As the MSU volleyball team heads to Charleston, S.C., junior setter Kristen Kelsay said the Spartans have one goal in mind for their weekend invitational: improvement.
“We want to play better every weekend,” Kelsay said. “If we can go to Charleston and keep (our) focus and play better this weekend, that would be huge.”
Senior outside hitter Amy Dentlinger added that the team is realistic about achieving perfection, but they still want to work and improve.
“Obviously, we’re not going to get everything figured out before the Big Ten (season),” Dentlinger said. “But even if we just make steps and progress, that’s what we’re looking for every week.”
The theme of this weekend was cleaning up details heading into conference play, according to sophomore libero Kori Moster. MSU takes on Purdue and Indiana on Sept. 21 and 22, respectively, and this weekend’s tournament will provide an important base for conference play.
“We really want to come out of this weekend with confidence for the Big Ten,” Moster said. “It’s a big jump (in quality of opponent) from this weekend to Purdue on Friday. We want to come out with the confidence where we know who we are, we know how we play and we know how we’re going to work together on the court.”
The Spartans will take on Presbyterian at 4:30 p.m. on Friday in the first match of the Holiday Inn Charleston/Mt. Pleasant Invitational. The Blue Hose are just 2-10 on the year, most recently losing to Furman on Wednesday in straight sets.
MSU’s next set will be Saturday morning at 10 a.m. against Georgetown. The Hoyas also go into the weekend off a loss in straight sets, losing to Delaware on Tuesday. MSU will finish up the weekend with host College of Charleston at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Head coach Cathy George said Charleston is a talented team featuring “several premier players” and that the Spartans won’t overlook them.
“It’s important that we go in with an attack mentality and play together,” George said. “Our strength is playing together, our strength is our balance on offense. We’re putting all the pieces in place.”
Moster said the team’s focus through the early part of the season has been on building identity.
“We talked a lot about how the preseason was our time to figure out who we are and having that going into the Big Ten (season),” she said.
“In the long term, we want to win the Big Ten championship.”
Kelsay said she agreed with Moster about the eventual goal, but made it clear the Spartans are still taking it one game at a time.
“We’re excited to head into Big Ten season,” Kelsay said. “But we’re obviously going to take care of this weekend first.”