Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Spartans go winless in weekend home stand

October 23, 2000

With two starters sidelined by injuries, the MSU volleyball team dropped two games at home this weekend.

On Friday night the Spartans lost to No. 7 Minnesota in four games (15-6, 8-15, 11-15, 4-15) and on Saturday they lost to Iowa in five games (15-1, 15-12, 10-15, 13-15, 11-15).

“I thought that we played really hard in game one on Friday night,” MSU head coach Chuck Erbe said. “We came out soft in game two, did the same thing in game three and then just disappeared in game four.

“(Saturday), we came out and played exceptionally well in game one - they played just well enough to win in game two and then basically fell apart after that.”

Seniors Jessica Sanborn, sidelined with a sprained ankle, and Sarah Gustin, with a sprained foot, didn’t dress for the game. With 4.14 and 3.43 kills per game, Gustin and Sanborn are first and second on the team in kills per game.

Erbe said the seniors’ absence was felt as Iowa took advantage of MSU’s starting two freshmen.

“They were really smart,” he said. “They played every ball at (freshman outside hitter) Jenny (Rood) and (freshman outside hitter Amy Sibbernsen) they could. They set against them, they tipped them, they served them and they basically said, ‘If you guys are going to win, your freshmen are going to have to beat us.”

Erbe said the freshmen just don’t have the experience needed to handle the pressure of the Big Ten.

“I know there are things I could have done differently in this match, and I know the other freshmen feel the same way,” Rood said. “We have to get better.”

After the game, Rood said the match had not quite settled into focus. She said the freshmen just need more practice.

“Right now my mind is a little jumbled at the moment,” Rood said after the Iowa match. “So much happened in that game I really honestly can’t remember details from it.”

Senior setter Christie Landry said Iowa’s setter is a smart player with international experience, and that helped the Hawkeyes expose MSU’s freshmen.

“Experience was the key tonight and Iowa is a smart team,” Landry said. “I just think we let down. I think it’s just jitters.”

Erbe said there are no excuses for the loss. He said MSU started strong against both Minnesota and Iowa.

Against Iowa, the Spartans were up 2-0 and just failed to close out, Erbe said.

“It’s not ‘what if,’ because this team was good enough to be up 2-0,” he said. “Hats off to Iowa, they kept their poise. They just kept playing and kept playing and we backed off.

“We didn’t have anything left. It was across the board.”

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