By Amanda Chodnicki
Last updated: 08/29/14 11:47am
Sparty will strut his stuff in a new ensemble at MSU’s game against Jacksonville State at the Spartan Stadium Friday night.
The well-known mascot is getting a new suit of armor to show off to his fans.
“The changes aren’t major,” Director of the Association of Future Alumni Dan DiMaggio said.
He said that one addition to Sparty’s new wardrobe include epaulets, decorative shoulder pads, which will be changed from the Block "S" logo to a Spartan helmet design.
“This is being done to remain consistent with the overall university brand,” DiMaggio said.
MSU Board of Trustees member George Perles had previously rallied against the phasing out of the Block "S". In a message posted on the MSU Football Pleyer's Association, Perles asked for support to preserve the once de-facto emblem.
"Coaches Macklin thru Biggie Munn and Duffy Daugherty were all proud and knew our symbol at MSU is the Block “S”," Perles wrote. "Changing it now would be a slap in the face to all that have gone before us and built the Spartan traditions."
In February, license plates available for cars throughout the state began sporting Spartan Helmets, and the Block "S" became no longer available.
Sparty’s suit will also be the real MSU green that was updated to a darker shade four years ago.
The changes were made possible because the Association of Future Alumni raised $15,000 from over 400 donors.
By Troy Jefferson
Last updated: 08/26/14 3:04pm
The Big Ten Network announced the broadcast schedule for the 2014-15 season, which will feature 14 televised MSU women’s volleyball games.
BTN will carry four games, BTN Plus is scheduled to air nine games and the Pac-12 network will televise one game.
BTN will broadcast MSU’s first matchup against a top-25 team on Sept. 5 when the Spartans welcome No. 20 North Carolina to East Lansing.
MSU fans will be able to watch the team on the Pac-12 Network when they travel to Eugene to face the Oregon Ducks on September 12 at 10:30 p.m Eastern.
MSU defeated Oregon last year, 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21).
Both of the games against Michigan will be televised. The road game on Sept. 30 will be available on BTN and the home game on Oct. 3 can be seen on BTN Plus. MSU went 1-1 against U-M last year.
BTN Plus will also carry what should be a good measuring stick game midseason when the Spartans visit Happy Valley to take on No. 1 Penn State.
The Spartans split two games with Penn State last year, with both teams winning on the road.
Nine games will also be available to BTN2Go subscribers, including matchups against Ohio State, Penn State, Northwestern, Iowa, U-M, Indiana, Maryland and Purdue.
By Ben Stram
Last updated: 04/22/14 5:34pm
MSU senior Drew Lied was named Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week today.
The senior from Brookfield, WI won four matches this week with three of the wins over ranked opponents.
On Friday against Purdue, Lied defeated Szymon Tatarczyk (6-3, 7-5) in the singles position and then earned a doubles win with partner John Patrick Mullane against No. 70 Tatarczyk and Ricky Medinilla (8-6).
On Sunday versus Indiana, he beat No. 104 Sam Monette (6-4, 7-6 (7-5)) in the singles position and then earned doubles victories again with partner John Patrick Mullane against No. 59 Monette and Daniel Bednarczyk (8-6).
This is his second weekly award of his career and of the season.
Lied helped the MSU Men's Tennis team win the last two matches of the season and three out of four overall.
Up next for MSU is the Big Ten Tournament. MSU is hosting the tournament, which is held on April 24-27, at either the MSU Outdoor Courts or the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.