Volleyball still seeking growth after strong finish to Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational
No. 25 MSU (7-4 overall) won two of three games over the weekend at Jenison Field House as part of the 2014 Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational.
The tournament got off to a rough start for the Spartans, who lost to LIU-Brooklyn (9-4 overall) 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 20-25, 26-24, 13-15) on Friday afternoon.
MSU responded in a major way after Friday’s afternoon disappointment, winning the next two games in straight sets.
The Spartans defeated Western Kentucky (11-4 overall) 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-16) on Friday night and beat UW-Milwaukee (5-8 overall) 3-0 (25-19, 25-8, 25-16) on Saturday night.
“There’s still growth that needs to be made,” senior libero Kori Moster said. “The first chapter of our story is completed.”
MSU was without a couple of key contributors over the weekend as well.
Freshman outside hitter Holly Toliver missed the tournament with an undisclosed injury.
Freshman setter Rachel Minarick missed the first game of the tournament for an undisclosed injury but suited up in the other two matches. Minarick had 34 assists against Western Kentucky and 29 assists against UW-Milwaukee.
Junior setter Halle Peterson was also out with a dislocated shoulder.
“That’s something we have to deal with,” senior co-captain and middle blocker Jazmine White said. “We can’t just give up because we have injuries.”
Sophomores Allyssah Fitterer and Chloe Reinig earned All-Tournament Team honors. It’s the second time that Fitterer and Reinig as a pair were recognized with All-Tournament honors, both were named to the UAB/Samford Invitational team.
Reinig, an outside hitter, averaged 3.82 kills per set, 0.55 blocks per set and hit .312 during the Invitational.
Fitterer, a middle blocker and opposite hitter, averaged 3.09 kills, 1.45 blocks, 0.91 digs per set and like Reinig hit .312 over the course of the tournament.
MSU now sets their eyes on the Big Ten season, which begins next Friday against the Hoosiers (9-3 overall) in Indiana.
“The Big Ten is obviously challenging,” head coach Cathy George said. “If we’re going to do this the right way we have to improve.”
As of Sunday, the Big Ten has seven teams ranked in the AVCA Top 25 Poll. Penn State (12-1 overall) sits atop the Big Ten and is ranked No. 3 in the nation.