Monday, June 17, 2024

MSU looks to 'Bust Breslin'

Junior middle blocker Vanessa King hits the ball in the fourth match of the game against Oakland University Sept. 16 held at Jenison Field House. The Spartans beat the Grizzlies 3-1.

The last time the MSU volleyball team played at Breslin Center was Nov. 4, 1995.

That was four days before Tom Izzo coached his first game at MSU and the same weekend the MSU football team beat Michigan 28-25 at Spartan Stadium.

The Spartans will look to “Bust Breslin” in two games this weekend: Friday against Ohio State and Saturday against No. 21 U-M.

“This is a big weekend for us,” head coach Cathy George said. “It’s the opening of the Big Ten with a group of young players that need the support of our fans to get behind them and they’re excited.”

The team will be looking to break its attendance record, which has stood at 4,937 since 1996. MSU should have plenty of help, as Saturday night is not only high school night, in which local high school volleyball teams get in free, but the same night as the Izzone campout.

About 2,700 students are expected to attend the campout, said Izzone co-director Shane Smith. All students will be able to get into both games for free with an MSU ID.

“We’re really excited that the Izzone people will be there,” George said.

The team is hoping the U-M game, which normally draws about 3,000 fans, will draw in most of the Izzone to increase the home-court advantage.

“I think it’s going to get a little rowdy, which is cool because you always want to play in front of a lot of people.” junior middle blocker Vanessa King said.

But playing in a new venue has its adjustments, George said.

“The ball is kind of light and when you play in a building, especially that large, the fans move the ball,” George said. “So when you’re receiving or you’re serving, the ball takes off on you and it really has a life of its own.”

If this venture goes well, it could mean more games at Breslin for the volleyball team in the future.

“I think its a little bit of an experiment,” George said.

“You need to take a look and see how this weekend goes before you make a decision for the future. There’s so many things that go into making that decision. But at least we’ll have the opportunity to experiment with it and see where it fits.”

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