Sunday, October 25, 2020

MSU volleyball fights hard, falls short vs. No. 5 Penn State

October 25, 2015
<p>MSU volleyball head coach Cathy George speaks with sophomore outside hitter Holly Toliver during the game against Indiana on Sept. 25, 2015 at Jenison Field House. The Spartans defeated the Hoosiers 3-0.&nbsp;</p>

MSU volleyball head coach Cathy George speaks with sophomore outside hitter Holly Toliver during the game against Indiana on Sept. 25, 2015 at Jenison Field House. The Spartans defeated the Hoosiers 3-0. 

Photo by Alice Kole | The State News

The MSU Volleyball team, fresh off their upset victory against No. 6 Ohio State, saw their winning streak come to an end as the No. 5 Penn State Lady Lions swept the Spartans in Jenison Field House Saturday night. MSU falls to 6-4 in the Big Ten and 14-7 overall on the season.

Fans who presented their ticket stubs from Saturday's football game against Indiana got into Jenison for free, resulting in a crowd over 6,000 strong wearing green and white. This didn’t seem to bother Penn State, as they rolled over MSU, never trailing in the entire match.

The Spartans fell behind early in each of the three sets, and coming back after being buried in such a deep hole is difficult. Head Coach Cathy George was adamant that the team needed to do better in one key area on the court: communication.

“I think we need to really do a better job of communicating together as a team while the play is going on,” George said. “There were times where they went on a huge run early and then we were battling back, and yet we started at such a deficit it was difficult to crawl back from that.”

MSU hit a woeful 9.9 percent on kill attempts, and committed 24 attack errors. Penn State hit at a 23.3 percent clip, garnering 40 assists on 43 kills. Penn State remains a threat to win the Big Ten.

“They are a very physical team,” George said. “They were rated number one in the country this year and have a couple national championships, so they are a pretty good team.”

Junior Allyssah Fitterer said that the team wasn’t communicating on the level of Penn State, who were calling out what MSU was doing, resulting in the Spartans being a step behind the Lady Lions all game.

“What we did well was battle back,” Fitterer said. “The thing that we did that was poor on our side was that we let them get ahead. We play really well when we are in those pressure situations, but we have to start out stronger.”

The Spartans will be hitting the road for their next four games, beginning with a back to back on Oct. 30 and 31 with Illinois and Northwestern. It is the first time in a long time MSU will be able to have a full week of practice, as the Wednesday-Saturday game schedule has been the routine for the team.

“It’s really great to have time to work on technical things, instead of focusing on our scouting report for the next team,” Fitterer said. “It’ll be nice to have that time to work on shots and to work on different defensive patterns. By the end of the week we can start focusing on our teams that we have.”

GAME NOTE

Kori Moster, a two time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a great former Spartan volleyball player was honored before the game Saturday. She is third in the conference in career digs, and was a member of the 2013 USA Volleyball College National Team.

“It’s great to see Kori back, obviously a great career for her,” George said. “She’s off doing her thing now, she’s a businesswoman, but it’s good to see that she came back and we got a great chance to honor her.”

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