Thursday, October 29, 2020

Strong performances by seniors lead to MSU sweep of weekend invitational

September 4, 2017
<p>Redshirt senior outside hitter Brooke Kranda (13) goes up for a kill during the game against Texas A&amp;M on Sep. 2, 2017, at Jenison Field House. The Spartans defeated the Islanders, 3-0.</p>

Redshirt senior outside hitter Brooke Kranda (13) goes up for a kill during the game against Texas A&M on Sep. 2, 2017, at Jenison Field House. The Spartans defeated the Islanders, 3-0.

Photo by Jon Famurewa | The State News

 The MSU Women’s Volleyball team swept through the entire Auto Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational this weekend, defeating San Diego State, Marshall, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. 

The Spartans won every set in each game due to the exceptional play of three seniors.

Senior outside hitters Brooke Kranda and Autumn Bailey and senior middle backer Alyssa Garvelink were named to the All-Tournament team after 80 kills, 10 aces, and 28 blocks assist were totaled between the three of them.

Kranda’s stellar play throughout the tournament led her to winning tournament MVP, as she averaged a hitting percentage of .439 on the weekend and a team-best 3.33 kills per set.

When asked what led to her dominant performance, Kranda noted her willingness to constantly improve her game.

“I definitely tried to focus on just not being complacent with where I am as a player and just trying to keep going forward and keep getting up to that next level,” Kranda said.

MSU was able to maintain strong leads in most of the sets throughout the weekend and despite an early lead by Corpus Christi in the final set of the tournament, the Spartans ultimately prevailed 25-18.

With the win, MSU improves to 5-1 on the season with all of their wins being sweeps.

While MSU did not expect a clean sweep coming into the weekend because of their unfamiliarity with their non-conference tournament opponents, Garvelink attributed the Spartans superb performance to doing plenty of preparation.

“You don’t really know what teams have, especially if their not in your conference, but we did a lot of scouting on them and that really helped us prepare for what they had to offer,” Garvelink said.

Along with recording the fifth win of the season, head coach Cathy George gained her 602nd win of her career Saturday, one day after winning her milestone 600th game after MSU beat San Diego State in the opening game of the tournament Friday. 

George accredited the coaching achievement to the people who have helped her throughout her career.

“I owe everyone – my players, my assistants, my administrators, my family – a huge debt of gratitude for the roles they played,” George said in a statement via a press release.

The Spartans will play in the Active Ankle Challenge at Florida and play American University on Sep. 8.

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