Saturday, November 26, 2022

Spikers win Invite for 7th straight year

September 3, 2007

Senior Ashley Schatzle serves the ball over the net in Sunday’s volleyball game against Florida State.

Photo by Nichole Hoerner | The State News

After a lackluster season debut out west, the MSU volleyball team did a 180-degree turnaround to sweep the Spartan Invitational last weekend at Jenison Field House for the seventh straight year.

“It’s awesome to win our home tournament,” senior outside hitter Katie Johnson said. “We really came out and proved something.”

Coming out strong, the team swept their first opponent, Missouri State, 3-0, Friday.

“We played solid against Missouri State,” head coach Cathy George said. “We came at them aggressively, and (sweeping them) definitely put us in a different mindset.

“We knew we were playing better, the week of practice was coming through.”

The squad kept the momentum and focus going on with a 3-2 victory over Kansas on Friday and clenched the title with a 3-0 sweep against Florida State on Saturday.

As a team, George said they kept their composure this weekend more compared to last, where they failed to come away from the USC Trojan Invitational with a win and did not rush plays.

“We made a lot of errors in different areas (last weekend), but this week we settled down and worked on making solid plays, knowing when we have a shot and when we don’t,” she said.

However, not all was perfect.

“If you look at it from top to bottom we have a very young team, and so there are so many areas that we can continue to improve upon which gets me excited every day to come to practice,” George said.

“I know we’re going to see more and more from these players as the year goes on.”

The Spartans also collected several individual awards over the weekend. Senior outside hitter Ashley Schatzle and defensive specialist Miken Trogdon were given All-Tournament honors while Johnson earned her second MVP award for the tournament. Her first was during the 2005 tournament.

MVP isn’t really that important,” Johnson said.

“I’ve won it before, and I think the most important thing is that team trophy. My trophy isn’t going to go in the locker room, the tournament trophy is, so we’re going to see that we won this tournament every day, and we will all be able to see what we did together.”

Not only was the weekend successful for the players but also for the entire MSU volleyball program.

The win over Kansas marked the 600th match victory in MSU volleyball’s long history.

MSU takes to the hardwood Friday and Saturday in Massachusetts to compete with four other teams in the Harvard Invitational.

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