Monday, November 30, 2020

MSU remains calm through stretch

November 12, 2009

The MSU volleyball team isn’t showing any signs of distress as it prepares for two pivotal matches this weekend.

Instead, the team is keeping a more relaxed demeanor as it prepares for a pair of home games against Indiana and Purdue.

At 4-10 in conference, the Spartans would like to earn victories against the Hoosiers and the Boilermakers to remain a factor in the Big Ten standings and to strengthen their conference record before difficult games next week against No. 14 Michigan and No. 13 Minnesota.

“We know we need wins,” junior outside hitter Megan Schatzle said. “Our main goal is to have fun in practice and have fun in games. And, I think by us not stressing about having to win, that will make us play better.”

After closing the first half of the Big Ten season with a 2-8 record, the Spartans began the second half with the mindset of treating the 10-game stretch as a new season. MSU won its next two matches to move to 4-8, but dropped last weekend’s pair of games at Northwestern and No. 5 Illinois.

With only one home game remaining after this weekend, MSU hopes to use this weekend as a springboard for the four final regular season games, which all feature opponents with winning records. The Spartans are 7-2 at Jenison Field House this season and are coming off back-to-back 3-0 wins against Iowa and Wisconsin two weekends ago.

“We’re looking at a very, very competitive week of volleyball,” head coach Cathy George said at her weekly press conference Tuesday. “It’s vital to us and our program that we come out of this thing with the best record possible in our next six matches.”

Friday’s match against the Hoosiers is set for 6 p.m. Indiana checks in at 3-11 in conference and hasn’t won since Oct. 16, but defeated the Spartans on Sept. 26 and should offer a good challenge.

The Spartans host Purdue at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and will look to exact revenge on the Boilermakers, who are 4-10 in conference but defeated MSU on Sept. 25.

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