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Thursday, April 17, 2014


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MSU Sports Blog

Men's Golf places ninth in invitational


By Mayara Sanches          Last updated: 04/14/14 5:28pm         

Coming from a 13th-place finish out of 15 teams at the Linger Longer Invitational on April 4-6, the men's golf team finished in 9th out of 11 teams in the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational this past weekend.

The Spartans ended the first day in eighth, but finished the final round of the tournament with a 35-over par 899. Sophomore Mitch Rutledge tied for 16th at 5-over par 221 to lead the team, improving by two places from the first day.

"Overall, we did not execute very well, but hung in there," head coach Casey Lubahn told msuspartans.com. "We were tough down the stretch and that is a step in the right direction."

Iowa won the tournament, with an 11-under par 853 to win by 15 strokes over Iowa State. The Hawkeyes' Steven Ihm won the individual title, posting a 17-under par 209.

Senior Gareth Blease knocked in a hole-in-one at the 207-yard eighth hole. His second round was the highlight of the first day, Saturday. He finished the invitational tied for 26th, and had the lowest round of the final day for MSU. 

Overall, Rutledge led the Spartans in a tournament for the fourth time and posted his fourth top-20 finish this season. His 16th-place finish tied his fourth-best finish in his MSU career so far.

Freshman Charlie Netzel tied for 38th in the tournament with an 11-over par 227, followed by teammate redshirt freshman Sean Friel, who tied for 47th and had a 14-over par 230. Junior Jon Finley finished the tournament at 17-over par 233, tying for 53rd.

The men's team will play their last tournament — before postseason — in the Boilermaker Invitational on April 19-20 in West Lafayette, Ind. 

Also on April 19-20, the women's team will compete at the Lady Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.


Senior Marina Bohrer receives Big Ten recognition for women's tennis


By Robert Bondy          Last updated: 04/09/14 8:30pm         

Senior Marina Bohrer was named Big Ten Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week after earning a couple wins against ranked foes this past weekend. It was her first weekly award of her career.

Bohrer was able to win all four her matches this weekend, with two of which coming against top-45 foes.

In two singles matches, Bohrer defeated Illinois senior Allison Franklin (6-4, 6-2) and No. 44 Northwestern senior Veronica Corning (6-2, 3-6, 6-2). Bohrer also picked up a pair of doubles match wins against Illinois senior Misia Kedzierski and freshman Louise Kwong (8-4) and No. 21 Northwestern duo Corning and sophomore Alicia Barnett.

Bohrer is now 18-7 overall this season and 16-4 in dual matches.

Elena Ivanova was the last Spartan to win the weekly award back in March of 2009.


Eight-year-old Spartan basketball fan Lacey Holsworth dies


By          Last updated: 04/09/14 5:08am         

Eight-year-old Lacey Holsworth, known Princess Lacy among MSU basketball fans, apparently died late last night after a long battle with cancer. 

She became close friends with senior forward Adreian Payne, who has described her as being "like a sister" to him. Payne first met her in a hospital two years ago where she was undergoing treatment. 

Funeral plans have not been announced.


MSU pitcher wins conference Freshman of the Week honors


By Omari Sankofa II          Last updated: 03/31/14 8:01pm         

Following a strong win, MSU redshirt freshman pitcher Cam Vieaux has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week.

On Sunday, Vieaux pitched the second of two consecutive shutouts in a doubleheader against Minnesota, leading the Spartans to a 5-0 win. With the victory, the Spartans improved to 12-11 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten.

Vieaux, in his second career start, allowed three hits over six complete innings and struck out a season-high five batters.

The pitcher now is 3-2 for the season and is 1-1 as a starter. Vieaux has a 2.31 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio 3-1.

Vieaux is the second MSU player to win the Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor this season, with RHP Walker Borkovich taking the honor home on March 3.

The Spartans won the opener 15-0, with sophomore righthander Justin Alleman allowing just five Gopher hits over eight innings. Alleman improved to 3-1 on the year.


Softball and baseball games postponed, moved because of weather


By Beau Hayhoe          Last updated: 03/26/14 5:35pm         

The rough transition between winter and spring in Michigan is wreaking havoc on more than just students walking across campus.

The MSU softball team has run into scheduling difficulties because of conditions at Secchia Stadium.

The team’s upcoming three-game series with Purdue set to be played at MSU this weekend has been moved to the Boilermakers’ home stadium in West Lafayette, Ind.

“Every northern school is dealing with the same problems we’re having,” softball head coach Jacquie Joseph told msuspartans.com. “We’ve received a record amount of snow, had record-low temperatures all winter, and just not a warm enough March to have us ready to go.”

Friday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday’s games are set to start at 1 p.m.

The Spartans already had cancelled their March 25 home game against Western Michigan.

To date, MSU is 7-18 overall and 0-3 in Big Ten play.

The MSU baseball team also is running into scheduling difficulties because of weather.

The program’s home opener against Central Michigan set for Wednesday was moved to April 8.

In the meantime, MSU is making a regularly scheduled visit to Minnesota for a three-game series this weekend.

The team is 10-10 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten.


