Sunday, December 4, 2022

MSU looks to extend win streak

September 12, 2007

MSU setter Allison Ianni sets up the ball as MSU outside hitter and middle blocker Whitney Tremain goes in to spike it during the game against Wisconsin on Nov. 4, 2006, at Jenison Field House. The Spartans are currently riding an eight game undefeated streak.

Photo by File photo | The State News

Sweep.

That is the story once again for the MSU women’s volleyball team which swept Eastern Michigan, 3-0, Tuesday night.

Their dominant display against the Eagles marks the seventh sweep this season — as well as the first dual match.

“It obviously feels good,” MSU head coach Cathy George said. “We feel that we are improving each time we play and the experiences that we’ve been having will help us in future games.”

Although the spikers are finished playing in tournaments for the season, they have yet to break into any Big Ten competitors. However, it seems as if they are on the right path of preparation — with their eight game winning streak intact.

“We still have to play Central Michigan on Saturday (before facing Big Ten competitor Penn State),” George said. “Everything we’re doing right now is preparing us for the Big Ten season and helping us figure out how we will need to go about things then.”

Saturday’s home match against Central Michigan will be a special one for freshman middle blocker Jenilee Rathje, whose hometown is Mount Pleasant.

“I’m really excited because I know a lot of people from my hometown, friends and family will be there,” said Rathje, who passed on Central Michigan to attend MSU. “And not for Central, but for me.”

Rathje, who was thrusted into a starting role from the beginning, has more than playing her hometown college to be excited about — she was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

“(Rathje) broke the Big Ten freshman blocking record for blocks in the game,” George said of Rathje’s 11 blocks in the match against Harvard last Saturday.

“She got the award — which includes all Big Ten players — as just a freshman. That is phenomenal.”

Earning the award as early in the season as she did, Rathje is now looking to earn a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman team.

“I just want to continue to work hard and learn the game better,” she said. “I think we have a really great group of seniors leading us.

“I’m just excited to be able to be part of the team with them because I know they will teach me so much, which will help me develop into a better player.”

The Spartans will put their eight-game winning streak on the line at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, against Central Michigan for the season’s “White-Out” game.

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