The volleyball team will have a chance to avenge a tough loss from earlier in the season Wednesday night.
MSU (13-12 overall, 6-7 Big Ten) and No. 11 Nebraska (16-7 overall, 10-4 Big Ten) will face off for the second time this season, this time in Lincoln, Neb.
“I think we’re really ready for what (Nebraska) is going to throw at us,” sophomore middle blocker Allyssah Fitterer said.
The Spartans come into the game on a two-game losing streak while the Cornhuskers enter the contest on a four-game winning streak, all of which have been sweeps.
The two teams met before Oct. 10 in East Lansing when the Spartans fell to the Cornhuskers in four sets, 3-1 (20-25, 18-25, 25-22, 23-25) .
“I think both teams have improved since the last time we played,” head coach Cathy George said after watching film. “We’re looking for a strong rematch. Nebraska is playing very well.”
In the previous matchup, MSU led early in the first set as they jumped out to an 18-13 lead. However, the Spartans gave up 12 of the next 14 points in the set and allowed the Cornhuskers to take not only the first set but also the momentum.
In the fourth set, MSU and Nebraska went toe to toe as the score was tied on six different occasions.
The game came down to the final point as Nebraska led 24-23. Senior outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen sealed the thriller at Jenison Fieldhouse with a kill down the left line.
Spartans to watch
MSU’s middle blockers have been essential to the Spartans’ balanced offensive attack — as they go so goes the rest of the team.
“It’s always important to have balance especially when you’re going against a team like Nebraska. If you don’t have balance it becomes more difficult on the rest of your attackers,” George said.
Fitterer and freshman middle blocker Alyssa Garvelink turned in two of their more impressive performances against the Cornhuskers.
Fitterer finished the matchup with 10 kills and a team-high .200 hitting percentage. Garvelink had nine kills and two blocks.
“Rachel (Minarick — freshman setter) did a great job of giving me one blocker so that I could execute,” Garvelink said. “Hopefully we can do that again.”
If Garvelink and Fitterer can get going, it’ll make the job of MSU’s outside hitters easier.
“When I can give (the outside hitters) a one on one, it’s ideal,” Garvelink said.
Sophomore outside hitter Chloe Reinig was on the receiving end of some of those one on ones in the previous matchup and took advantage of it, totaling a team-high 15 kills.
First serve is set for 8 p.m.
The next MSU win will mark the 750th in program history. Spartan volleyball is in its 42nd season of varsity competition.