Track and field, swimming & diving programs compete over weekend


By Mayara Sanches          Last updated: 03/17/14 8:01pm         

The Spartans came out with three top-10 finishers in the NCAA Track and Field Indoor Championships on Saturday at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., while the swimming & diving team also had a successful weekend.

In the triple jump, junior Tori Franklin finished fifth overall. Junior Leah O’Connor finished seventh in the mile and senior Kurt Schneider placed 10th in the heptathlon.

Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth told msuspartans.com that even though the team made some errors, there was never a lack of effort from the Spartans. The only athlete graduating will be Schneider, Drenth said, so this year’s tournament was a learning opportunity for the younger competitors.

Wrapping up Schneider’s final season, he had a total of 5.686 points after competing in the seven events that combine to form the heptathlon. He placed sixth in the 1,000-meter run, clocking a time of 2:47.25.

Schneider also posted a time of 8.39 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, putting him in 12th place in the event. In the pole vault, he posted a 14th-place finish when he hit the 4.35m.

Franklin’s fifth place came from her recorded jump of 13.17m, while O’Connor’s mile time was 4:40.86.

Placing 13th overall in the men’s 5,000-meter race, sophomore Caleb Rhynard clocked in a time of 8:19.80.

Teammate and junior Antonio James came out with a mark of 17.90min the shot put competition to place 16th.

MSU’s next competition will be the Raleigh Relays on March 28 and 29 at North Carolina State.

Swimming and diving competes over weekend

Also last weekend, the swimming and diving team competed at the Zone C Diving Championships on March 13-15 at Ohio State, and were led by an 11th-place finish by junior Alison Menzies.

With that placement on the 3-meter board and a score of 284.05, she qualified for the finals – teammates senior Cristee Cordes, freshman Madeline Sewell and freshman Brennan Labar joined her in the regional competition.

Menzies’s final score on the event – after 11 dives – was 561.25. She also placed 22nd on the 1-meter, scoring a 249.45.

Also on the 1-meter board, Cordes placed 22nd, earning a final score of 256.00, and on the 3-meter competition, she scored a 258.10 to finish in 26th place.

In Sewell’s first Zone C Championship, she posted a score of 267.65 on the 3-meter board to place 19th. On the 1-meter, she scored 244.30 and came in 23rd overall.

It also was Labar’s first appearance at the tournament, and he posted a 39th-place overall finish with a score of 226.15 in the 1-meter board.

The team will continue onto the women’s NCAA Championships on March 20-22 in Minneapolis, Minn., while the men’s NCAA Championships are a week later on March 27-29 in Austin, Texas.


MSU track athletes take home regional awards


By Sierra Lay          Last updated: 03/11/14 5:45pm         

Two MSU athletes were named Regional Athletes of the Year on Tuesday.

Redshirt junior Leah O’Connor received Track Athlete of the Year and junior Tori Franklin received Field Athlete of the Year honors for the Great Lakes Region, announced by the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association on Tuesday.

Both athletes put a lot of work into their careers to earn the awards they received.

Franklin became the 2014 Big Ten Triple Jump champion after she achieved the best triple jump mark in Big Ten indoor track and field history.

Franklin’s many accomplishments also include breaking the conference meet record, improving her SPIRE record and MSU record with 44-foot, 6-inch jump en route to winning the first Big Ten title of her career. That mark beat her competition by close to two and a half feet. She has achieved three conference medals overall.

Franklin’s impressive collection of accomplishments doesn’t end there. She also was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Championships and Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week twice in a row.

O’Connor is no stranger to achievement through hard work,either. She is Big Ten Mile Champion and is ranked No. 6 in the nation. She even broke a 25-year-old conference meet record set by Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton in 1989.

The awards both Spartans received seem to be well-deserved and they will continue to foster growth in their careers.

Franklin and O’Connor will go with seven other MSU athletes to compete at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships this coming Friday and Saturday in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Swimming and diving teams competing in Big Ten Championships


By Mayara Sanches          Last updated: 02/27/14 6:48pm         

The ?men’s swimming and diving team placed ninth after the first day of this year’s Big Ten championships on Wednesday at the Canham Natatorium in Ann Arbor, Mich.

After competing in the two initial events of the three-day meet, the Spartans snagged 36 points. Head coach Matt Gianiodis told msuspartans.com that despite room for more improvement, his team did pretty good.

In the 200 medley relay – the first event – MSU placed 10th. The four-man relay team clocked a time of 1:28.29 minutes.

Senior ?Sam Schulze led the team in the event, and got a season-best 50-meter backstroke time of 22.47 seconds. Following on the relay were teammates freshman Alec Kandt, junior Kyle Workman and senior Bryan Williams.

For the second and final event of the day, Williams also competed with senior Pat Falconer, freshman Adam Marsh and senior Jacob Austermann. They competed on the 800-meter freestyle relay and recorded a time of 6:30.29 minutes.

Both events together put the Spartans in ninth. The team started competing at 11 a.m. Thursday — continuing the Big Ten championships — and were scheduled to have finals at 6:30 p.m. The events on the schedule were the 500-meter freestyle, 200-meter individual medley, 50-meter freestyle, 1-meter diving and the 400-meter medley relay.

