George earns 500th career victory in inspired effort against Iowa


It was a busy weekend on campus for MSU, but the most historic event happened on a volleyball court more than 350 miles away from East Lansing.

The MSU volleyball team (14-2 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) beat Iowa (8-9, 0-4) in three sets (25-19, 25-16, 25-22) to give head coach Cathy George her 500th career victory.

George’s historic night was viewed by some Spartan fans who came with “500 wins!” and “Congrats Coach George” posters. George said that the help of assistant coaches Russ Carney and Mike Gawlik helped her be where she is today.

After 26 years of coaching, it only took three quick sets to be the 34th active coach in the NCAA to accumulate 500 wins.

Unlike the Spartans’ match against Nebraska, where they fell behind early in the first two sets, MSU came out with an up-tempo offense against Iowa. George noted that the Spartans didn’t sit around to start the match, and “came out and attacked” with their offense led by junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski.

Wicinski had the most kills for the Spartans with 14 and contributed with two out of MSU’s four service aces. Junior middle blocker Alexis Mathews also helped out with seven kills, five assisted blocks and one solo block.

The defense also stood out for the Spartans, led by sophomore libero Kori Moster with 20 digs. Junior setter Kristen Kelsay helped on defense with 10 digs and had a prominent roll in the Spartans’ offense with 25 assists.

The victory not only puts George on an elite coaching pedestal — making her the second coach in MSU volleyball history to reach 500 career wins­ — but it also gave the Spartans a much-needed Big Ten victory to move them to 2-2 in conference play.

The Spartans, who wrapped up their second leg of their four-game road stretch, take on Wisconsin at 8 p.m. this Friday in Madison, Wis.

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