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MSU Volleyball's Nalani Iosia named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week

September 5, 2023
<p>Junior libero Nalani Iosia serving the ball at the Purdue vs. MSU game held at the Breslin Center on Nov. 4. The Spartans ultimately fell to the Boilermakers 3-1.</p>

Junior libero Nalani Iosia serving the ball at the Purdue vs. MSU game held at the Breslin Center on Nov. 4. The Spartans ultimately fell to the Boilermakers 3-1.

Photo by Denille Reid | The State News

Michigan State volleyball senior libero Nalani Iosia was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Tuesday after leading the Spartans to three consecutive wins and taking home tournament MVP at the inaugural Kathy DeBoer Invitational. Iosia is the first Spartan to win the honor since libero Jamye Cox in 2019. 

Iosia led all players at the Invitational with 47 digs on 5.22 digs per set, highlighted by a career-best 22-dig performance against Belmont on Saturday, in which her first set featured an astounding 12 digs. The Spartans swept Belmont, Syracuse, and Delaware State en route to being named champions of the round-robin-style tournament that featured MSU Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Leah Johnson’s 200th career win with the program. 

Iosia is the program’s 18th all-time winner of the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week as she joins elite company alongside Spartan greats that include Vanessa King, Lauren O’Reilly, Jessica Hohl, Nicole Colaluca, Jenilee Rathje, Alexis Matthews, Abby Monson, Megan Tompkins, Alyssa Garvelink, Autumn Bailey and Kori Moster. 

Iosia spent her first two collegiate seasons in Austin, Texas, earning a selection to the 2020 Big 12 All-Rookie team and leading the Longhorns in digs her sophomore year. In 2022, she played 116 sets for MSU while finishing second in matches played and third in service aces.

Iosia’s MVP honor at the Kathy DeBoer Invitational marks the second of her MSU tenure after being named MVP at the 2022 Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational.  

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