The women’s swimming and diving Big Ten championships happened on Feb. 19 to 22 in Minneapolis, Minn. MSU finished in 11th with 87 points, the most since 2010.

Gianiodis told the website that the team met all the goals they had set. He said some women swam where they never had before and did well.

?Sophomore Marina Borri broke the MSU 200-meter breaststroke record by almost three full seconds – and got a personal best – with a time of 2:14.42 minutes, putting her in 10th place.

Setting her second school record of the meet, senior Summer Strickler got a new career-best time of 49.97 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle prelims – placing 22nd. After achieving a career-best in the prelims, Strickler tied her previous career-best time of 50.31 seconds, good for 19th place.

In the 200-meter butterfly finals, junior Hannah Pugh and sophomore Elizabeth Brown finished in back-to-back spots, placing 19th and 20th.

Brown clocked a career-best in the preliminaries with a time of 2:00.82 seconds, but recorded a time of 2:01.44 minutes in the finals. Pugh recorded a career-best time of 2:01.19 minutes on the finals.


Track and field wraps up indoor season with two invitationals


By Mayara Sanches          Last updated: 02/24/14 4:51pm         

Concluding its indoor regular season, the men’s and women’s track & field teams competed in the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind. and in the Silverston Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich.

In the Silverston Invite, redshirt junior Antonio James won two shot put events and the sprinters snagged the win in their races at the Alex Wilson Invite.

James earned his fifth individual weight throw win this season at the Silverston Invite by placing first, hitting the 21.03m/ 69-0 mark. Teammate Connor Kostrzewa, a redshirt sophomore, placed fourth, and redshirt freshman Vincent Gjokaj got sixth place.

James took first place with a throw of 18.79m/ 61-7¾. Spartan freshman Riley Norman placed sixth.

Hitting his personal-best mark of 4.77m/15-7¾, junior Tim Canfield got the individual win in the pole vault.

For the women’s team, junior Kassie Powell and redshirt freshman Jordan Keefe placed second and third. As for the shot put competition, the women’s did not do as well as the men’s team, with senior Chelsea Henderson placing eighth.

Redshirt freshman Connor Caporale — who ran the 400-meter dash — placed tenth in the men’s competition.

In South Bend, Ind., where the Alex Wilson Invite took place, the Spartans had more success — the sprinters had one individual win and three personal-best performances.

Jellissa Westney, a junior sprinter, got a season best time of 24.24 seconds. The time was good enough to win the 200-meter dash.

Westney’s teammate and sophomore Janae Hill placed fourth and posted a season-best time of 24.27 seconds. Freshman Lauren Rose’s time was 25.11 seconds — a personal-best that got her fifth place — while senior Jaelynn Pryor finished in sixth place with a time of 25.84 seconds.

Although Westney got a career-best time, the 7.55-second run in the 60-meter dash put her in fourth place overall.

Rose placed third and tied her season-best time of 8.52 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles.

Pryor recorded a time of 56.44 — placing eighth — on her first time competing in the 400-meter dash in 2014.

The Spartans closed the regular season with both invitationals, and will return to compete for the conference title at the Big Ten Indoor Championships with an all-day competition on Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1 in Geneva, Ohio.


Busy sports weekend includes baseball upset, victories for men's and women's tennis


By Emily Jenks          Last updated: 02/23/14 7:26pm         

The MSU baseball team surprised No. 1 Oregon State in Surprise, Ariz., defeating the Beavers 8-7 on Saturday.

The game began spectacularly with a grand slam from Ryan Krill, giving MSU a promising 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Krill also hit an RBI in the third inning, but Oregon had been plodding steadily, racking up two runs in the first two innings. They also had three runs in the third, tying the score at 5.

The eighth inning gave Oregon State a 7-6 lead, but the Spartans came through in the ninth to score twice and secure the win.

The Spartans would go on to lose to Washington 4-1 on Sunday afternoon, going 2-1 on the weekend.

While the men’s basketball team floundered against Michigan, Sunday brought victory to the softball team when they defeated Georgetown 8-2 the final game in the South Carolina Gamecock Invitational.

The team’s tournament slate also included a win over UNC-Wilmington and losses to Boston University and South Carolina.

Freshman pitcher Valerie Koff pitched her first career complete game, allowing Georgetown only five hits.

The first inning left the Spartans scoreless and two runs behind, but the team rallied behind big hits in the second inning to secure a 4-2 lead. Four errors from Georgetown throughout the game aided MSU’s victory.

The MSU softball team struggled early in the tournament, losing 11-4 to Boston University and 9-0 to host team South Carolina on Saturday.

Men’s and women’s tennis defended their home territory during games in East Lansing, both winning 6-1 in matches against Xavier and Milwaukee, respectively.

The men’s tennis team remains undefeated at home, with a 5-5 record overall, and women’s tennis continues to dominate with an 8-1 record overall and a 7-1 record at home. The Spartans were playing Wright State as of Sunday evening.