After opening the season with a 0-3 run at the USC Trojan Invitational last weekend, the MSU volleyball team has been working overtime to prepare themselves for the annual Spartan Invitational this weekend.
“We’ve been working on just pulling it all together,” MSU head coach Cathy George said. “We could have gone and played in an easy tournament — we did not do that. We want to test our team to prepare ourselves for the Big Ten season.”
Not all was lost last weekend however, as senior outside hitters Ashley Schatzle and Katie Johnson put up three and one double-doubles, respectively, throughout the tournament. The 19 digs Schatzle paired with 17 kills against St. John’s was enough to set a new career high.
“Some of us did OK individually (in the USC Trojan Invitational) but as a team we really need to step it up and improve the overall hustle and technique of everything,” Schatzle said.
“We found out what we really need to improve on to move on this season.”
George echoed Schatzle’s statement saying that there were moments when the team played extremely well but the gaps between those moments need to close.
“We want to see our highs and lows come closer together so we can become more steady from the get-go, from beginning to the end,” she said. “If we steady out and get rid of some of our unforced errors I think we’ll be a more difficult team to play against.”
If MSU wins the Spartan Invitational, it will mark the seventh consecutive year with the title. But first the Spartans will have to pull it all together to get past Missouri State when the team opens play Friday.
“We know that we need to go into the game playing aggressive and we need to be prepared for them,” George said.
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