Note: I'm thinking about doing these for just televised games. They may expand to other sports if I find the time.
The volleyball team makes it two televised matches in a week with this special midweek conference game against Michigan State at 7pm tonight. The game will be televised live on the BTN as the two teams play for the "State Pride Flag," the volleyball version of the Paul Bunyan–Governor of Michigan Trophy.
The State Pride Flag has been passed back and forth by the winners of the Michigan/Michigan State regular season series since its inception in 1990. The flag was flown over the state capital building on September 18,1990 to commemorate the rivalry. The flag is a normal State Of Michigan flag with the motto "Tuebor," meaning "I will defend," across the bottom.
Michigan, while trailing in the all-time series 32-45 (MSU claims it's 31-46-1?), also trails 18-22 since the inception of the State Pride Flag. Despite this record, Michigan has managed to supposedly win 11 of the 19 season series. Michigan has swept twice and been swept 4 times, the other 13 years have been splits. I'm not certain how tie breaker rules work.
This game has been moved to the Breslin Center as East Lansing expects a large crowd. This is the second straight year that the game at Michigan State will be played in the larger arena. Michigan lost there last year, and the Spartans do own a perfect 4-0 record all time in Breslin. We'll see on TV just how loud the Spartans can make it. Knowing their hatred of all Michigan teams ranked higher than they are, my bet is pretty loud.
As far as this year's Spartan team, they come in at 14-6 (2-2 BigTen) with a ranking of 33rd (other's receiving votes) in this week's AVCA rankings and own a #18 RPI. They own a 2-1 record against ranked opponents, beating then #12 USC and then #12 Illinois; they were swept at home by #1 Penn State in their last game.
Michigan State is lead in kills by junior right-side/outside hitter Megan Schatzle. Megan is the younger sister of former MSU All-American outside hitter Ashley Schatzle, but she's not nearly as dominant as Ashley was. Megan will predominately play the right side, but she gets plenty of sets as she leads the team with 3.13 kills per set.
MSU will split outside hitting between sophomore Becca Zlabis and redshirt sophomore Jenilee Rathje. They average 2.73 and 2.53 kills per game respectively, which is pretty low for BigTen standards.
The lack of hitting is made up in their block. MB Vanessa King is averaging 1.03 per game while her alternate, Mischelle Nelson is averaging 0.97. As a team, they average 2.4 blocks per set, which happens to be exactly what our opponents average against us.
The key to this game, much like against Penn State, will be playing a clean service game. Michigan needs to put the pressure on the Spartans with our solid serves. We need to limit the errors and keep a level head.
The other matchup to watch is how we block Schazle. Normally, you would use a combination of your middle blocker and right side hitter against an outside hitter, leaving your outside hitter with help from the middle blocker against their right side. Juliana isn't a huge blocking threat (she's definitely a great offensive player and pretty good passer as well), so we're going to need a solid performance from Rood and Fletcher to help support that side.
|Serve Errors||207||Service Errors||151||MSU|
|Serve Recep (SR)%||.944||Serve Recep (SR)%||.945||PUSH|
|Pass Errors||17||Pass Errors||29||UM|
|AVG Oppo RPI||69.75||AVG Oppo RPI||82.7||Slightly UM|
I believe the tiebreaker goes to the current flag holder.
i believe the tiebreaker is total points scored.
michigan wins in a back and forth first set 33-31
Came from 16-20 down in the 2nd set.
A whole lot more enjoyable than the crap Wednesday night football game on ESPN. Nice sweep ladies.
I second this. This has to be the first volleyball match I have watched from beginning to end. Very entertaining, fast-paced sport.
Great game. Sloane was amazing those last two games. That's probably our best defensive game in terms of blocking (not blocks, but popping up their hits). I'm not too sure I liked relying so much on Hunt in the backrow like we did to open the 2nd set, but hey, it worked.
But she held it together for the win!
Did we ever get a diagnosis? Looked like a sprained thumb, maybe a dislocation. She definitely seemed to be in pain and struggling with it. By the way she was covering her face, she seemed to just not want to show her face show pain as she didn't seem to be crying, or so it seemed on my internet feed. Hopefully she'll be alright and heal up well before Saturday.
Yager was a fairly high rated player coming out of high school last year - #41 overall on prepvolleyball.com. When she came in while Lexi was getting taped, you could tell she was just a freshman. Her passes were soft and slow. The opposing block definitely read it and reacted well before our attacker could get there.
Thumb looked purple though, from what we could see. She definitely was trying to keep it hidden and was definitely teary-eyed toward the end of set three. She is tough, though.
EDIT: Daily says dislocated: http://www.michigandaily.com/content/m-sweeps-msu-suffers-minor-setback-...
Never actually watched a women's volleyball game, but that was actually fun to watch. I'm willing to say that I'll watch any other volleyball game I see on TV. I hope they show more on TV. Does Michigan get many games on TV? BTN is probably the best bet right? I'd like to see a Michigan PSU game and I hope they have that game televised this season.
Was on ESPN2. The match vs. Minnesota on Saturday will be streamed online.
My roommate and I watched the second half of the first set and the entire second set, both of which were very closely played. What made it better was the fact that my roommate is a Spartan fan and of course, I'm a Michigan fan.
I will be at the match against Minnesota the Friday (11/20) before the OSU game. Last Friday's PSU game was my first Michigan volleyball game and I had a blast. I'm really excited to go again.
Interesting. Hadn't heard that.
I was there along with 10 other Michigan students. The only time State was louder than us was when the band was playing. Everyone was able to hear our chants better than the MSU chants.
They kept showing the Michigan fans in the TV shots. You probably were on quite a bit. Were you the group that had 2-3 people wearing the Zone shirts? Kudos if you were.
Yes. They had extra spots on the volleyball booster bus, so they let us ride for free and covered our tickets. Great job by UM marketing and promotions in planning the trip.
As it should be.
Most MSU students I know don't even know all the words to their own fight song.
Conversely, I don't know any UM students who don't know all of The Victors, even the opening refrain.
I don't know about that, I've heard a lot more of the MSU fight song than I care to the last two years.
The number of fellow students who mumble along to the Victors is pretty disappointing.