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Volleyball keeps goals in mind during Big Ten season

October 10, 2012

For the MSU volleyball team, today’s surprises could very well turn into tomorrow’s headlines.

Coming into the season unranked and unexpected, the Spartans (15-3 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) since then have turned heads in the volleyball world.

Kicking off the season 12-0, the program’s third-best start of all time, and cracking the top 25 in the middle of September has to have the Spartans surprised with where they are, right?

“I don’t think we are surprising ourselves, because we know how good we can be,” sophomore libero Kori Moster said.

Maybe they aren’t raising their own eyebrows at their record, but the Spartans are still grabbing attention on the national stage.

“As far as other teams in the conference looking at us, I think we are surprising a lot of people because no one expected us to be going five (sets) with Minnesota or Purdue,” Moster said.

Both of those games Moster mentioned ended in heartbreak, losing in the final sets after leading No. 17 Purdue and No. 10 Minnesota 2-1 at one point during the game. Despite the losses, the team is determined to turn heartbreak into motivation as they move on the rest of the season.

“You always have that memory of ‘you don’t want that to happen again,’” Moster said of the nail-biting losses. “We talk a lot about how we got to knock off one of these teams.”

Even with all of the success that the Spartans have seen this season, it is the short-term goals the Spartans zero in on every week. Head coach Cathy George said that the team’s goals have not changed throughout the course of the season.

“(The goals are still the same) because we didn’t make these massive goals before the season,” George said. “(The goals) were more of putting ourselves in the position to achieve greatness by the end of the season, and that is a weekly thing.”

And just because the Spartans take this season one week at a time, don’t think that their minds are not on the bigger picture. Although the Spartans are accomplishing their short-term goals, they are also taking care of long-term goals for the program at the same time.

“Our goal for this program will be to win a national championship and win a Big Ten championship,” George said. “It means we are putting ourselves in a position to be strong enough to do what is necessary to achieve those goals.”

A Big Ten title is something the Spartans have not captured since 1996, but if the team keeps its mind on the short-term goals, MSU could see itself raising a few more banners in the years to come.

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