The MSU volleyball team swept both games Saturday against Morgan State University and Central Michigan University. MSU held both team to a 10% and under success rate, Morgan State had 8.2%, while CMU had a 10% success rate throughout the game, compared to the Spartans 30.7% and 31.5%.
MSU swept all three sets against Morgan State to earn their first victory of the day. The Spartans won each game, with at least an 8 point lead on Morgan State (25-15, 25-17, and 25-11). During the first set MSU scored 8 straight points against the Bears, at the time leading 16-8.
Junior setter Rachel Minarick played well both offensively and defensively, contributing 20 assists to her team, as well as 5 digs against Morgan State. Defensively, junior libero Abby Monson and junior outside hitter Holly Toliver combined for a team-leading 17 digs. Senior outside hitter Chloe Reinig had nine of MSU's 36 total. Head coach Cathy George wanted more urgency against the Bears, and told her Spartans about the needed adjustment.
"You always like to have a lead, there’s no doubt about it," George said. "It makes your life a lot easier. But, there were times we were a little bit down and there’s an urgency that came, and I would like to see the way we fought through those moments. In a way I wouldn’t ever want to be down, if we were going to, I’d want to see us fighting through it.
Freshman setter Maggie Midgette contributed to the Spartan win early on today, scoring with a serve ace and contributing 7 digs to the team total of 33 against Morgan State. Midgette has been one of three freshman helping MSU to their 5-0 record.
“They’re definitely leaders too" Reinig said. "We’ve done something in preseason that have shown that they're just little lion cubs waiting to take their role.”
The upperclassmen though lead the team stats during the second game against CMU, as Bailey, Tompkins, Reinig, Garvelink and Toliver contributed all 10 kills of the first set (25-14).
The Spartans fell behind the Chippewas at one point in the second set, but retook the lead to finish the set 25-17.
“You see the experience coming through and the depth as something we used last year because of injuries, but it gave us quality minutes for a lot player,” George said. “Now they’ve been in the heat of battle…they’ve all had to toughen up because of it. We have good teams coming in obviously, but we have some quality depth on the bench right, we know they’ll find their time.”
Bailey received another career double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs against CMU. This double-double is her third in the six games as a Spartan. Bailey now has two double-doubles since her season ending ACL injury last season.
“It’s definitely giving me confidence right now, coming back from injury you lose a lot of confidence," Bailey said. "And every time I accomplish something like that it helps me, and helps me think less on the court. So, it’s been good to me.”
Reinig reflected in the postgame interviews how this is the last Spartan Invitational, a yearly tradition, for the senior class.
“It actually kind of helps me, fuels me up, keeps me focused,” Reinig said. “I’m just trying to keep my head in the game, trying to take it one step at a time and enjoy it really.”
On Sunday, the MSU Spartan take on No. 7 ranked University of Florida for the final game of the Spartan Invitational. Toliver expressed her thoughts against facing a top=ranked national opponent.
“The serve and pass game is going to be pretty big here,"They’ll come at us really strong. They’re looking forward to this game as much as we are, so we just have to play hard, you have to play tough, you have to go after it.”
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