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MSU Volleyball Announces 2010 Schedule


Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Boasting arguably one of the toughest schedules in recent years, the Michigan State volleyball team announced its 2010 schedule on Tuesday. Nine of the 21 opponents the Spartans will face this season made an appearance in the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Championship, including three of the NCAA Semifinal teams.


“Year in, year out we know that we play one of the most challenging schedules here at MSU,” said Michigan State head volleyball coach Cathy George. “This year is no exception as we play three of the four NCAA Semifinal teams from last year, in addition to the nine NCAA qualifiers on our schedule.


“One of our philosophies here is that we look to play one of the most challenging non-conference schedules before we face the rigors of the Big Ten Conference every season. Our trip to Hawaii will certainly allow us the chance to see excellent competition as all four teams participating in the tournament were NCAA bound in 2009. This tough non-conference schedule will allow us to see many of our strengths and weaknesses before we take on the task of the strong Big Ten Conference and make adjustments accordingly.”


After participating in the “MSU vs. MSU Alum” exhibition match on Aug. 21, the Green and White will open its regular season schedule with the MSU Showcase Aug. 27-28. The Spartans will face Bowling Green on Friday and battle IUPUI and Evansville on Saturday to conclude the tournament.


The following weekend MSU will travel to the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic hosted by the University of Hawaii Sept. 2-4 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Each of the three opponents the Spartans will face participated in the NCAA Championship last year, with Hawaii being one of the three NCAA Semifinal teams MSU will face this season. Michigan State will face New Mexico on Thursday, the Rainbow Wahine on Friday and Southern California on Saturday.


The Spartans will then return back to East Lansing for their second fall tournament of the year when they host the Spartan Invitational Sept 10-11. MSU will welcome 2009 NCAA Tournament participant Clemson on Friday and both Eastern Illinois and Eastern Michigan on Saturday. This is the first time the Green and White will have hosted two fall tournaments since 2001.


MSU will face Oakland Sept. 14 at home and travel to Toledo Sept. 17 before opening Big Ten action against Minnesota and Iowa. Michigan State will welcome the Golden Gophers, a 2009 NCAA Final Four participant, on Sept. 24 before hosting the Hawkeyes on Sept. 25.


Michigan State will hit the road for Big Ten play for the first time when it travels to the home of the two-time defending national champions Penn State on Oct. 1. The following night, Oct. 2, the Spartans will travel to 2009 NCAA Tournament participant Ohio State to end its first Big Ten road trip of the year.


2009 NCAA Regional Semifinalist Illinois will travel north to Michigan State on Oct. 8. The next night the Spartans will entertain Wisconsin.


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Oct. 13 will mark the first match between the Spartans and their in-state rival Michigan. The two teams will battle it out once again for the “State Pride” flag awarded to the team who either wins both matches or wins the greatest number of games if one team does not win both contests.


Coinciding with the University’s homecoming, the Spartans will celebrate Alumni Night on Oct. 16, when they host Northwestern at the conclusion of the MSU football game against Illinois.


The Green and White will play the next four matches on the road as it travels to the state of Indiana to face Purdue (Oct. 22) and Indiana (Oct. 23). The following weekend the Spartans will go to Wisconsin on Oct. 29 and to Illinois on Oct. 30.


To open the second half of the conference schedule MSU welcomes Ohio State and Penn State for their return trips to East Lansing. The Spartans will face the Buckeyes on Nov. 5 and the Nittany Lions on Nov. 6.


The first road trip in the month of November will see the Spartans travel to Iowa and. MSU will go against the Hawkeyes on Nov. 12 and then the Golden Gophers on Nov. 13.


The Green and White hosts both Indiana and Purdue in the first of three consecutive home matches. Michigan State will face the Hoosiers on Nov. 19 and the Boilermakers on Nov. 18.


MSU will welcome the Wolverines in its final regular season home match of the year on Nov. 24 for senior night.


For the second consecutive year MSU will be on the road during Thanksgiving weekend as it will travel to Northwestern on Nov. 26 for its final regular season match.


The Spartans return 11 letterwinners from the 2009 NCAA Championship qualifying team, including 2010 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention Kyndra Abron, and welcome two incoming freshman – Kristen Kelsay and Kelsey Kuipers, as well as Alexis Mathews who took a medical redshirt last season.


Kelsay joins the Spartans as a 2010 AAU All-America honoree after setting her Mizuno Sports Performance 18-Elite team to the 2010 18-Open AAU National Championship in Orlando, Fla., on June 22. SPVB topped Asics Munciana Samurai by a score of 2-0 (25-23, 25-22) to win the championship.


The multi-sport standout Kuipers captured the 2010 Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 high jump crown after clearing 1.67m (5’6”). The Otsego, Mich., native, also placed third in the long jump with a distance of 5.20m (17’ 0.75”), and concluded the championships with an eighth-place showing in the 200m dash (26.48).