Spartan Volleyball Closes Out Road Schedule, Sweeps Iowa, 3-0

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Iowa City, Iowa. - Michigan State volleyball snapped a short two-match slide tonight at Carver Hawkeye Arena in front of 1,285 fans, topping Iowa 3-0 (30-22, 30-21, 30-27) to improve to 17-13 overall and 8-10 in the Big Ten Conference. The Spartans win their seventh-straight over the Hawkeyes, who fall to 9-20 and 1-17 on the season.


Seniors Jessica Hohl (Waterville, Ohio/Anthony Wayne), Ashley Schatzle (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) and Katie Johnson (Brooklyn, Mich./Columbia Central) each posted double-digit kill efforts, leading the offense in the victory. Hohl hit a career-best .750 in the match with 12 kills and no errors, Schatzle had her 18th double-double (16 kills, 12 digs) and Johnson added 12 kills. Sophomore Mischelle Nelson (Naperville, Ill./Nequa Valley) had her best performance of the season, posting eight kills with only one error on 13 attempts for a career-best .538 percentage. Senior Miken Trogdon (Lisle, Ill./Wheaton St. Francis) and

junior Heather McDaniel (Madison Heights, Mich./Lutheran Northwest) tied Schatzle for the team-high with 12 digs across the back row. Freshman Lauren O’Reilly (Langley, British Columbia/Pacific Academy) dished out 49 assists.


The Spartans took control of the match from the outset, taking game one, 30-22. A pair of kills by each Hohl and Johnson opened up an early 4-2 lead. The Hawkeyes ran off the next three points for their last lead of the game at 5-4. Michigan State followed with three unanswered points of their own to retake the lead (7-5), but it back-to-back Hawkeye points tied the game at seven. After matching side outs to tie the game again (8-8), the Spartans went on a 6-1 run, behind three Schatzle kills, to take all the momentum. From there on, MSU continued to separate from Iowa, closing it out at 30-22. Schatzle had seven kills, while Hohl was a perfect six-for-six on attack attempts in game one.


MSU took the first two points of the second game, but Iowa would follow with the next four for an initial, yet short-lived lead. The Spartans scored eight of the next 10 points, highlighted by three Johnson kills to take control at 10-6. Michigan State steady built a larger advantage and two kills by freshman Jenilee Rathje (Mount Pleasant, Mich./Mount Pleasant) gave MSU its biggest lead of the game at 29-17. Iowa would score the next four, before the Spartans finished it off at 30-21. Johnson led the offense in game two with six kills, and Schatzle added five kills and six digs.


In game three, the Spartans led early at 7-5, but Iowa ran off a run of 7-1 for a 12-8 lead. The Hawkeyes would stay in control until late, holding onto a 24-18 advantage. A strong 7-0 spirt gave the Green and White the lead back at 25-24, led by two kills and a block assist by Hohl. The two schools would match side outs tying the game at 27. Back-to-back kills by Johnson and an attack error closed out the game and the match at 30-27 for MSU. Hohl had six kills in the game, while O’Reilly dished out 19 assists.


The Spartans conclude the 2007 regular season after Thanksgiving with a pair of games at Jenison Field House. MSU hosts Purdue on Friday at 6:30 p.m. (ET) and follow it up with senior night on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. against Indiana.