MSU volleyball unveils 2017 schedule, sets eyes on NCAA Tournament
The 2017 MSU volleyball schedule has been announced by head coach Cathy George. MSU fans can expect to see a challenging pre-conference schedule and tough conference play within the Big Ten.
Opening weekend will see the Spartans in Atlanta where they will play against the likes of Georgia Tech, Auburn and Furman.
The Spartans will open play at Jenison Field House with a Labor Day weekend tournament where they will welcome San Diego State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Marshall.
Afterwards, the Spartans will head to Florida to face the Gators, UNC-Wilmington and American, the 2017 Patriot League champions. The matchup against Florida will be a rematch of 2016's showdown at Jenison.
To wrap up the non-conference schedule, the Spartans travel to South Bend, Indiana to compete in the Notre Dame Shamrock Invitational. There, Central Michigan, Southern Illinois and Notre Dame will await MSU.
In the 2016 edition of the NCAA Tournament, a staggering nine Big Ten teams qualified for the postseason. Against the other eight conference teams, the Spartans will face them a total of 12 times during their 2017 Big Ten schedule.
MSU will have a home-and-home series against six Big Ten teams — Wisconsin, Maryland, Nebraska, Penn State, Northwestern and in-state rival Michigan.
"No one ever has an 'easy' Big Ten schedule, but we face a pretty tall task in the opening three weeks with getting Wisconsin twice, Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio State," George told MSU Athletic Communications. "Our conference keeps getting better, upping the level of play and the quality of competition, night-in and night-out."
The Spartans in 2016 finished with a 25-9 record, hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament as the No. 9 seed. MSU aims for its seventh straight appearance in the postseason in 2017.