Michigan State closed out the San Diego State Aztec Invitational with a 3-0 victory over Marist (25-16, 25-20, 25-19) on Saturday evening in San Diego. By capturing the Tournament title, MSU has now won nine of its last 13 non-conference tournaments. In addition, it is the eighth time in 12 years under Cathy George that the Spartans have started the season 3-0, and the second time in three seasons.
In her first action of the season, Allyssah Fitterer had 14 kills to lead all players and also contributed two blocks. Holly Toliver had her first double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs, tacking on four blocks to tie her career best.
All-Tournament Team honors went to Toliver and Chloe Reinig. Reinig hit .365 on the weekend and averaged 4.0 kills per set, while adding 1.12 blocks per set. Toliver picked up today’s double-double and averaged 2.50 kills, 3.6 digs, and 0.7 blocks per set, appearing in all 10 sets and posting seven service aces (0.70 per set).
Michigan State returns to East Lansing and hosts the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational next weekend, hosting Morgan State, Central Michigan, and No. 10 Florida.
Head Coach Cathy George “Right now, we are about process above everything else. We were able to time for a lot of our players, and I think we learned a lot about ourselves throughout this weekend. We know that we still have a lot of work to do, and we’re all committed to getting better. It was nice to finally have an opportunity to get on the court against another team, because you want to test yourself in different situations and against different styles. I was happy that we were able to show our depth and versatility. Getting to play in front of our home crowd next will also give us a lift.”
SET ONE: MSU jumped out to a 10-5 lead, with liberal use of its bench – 10 different players were used in the frame. Allyssah Fitterer, playing in her first match of the weekend, shared the team lead with Holly Toliver, as the pair each had four kills; Toliver added four digs and hit .571.
SET TWO: The Spartans continued to use their bench liberally, and managed to build a 20-10 lead before the Red Foxes put together 5-0 run to cut it down to 20-15. The Spartans finished off the set with a 25-20 win, trading out points over the balance of the set.
SET THREE: MSU went longer stretches with its bench on the floor, as freshman setter Maggie Midgette played her seond straight set and Kristen Brashear took over libero duties. Fitterer moved above double-digit kills with her seven in the frame, while Toliver had six kills and added four of her 10 digs. The teams were tied eight times and the frame featured four lead changes, but MSU regained control and took away the six-point victory.
Allyssah Fitterer posted 14 kills and hit a match-best .478 (14-3-23). She also had a pair of blocks. Holly Toliver finished with MSU’s second double-double of the day, posting 11 kills, 10 digs, four blocks, and a service ace.
STATS AND STORYLINES
MSU played almost its entire bench, as Toliver and Fitterer, along with freshman setter Maggie Midgette, were the only players to appear in all three sets.
The Spartans had 10 team blocks, two shy of the 12 it posted in the morning match vs. San Diego State.
Marist hit just 0.80 for the match, the second weekend opponent to be held under .100. San Diego State hit .118, the weekend high vs. MSU.
Holly Toliver had her first double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs. It was her fourth career double-double, the last coming at Illinois last October. he also tied her career best with four blocks, last accomplished against Northwestern on Nov. 18 2015.
Autumn Bailey finished the match with eight kills, four digs, and a block after posting a double-double in the first game of the day.
Chloe Reinig only played the first set, but recorded three kills on five swings and a career-best three service aces.
The Spartans finished with nine service aces, and committed just six serving errors – its lowest total of the weekend.
Freshman Maggie Midgette was MSU’s setter in the final two sets, and posted 22 assists. Rachel Minarick had 14 helpers in the first set.
Kristen Brashear wore the libero jersey in the third set, her first time this season; she had four digs. Abby Monson played the first two sets and had eight digs and a service ace.