Sponsor

Adidas is replacing Mizuno as the official uniform supplier for Spartan volleyball. The Adidas uniforms will have a home jersey that is white with a green stripe that runs across the shoulders and down the sleeve. Away jerseys will have the opposite color scheme and the uniform bottoms will be black spandex. Active Ankle continues as a team sponsor and Baden continues as ball supplier.

Vlietstra Named Second Assistant

The departure of Doug Tully means the Spartan coaching staff will include a new member for 1998. Craig Vlietstra has been named the new second assistant coach. Craig is from Kalamazoo, and earned his bachelor's degree form Western Michigan University in 1994, with a major in business management and a minor in marketing.

Most recently Craig was a volleyball coach with the Sports Performance juniors program in Illinois, where he headed up their 14-1 team, as well as assisting with the training of their 18-and-under players. Prior to this he was a high school head coach in Plainwell, as well as an assistant at Glen Oaks Community College.

SideOut Club Calendar for 1998

Date Event Location Time
August 16 Meet-the-Team Picnic Jenison Field House 5:30 pm
August 29 Alumni Match Jenison Field House 1:00 pm
September 26 Coach's Luncheon Reno's East, East Lansing 11:30 am
October 10 Coach's Luncheon Reno's East, East Lansing 11:30 am
October 24 Coach's Luncheon Reno's East, East Lansing 11:30 am
October 31 Coach's Luncheon Reno's East, East Lansing 11:30 am
November 4 Coach's Luncheon Reno's East, East Lansing 11:30 am
November 21 Coach's Luncheon Reno's East, East Lansing 11:30 am
January 23 Spartan Volleyball Banquet Hawk Hollow Golf Course TBD

SideOut Club Report

Membership Renewal Time

Members who need to renew for 1998 will find the renewal form inside this issue. The SideOut Club membership year runs from July 1 to June 30, but for those who join during the "off-season" (between January 1 and June 30) we extend the membership to the following year.

Volunteers Needed

As always, we need lots of volunteers to sell merchandise and raffle tickets during home matches. If you can spare some time to help out (and have some fun to boot) at one or more home matches, please call Jim Ellis at (517) 323-3566.

Board of Directors

At the March membership meeting, one current director was re-elected, along with four new directors. The new Board is as follows:

Dave Martz (term expiring '01) President
Jenny Bond ('01) Vice-President
Jim Ellis ('00) Treasurer
Joy Jacobs ('00) Secretary
Bob Alim-Young ('00)
Jim Constandt ('99)
Dennis Eagle ('01)
David Kirkby ('01)
Bob Potter ('99)
Richard Sault ('99)
J. Michael Smith ('00)
Laura Willard ('99)

MSU SideOut Club Financial Summary - Year Ending June 30, 1998

Income Expense Net Income
1997 Starting balance $ 8,162.35
Membership dues 4,900.00 4,900.00
Member Benefits
Courtside Seat Raffle 136.00 (136.00)
Membership pins 480.18 (480.18)
Newsletter 811.86 (811.86)
Fall picnic 217.00 349.64 (132.64)
Spring tournament 16.00 269.31 (253.31)
Total Member Benefits 233.00 2,046.99 (1,813.99)
Merchandise sales 7,492.23 5,728.60 1,763.63
50/50 raffle 5,922.00 3,585.31 2,336.69
Golf tournament 2,730.00 2,377.61 352.39
Coach's Luncheons 529.00 631.25 (102.25)
Credit union interest, fees 257.10 16.00 241.10
Other office supplies, copying, postage 598.13 (598.13)
Miscellaneous expenses 382.23 (382.23)
Contributions to MSU Volleyball
Ralph Young Fund 5,075.00 (5,075.00)
Chuck Erbe TV Show 2,500.00 (2,500.00)
Locker Room Improvements 320.00 (320.00)
Banquet Table Sponsorship 250.00 (250.00)
Total Contributions to MSU Volleyball 8,145.00 (8,145.00)
Total income and expenses $22,063.33 $23,511.12 ($1,447.79)
Balance as of 6/30/98 $6,714.56
Value of merchandise on hand as of 6/30/98 $2,560.90
Net worth as of 6/30/98 $9,275.46

1998 Schedule

(All home matches are played in Jenison Field House)
8/29 Alumni Match 1:00 pm
9/4 Pittsburgh vs. Central Michigan 5:00 pm
MSU vs. Eastern Michigan 7:00 pm
9/5 Eastern Michigan vs. Pittsburgh 10:00 am
MSU vs. Central Michigan 12 noon
Central Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan 5:00 pm
MSU vs. Pittsburgh 7:00 pm
9/11 Louisville@Louisville Tournament 9:00 pm
9/12 Murray State@Louisville Tournament 12:00 pm
9/12 Czech Republic@Louisville Tournament 6:30 pm
9/18 Notre Dame vs. New Hampshire 5:00 pm
MSU vs. Utah 7:00 pm
9/19 Utah vs. Notre Dame 10:00 am
MSU vs. New Hampshire 12 noon
New Hampshire vs. Utah 5:00 pm
MSU vs. Notre Dame 7:00 pm
9/25 ILLINOIS 7:00 pm
9/26 PURDUE 7:00 pm
10/2 @Indiana 7:00 pm
10/3 @Northwestern 7:00 pm
10/7 @Michigan 7:00 pm
10/10 MINNESOTA 7:00 pm
10/16 @Ohio State 7:00 pm
10/17 @Penn State 7:30 pm
10/23 IOWA 7:00 pm
10/24 WISCONSIN 7:00 pm
10/28 Western Michigan 7:00 pm

(at Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids)

10/30 NORTHWESTERN 7:00 pm
10/31 INDIANA 8:00 pm
11/4 MICHIGAN 7:00 pm
11/6 @Minnesota 7:00 pm
11/12 @Purdue 7:30 pm
11/14 @Illinois 7:00 pm
11/20 PENN STATE 7:00 pm
11/21 OHIO STATE 7:00 pm
11/27 @Wisconsin 7:00 pm
11/28 @Iowa 7:00 pm
12/3-6 NCAA - 1st and 2nd Round
12/10-13 NCAA Regionals
12/17-19 NCAA Final Four in Madison, Wisconsin

The Service Line

Copyright 1998 by the MSU SideOut Club, the official support group of Michigan State University women's volleyball.

Newsletter Editor: Chris Wolf (517) 332-4353
President: Dave Martz (517) 521-4907
Vice-president: Jenny Bond (517) 676-2676
Secretary: Joy Jacobs (517) 675-5590
Treasurer: Jim Ellis (517) 323-3566

MSU SideOut Club
P.O. Box 80491
Lansing MI 48908

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