Saturday, November 26, 2022

MSU ousts U-M, vies for Big Ten standing

October 28, 2007

Then-sophomore Nicole Colaluca, left, and then-sophomore Miken Trogdon dive to save the same spike on November 4, 2005, during a game against Iowa at Jenison Field House. The Spartans won in five matches.

Photo by File photo | The State News

The MSU volleyball team beat No. 20 Michigan 3-1 on Saturday at Jenison Field House.

MSU (14-10 overall, 5-7 Big Ten) is now competing with its intrastate rival (17-6 overall, 5-6 Big Ten) for fourth place in the Big Ten Conference.

“We needed to regroup and get back on track because right now there is a dogfight in the conference,” MSU head coach Cathy George said. “There are so many teams that are tied for the fourth position and that is really motivation for us.”

George said there are several factors that led to MSU’s victory Saturday against U-M.

“Last time we had less time to prepare,” George said of the two teams’ previous meeting Oct. 5. “We knew more about what to expect from them (this time).

“In our first outing we had a lot of service errors, which cost us. We gave them way too many points. We needed to cut down on the errors on our side of the court and then go from there.”

Of the team’s 76 kills Saturday, 27 can be attributed to senior outside hitter Ashley Schatzle. Schatzle and senior defensive setter Miken Trogden, came up with 35 digs, which contributed to the team’s victory. MSU had 67 digs altogether.

George said the Spartans’ win cannot be credited to any individual athlete, but two athletes stood out more than others against the Wolverines.

“(Schatzle) came up with some really big kills,” George said. “(Senior offensive hitter Katie Johnson) at the end came up with a big block and some kills at the end there too.”

MSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead Saturday and kept the score close in the beginning of game three. After some discouraging moments, U-M took the lead and eventually won 30-26.

“We gave up too many points (in game three) and we needed to get back down to it,” George said.

George offered her team some words of encouragement going into game four.

“You’ve got to seize the opportunity immediately,” George said. “We let the opportunity to close the match out go by and we need to capitalize when it counts.”

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