First hit “M,” second “S,” third “U,” the crowd echoes through Jenison Field House as Michigan State Volleyball kills the ball against their opponent. With an average of 3,069 patrons per home match in 2018, MSU ranked ninth nationally in average attendance, marking their fourth straight season in the national top 10, according to NCAA.com.
“Getting all the students and getting the band here and everything, it really helps us because when we are in a rut, they kind of bring us out of it,” Junior outside hitter Meredith Norris said. “Their like our 6th man or 7th man.”
In total throughout the 2018 season, the Spartans welcomed 39,901 fans to Jenison. Their average attendance of 3,069 per game puts them behind four Big Ten opponents including: Nebraska (1), Wisconsin (2), Minnesota (4) and Penn State (8).
Head Coach Cathy George recognized the dedication of their fans to show out and support the green and white, especially on days like last Saturday, Sept. 7, when MSU football faced in-state rival Western Michigan. She described this support as a “huge benefit,” to the teams performance.
Even before Big Ten play has begun for the Spartans, Jenison fills with fans at games such as yesterday’s in-state matchup against Oakland.
“I thought tonight we got a nice group out, the student section was great,” George said regarding last night's game. “They really got out there and filled that thing up so it was awesome to see."
In 2018, the Spartans yielded the youngest team in the Big Ten. However, this year the Spartans are back with more experience and junior Alyssa Chronowski sees the squad as “being more mature now.” She says they like to show opponents “what the difference was,” between this year and last year and they like to show “our fans that as well.”
With a more experienced team and players that fans recognize from last season, MSU hopes to continue to attract crowds that have made them nationally recognized for attendance for the past several years.
Throwing out mini volleyballs during their starting lineup, announcements and traditional “M-S-U” chanting on each hit of the Spartan offense yield only some of the actions that make Jenison Field House on volleyball game day one fans continue to show out to.
“We thank them and we want them to keep coming out,” Norris said.