Michigan State Upsets No. 12 USC In Five Sets

Aug. 28, 2009

EAST LANSING, Michigan - Jenilee Rathje recorded 17 kills and 11 digs while Megan Schatzle had 14 kills and eight blocks Friday as the Michigan State Spartans upset the No. 12 USC Women of Troy, 3-2 (23-25, 27-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-9), in the 2009 season opener for both teams.

Michigan State recorded its first win in seven tries all-time against USC in the series.

Sophomore Alex Jupiter (Hermosa Beach/Redondo Beach HS) led the Trojans with a team-high 20 kills and 14 digs while hitting .250 (20-9-44). Senior outside hitter Jessica Gysin (Los Gatos/St. Francis HS) added 17 kills and nine digs while sophomore middle blocker Lauren Williams (Houston, Texas/Stratford HS) had 10 kills and six blocks.

Sophomore setter Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) had a career-high 55 assists with five digs and two blocks.

MSU out hit USC by a .248 to .167 margin in front of 2,016 at Jenison Field House. The Trojans held a 17-11 lead in set one, but the Spartans got to within two at 19-17 on Kimmee Roleder's hitting error. USC held on to a one-point lead at 23-22 before the Trojans' second timeout, but Jupiter came back with two kills to give the visiting team the 1-0 lead in the match.

Despite hitting .344 in set two, it was Michigan State's turn to even the match. Both teams worked to a 25-25 tie in the evenly-played set. Kyndra Abron, who had 14 kills and hit .571 (14-2-21), made it a 26-25 lead with a kill and Mischelle Nelson tied the match with the set-ender.

A 10-5 run to open the third set led the way for the Spartans as MSU kept at least a five-point margin for the remainder of the set. Abron made it a 2-1 lead for the Spartans with another kill.

In the fourth set, it was USC's turn to race out to the 10-5 lead. A Nelson-Natalie Emro block would cut the lead to two at 18-16 as USC burned a timeout. Three straight hitting errors by the Trojans gave the Spartans a 20-19 lead before Gysin tied it at 20-20. Jupiter's kill broke the 22-22 tie and her solo block on Abron helped USC to send the match into the fifth set.

At 8-8 in the fifth, Rathje took over as two kills made it a 10-8 score. Rathje added another kill sandwiched by a USC service error and hitting error as the Spartans led, 13-9. Nelson stuffed a Bateman attempt and Jupiter's hitting error sealed the win for the Spartans.

USC will face North Carolina tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. (Eastern) as the MSU Showcase continues with the Women of Troy facing Albany later at 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

Notes: Alex Jupiter tied her career high of 20 kills (vs. Oregon State, 11/1/08) and was one dig away from her career high of 15...all three USC freshmen, Katie Fuller, Carolyn Hillgren and Erin Yoder, made their collegiate debuts.

USC	25-25-18-25-9MSU	23-27-25-22-15

Records: USC (0-1), Michigan State (1-0)Kills: Alex Jupiter 20 (USC), Jenilee Rathje 17 (MSU)

Team: USC MSU1 .071 .2192 .344 .2253 .133 .3754 .257 .1885 .000 .235Totals .167 .248

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