Spartans Defeat Buckeyes for the First Time Since 2003. 

 

East Lansing, Mich. –  The 2007 Michigan State volleyball senior class accomplished a feat for the second-straight weekend that they had never done in their highly-successful collegiate careers.  On the heels of their first win over a top-10 team during their four years, the senior class led the Spartans to a 3-0 win (31-29, 30-24, 30-23) over Ohio State (12-12, 7-9) tonight in front of 1,165 fans at Jenison Field House.  It was MSU’s first win over the Buckeyes since November 13, 2003, who had won seven consecutive matches and 10-straight games over the Green and White entering tonight. 

 

The seniors played key roles, led by the sixth straight double-double by Ashley Schatzle (Monroe, Mich./Monroe).  Schatzle hit a game-high 21 kills (.357 hitting percentage) and added 18 digs for her 16th double-double of the season.  Classmates Katie Johnson (Brooklyn, Mich./Columbia Central) added 20 kills of her own and Miken Trogdon (Lisle, Ill./Wheaton St. Francis) broke her career-high for digs in the third-straight match with 21, which is the fourth most every by a Spartan in a three-game match.  

 

Freshman Lauren O’Reilly (Langley, British Columbia/Pacific Academy) continued her hot hands, dishing out over 50 assists for the fourth consecutive match.  Her 56 assist total is the third most in MSU history in a three-gamer.  Fellow freshman Jenilee Rathje (Mount Pleasant, Mich./Mount Pleasant) posted 12 kills on 22 attempts with only one error (.500 hitting percentage), while also adding three block assists. 

 

The Spartans, who improve to 16-11 overall and 7-8 in the Big Ten, totaled 71 team kills, the second most every by a MSU team in a three-game match.  Their .340 team hitting percentage was their second best against a Big Ten opponent this season and was the third highest percentage give up by the Buckeyes all year. 

 

Michigan State never trailed in the opening game, but a late run by Ohio State tied the game at 29.  After a service error by OSU put the score at 30-29, Rathje put the game away with a kill for the 31-29 game one victory.  The Spartans steadily grew their lead in the opening rotations, expanding it to as much as five (21-16).  With MSU up 28-24, the Buckeyes went on a 5-1 run to get to 29-all.  Johnson and Schatzle each had six kills in the game. 

 

Game two went back-and-forth early with 10 ties and four lead changes, leading up to a 13-all tie.  However, from that point on, the Spartans took control, running off seven of the next nine points to open up a margin they would not let go of, taking the second game 30-24.  O’Reilly totaled 21 assists on 24 Spartan kills during the game.  Johnson posted seven of those kills, while Schatzle and Rathje each had six.  Trogdon controlled the back line with nine digs. 

 

The Spartans closed out the match with a come-from-behind 30-23 victory in game three.  The Buckeyes controlled the early portions, leading as late as 17-16, but MSU took their first lead of the game after running off six of the next seven points.  Ohio State would get not closer as two kills by Schatzle and one by senior Jessica Hohl (Waterville, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) closed out the night.  Schatzle and Johnson combined for 16 of the 24 Spartan kills in the final game, as O’Reilly dealed 21 assists for the second-straight game. 

 

Danielle Meyer led the Buckeyes with nine kills, as the Buckeyes were held to only 39 kills.  Ami Stevens had 11 kills across the back. 

 

MSU returns to Jenison Field House tomorrow night as they host No. 1 Penn State.  First serve is set for 5:05 p.m.