Monday, July 6, 2020

Volleyball opens Big Ten play at home on Saturday

September 28, 2019
<p>The Spartans celebrate winning a set during the game against Cincinnati on Sept. 6, 2019 at Jenison Fieldhouse. The Spartans defeated the Bearcats, 3-1.</p>

The Spartans celebrate winning a set during the game against Cincinnati on Sept. 6, 2019 at Jenison Fieldhouse. The Spartans defeated the Bearcats, 3-1.

Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

After dropping their second loss of the season, and first loss of conference play, against No. 5 Penn State, Michigan State volleyball will host Maryland on Saturday to open Big Ten play at home. 

Both the Spartans and Terrapins are 0-1 in Big Ten play after suffering losses on Wednesday. The Spartans hope to come back after an all-season low on their hitting percentage in their last game against Penn State, finishing at .126.

“We obviously are still growing and a part of the maturation of the team is acknowledging what we're doing well and trying to make it even better while we also work on the areas we feel we're deficient,” Head Coach Cathy George said according to msuspartans.com.

Maryland is 8-5 on the season, most recently dropping their first Big Ten game against Ohio State, 3-1. 

“Maryland’s a really solid team,” George said in a press conference. “They’ve had a coaching change and they continue to grow and adapt. I think they're really pretty tough across the board. We know that they have balance and they’ll work to spread our blocks as we go through.”

As for the Spartans, George feels that the team has “matured a bit” and said that they are “playing with a little more experience.” This most likely comes from the injuries during the Western Michigan tournament that benched Spartan starters for several matches, forcing new comers like freshman Biamba Kabengele to step in.

“We like to see the depth in some of our new comers,” George said. “Biamba Kabengele was the freshman of the week in the Big Ten. She also was on the All-Tournament team at Western Michigan and she was really thrown in there. She showed tremendous athleticism,” George said.

The Spartans will host Maryland at 8 p.m. on Saturday, following the homecoming football game for the green and white. 

“We are just looking forward to getting that started and to have a nice home game on Saturday before we get back at it the following week on the road,” George said.

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