Volleyball hopes to continue win streak
From left, sophomore libero Kori Moster, junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski, and sophomore middle blocker and outside hitter Jazmine White celebrate after scoring the match winning point on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at Jenison Fieldhouse. MSU defeated Minnesota 3-1. James Ristau/The State News
With the recent success of the MSU volleyball team, it’s hard not to think about how clear the postseason picture is becoming.
The Spartans (21-7 overall, 9-7 Big Ten) are fresh off of beating then-No. 4 Nebraska and No. 10 Minnesota in back-to-back weekends, giving head coach Cathy George confidence in the team’s postseason plans.
“Going in, our strength of schedule in the preconference wasn’t giving us the RPI points we wanted,” George said.
“I think it’s important to keep moving and improving ourselves.”
MSU, who is ranked 38th out of 330 Division-I schools in the RPI, made the tournament last season after going 22-12 overall and 10-10 in the Big Ten.
Last season, eight schools represented the Big Ten in the 64-team field, and now that the Spartans have used their recent hot streak to climb over .500 in the Big Ten, junior setter Kristen Kelsay is optimistic about the postseason as well.
“We’ve started to hit a stride,” Kelsay said.
“We also know that this season is coming to a close, and we had high goals beginning the year, and we set out to achieve those goals.”
Although the regular season only has four more matches remaining, some players haven’t begun to look past the regular season just yet. Junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski is one of those players as she focuses all of her attention on the next match.
“We’re just working hard and taking each game by game,” Wicinski said. “We didn’t really think much about that, so I just think our momentum is really good right now.”
The Spartans will look to keep surfing on their wave of momentum as they travel south to face Illinois and Northwestern, two teams whom the Spartans lost to earlier in the season.
“I’ve learned to go one game at a time, and I really don’t look past that because we’ve got a road weekend in front of us,” George said.
The Spartans will look to extend their four-game win streak and cement their postseason hopes this weekend, as they start their doubleheader against Illinois at 8 p.m. Friday in Champaign, Ill.
Staff writer Omari Sankofa II contributed to this report.