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Volleyball beats Arizona, falls to Texas in First Round of NCAA Tournament

December 4, 2011

Despite holding off Arizona 3-1 in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, the MSU volleyball team’s season ended in Austin, Texas, when it dropped three straight sets to No. 1 seed Texas Saturday night.

The Spartans (22-12 overall, 10-10 Big Ten) still finished with one of the best seasons in recent program history, giving head coach Cathy George her winningest team since joining MSU in 2005.

Against Arizona, the Spartans were led by senior outside hitter Kyndra Abron, who tallied 22 kills in four sets, tying a career high. Senior outside hitter Jenilee Rathje and sophomore middle blocker Alexis Mathews also chipped in with 10 kills apiece to aid in the winning effort.

As a whole, the Spartans hit .299 on the night while holding the Wildcats to .204.

And although MSU’s season ended with a 0-3 loss against Texas, a couple Spartans set personal milestones in the match.

Rathje recorded her 500th kill of the season, finishing with 507 on the year, and also played in her 142nd match as a Spartan, putting her atop the list for most matches played at Michigan State.

Senior outside hitter Becca Zlabis also surpassed a personal mark, tallying career kill number 1,000, becoming the 19th Spartan in program history to do so.

Although MSU’s season is over, the Spartans have much to look forward to in their upcoming season, and the season’s accomplishments leave much for George to build upon.

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