The season for MSU volleyball hasn’t ended quite yet, but for the three seniors, Wednesday night will be the end of an era.
After a combined nine years as Spartans, Amy Dentlinger, Chelsey Probst and Stefanie Shiramizu will be playing their final game in Jenison Field House on Wednesday night against Michigan to see who takes home the coveted State Pride flag. In head coach Cathy George’s eyes, this year’s graduating class has made a footprint in the sand that makes up their successful season so far.
“This senior class has been a big part of what has happened this year,” George said. “The selflessness, the hard work, the attitude, the charisma — and it comes all together to make us the team we are.”
For Shiramizu, who transferred from Wright State after her freshman year, helping MSU to get where it is today is something she has dreamed about since she was a young player.
“I grew up in Okemos, so I have been coming to volleyball games in Jenison Field House since I was 10 years old, and I always dreamed about coming here and playing, and it’s surreal that my dream actually came true.”
Shiramizu is not the only senior who transferred to MSU, as Probst transferred from Illinois Central College her junior year. Probst, whose favorite memories are beating Nebraska this season and Illinois last year, said that her time with the Spartans has taught her many life lessons she plans to use off the court.
“(One lesson I learned is to) stop making excuses for yourself,” Probst said. “Even if you’re not in a starring role, everyone has a part to play, and that will be the same out in the workforce.”
Probst has 12 career digs for the Spartans in 33 sets of play. Shiramizu, who has played 16 sets for MSU, has contributed five digs as a Spartan. Dentlinger, who has a team-second high 285 kills this year, has had 393 kills and seven service aces in her four years as a Spartan.
For Dentlinger, her last game in East Lansing is coming up fast, but she fully expects the season to be far from over.
“It’s really hard to believe,” Dentlinger said. “But at the same time, I know it’s not the end. … We are going to keep going as far as we can, and we still have a few weeks in us.”
If MSU can take down Michigan for the second time this year, the Spartans will extend their winning streak to seven games. Not only will a win keep the Spartans’ momentum growing before facing No. 1 Penn State on Saturday, but it also will send the seniors out with the ideal goodbye.
“Words couldn’t describe (what a win over Michigan would be like),” Dentlinger said. “Last home game, my last game at Jenison, I think the best way to cap it off (is) with a win over Michigan.”