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Volleyball attempts to put setbacks behind them with 16 Big Ten games remaining

October 8, 2014

Volleyball head coach Cathy George addressed the media at her weekly Tuesday presser. 

Photo by Robert Bondy | and Troy Jefferson The State News

It’s been a roller coaster season for the volleyball team thus far, but at the midpoint the Spartans are happy with the progress they are making.

“I think we’re becoming a team,” freshman defensive specialist Abby Monson said. “Considering everything that’s happened I think that’s the one main thing we need to focus on.”

In the first half of the season, the Spartans had to overcome their fair share of adversities, including injuries to freshman outside hitter Holly Toliver and junior setter Halle Peterson .

Monson has been able to soften the load and provide a defensive spark for the Spartans off the bench as of late, averaging 5.3 digs over the last three games. She also brings some offense to the table, totaling three aces against Michigan last Friday night.

Another speed bump in the opening months was the unforgiving non-conference schedule, which featured games against five teams who made the NCAA Tournament last year.

With any roller coaster there are highs and lows, and last weekend was a high for MSU (9-6 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) as the Spartans were able to defeat bitter rival Michigan, 3-1.

The Spartans have 16 games remaining this season, all of which come against Big Ten competition.

“We have a lot of season left,” senior libero and co-captain Kori Moster said. “It’s a whole new challenge every single day, every single game we play is going to matter at the end of the season.”

MSU currently sits in ninth place in the conference with a 2-2 record. Purdue paces the Big Ten with an unblemished 4-0 record, which includes a 3-1 win over the Spartans. After the Boilermakers, there are six teams tied with a 3-1 conference record.

Head coach Cathy George knows her team has work to do and is not concerned about the standings at this point in the season.

“Every day we are working to improve and that’s one of our major goals.” George said. “If we are doing what we need to do daily then it’s going to put us in a position that we’ll find favorable later on.”

The Spartans are in the midst of a three-game homestand, which concludes this weekend against No. 7 Nebraska (9-4 overall, 3-1 Big Ten) on Friday night and Iowa (8-7 overall, 0-4 Big Ten) on Saturday night.

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