The volleyball team was able to stay afloat in the Big Ten standings this weekend after splitting two home games.
MSU (10-7 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) currently sits in 10th place in the conference but only one game separates the 10th seed from the 4th seed.
The weekend got off to a rough start as the Spartans dropped Friday night’s game to then-ranked No. 8 Nebraska (10-4 overall, 4-1 Big Ten) in four sets, 3-1 (20-25, 18-25, 25-22, 23-25).
MSU started slow against the Cornhuskers and were not able to recover until it was too late.
“I thought Nebraska did a great job at the service line putting a lot of pressure on our passers,” head coach Cathy George said. “Once we got back on our game plan, started being more aggressive with what we were doing, we saw some success.”
George implored her team to come out with more fight on Saturday night and the Spartans accepted the challenge.
“I really like what I saw,” George said about the team’s demeanor between the Nebraska and Iowa game.
MSU completely outclassed Iowa (8-9 overall, 0-6 Big Ten), needing only a hour and twenty minutes to sweep the Hawkeyes in straight sets (25-15, 25-17, 25-18).
“We have a lot of control in what happens in a match,” senior libero and co-captain Kori Moster said. “We’re a very talented team, we need to use that to our advantage.”
The disparity in talent was evident against the Hawkeyes, who still have not won a match or set in conference play through six games.
“I think everyone pitched in tonight,” freshman middle blocker Alyssa Garvelink said.
Sophomore hitters Allyssah Fitterer and Chloe Reinig led the offensive charge per usual but Garvelink did a little more than “pitch in” over the weekend.
Garvelink recorded a combined 19 kills over the weekend, which was the most behind Fitterer (20 kills) and Reinig (26 kills).
Garvelink has carved a niche for herself, alongside senior middle blocker Jazmine White, playing in every set since Big Ten play has started.
MSU will have a week off before heading east to face Big Ten newcomers Rutgers and Maryland.
The Spartans have to like their chances against the Terps and Scarlet Knights as neither team has won a conference game yet, combining for a 0-11 record.