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Big Ten-Pac 12 challenge will provide early challenge for volleyball

September 11, 2014

Volleyball head coach Cathy George discusses MSU’s upcoming weekend road games against Oregon and Oregon State.

Photo by Troy Jefferson | The State News

The volleyball team will try and do what the football team failed to do last weekend — defeat Oregon in Eugene.

No. 23 MSU (4-2 overall) will play the No. 18 Ducks (6-0 overall) on Friday and Oregon State (5-0 overall) on Saturday as part of the Big Ten- Pac 12 challenge.

The Spartans played both teams last year in East Lansing, defeating Oregon 3-1 and Oregon State 3-0 in their first ever meeting against the two programs.

“Oregon especially runs a very fast offense,” senior middle blocker and outside hitter Jazmine White said of the Ducks, who made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago. “They’re balanced, it’s a different speed.”

White finished with two kills and one block in last year’s matchup.

Senior libero Kori Moster said there are ways to counter Oregon’s speed.

“We’ve been focusing on blocking and discipline,” Moster said. “They’re fast from beginning to end.

Moster had 22 digs against the then ranked No. 12 Ducks last year. Senior outside hitter Taylor Galloway also posted a strong game with 12 kills and seven digs.

Oregon’s senior outside hitter Liz Brenner leads the Ducks high-powered attack. Brenner was an All-Pac-12 selection last year and currently has a team-high 77 kills.

Oregon State is no slouch either, the Beavers are undefeated and have only lost two sets all season.

Redshirt senior outside hitter Laura Schaudt is a player to watch for the Beavers. She led her team with 11 kills last year against the Spartans and was selected to the Seattle Redhawk Invitational all-tournament team last week.

OSU has won 13 consecutive sets, which spans two tournaments and five different games.

However, MSU is not intimidated by the early season success of either team instead they see it as a chance to get better.

White believes the Big Ten- Pac 12 challenge will only help the Spartans grow as a team and prepare them for conference play.

“It’s the best conference in the country,” White said. “Ranked or not it’s going to be good competition and we’re preparing ourselves for that.”

First serve will be tomorrow at 10:30 p.m. at Oregon’s Knight Arena. 

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