This wasn’t the way the season was supposed to go for Kori Moster and the women’s volleyball team.
The senior libero and team co-captain has led her team to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons and was supposed to ride off into the sunset, or least to Oklahoma City, Okla., the site of the national championship this season.
But the season has been anything but storybook.
Instead, MSU’s (13-12 overall, 6-8 Big Ten) season is on downward spiral after yet another crushing loss.
“If you keep your whole heart in it then good things are going to happen,” Moster said after No. 4 Wisconsin (22-2 overall, 13-1 Big Ten) handed the Spartans their fifth loss in the last six games on Sunday afternoon at Jenison Field House.
On Friday night, MSU fell to Minnesota (15-10 overall, 5-9 Big Ten) in four sets, 3-1 (18-25, 25-16, 17-25, 19-25).
The effort has been there for the Spartans, but costly unforced errors have doomed them during the losing streak, and especially against the Badgers.
“We just have to become more consistent,” Moster said. “The level of accountability and responsibility that each player on the court needs to have at all times that standard needs to be a little bit higher.”
The service errors were a killer in a game where two sets were decided by three points or less. MSU gave away nine points.
“The game of volleyball is such a team sport,” Moster said. “What you do affects five other people around you.”
The two-time All-American has still been as good as ever, as her 4.57 digs per set and 416 total digs rank fourth in the conference.
Looking at the big picture, the Spartans currently sit in seventh place in the Big Ten with six games remaining. Four of the next six games will come against teams with a worse conference record than MSU.
Even though MSU hasn’t won back-to-back games since mid-October, Moster has still not given up on the season quite yet.
“The only way that we’re going to reach the goals that we want to reach is if we do it together,” Moster said. “We just have to keep backing each other up.”
No. 13 Nebraska (16-7 overall, 10-4 Big Ten) is up next for the Spartans, who will travel to Lincoln, Neb. for an 8 p.m. matchup Wednesday.