The Spartans are looking to achieve their first season win against Maryland this weekend following their 0-4 start to the year and break in the schedule.
Following the cancellation of the Michigan game due to COVID concerns within Michigan's Athletic Department, Michigan State faced off against Ohio State last weekend but ultimately didn't walk away with the win.
During their last matchup against Ohio State, the Spartans fell 3-2 in five sets but had standout performances from multiple players.
Freshman Sarah Franklin and sophomore Cecilee Max-Brown led the team with 20 and 14 kills along with hitting percentages of .236 and .231, respectively.
In a press conference earlier this week, Head Coach Cathy George reflected on MSU’s weaknesses and the importance of correcting those mistakes going into this weekend’s matchup against Maryland and next week’s game against Michigan.
“We really don’t know where our weaknesses are, so if it’s not being shown immediately in the gym, we weren’t really able to recognize it,” George said in a press conference Tuesday. “If you see something that’s being exploited in two matches in a row, now you’re really able to say ‘Okay, these are areas we have to work on’.”
The team went back to the drawing board to focus on necessary adjustments to be made before the next matchup against Maryland, who is also looking to add their first mark to the win column.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work with blocking, defense, we’ve come a long way … we’ve been putting in the time,” sophomore Cecilee Max-Brown spoke about in a press conference earlier this week.
Cecilee also discussed her time getting situated with Big Ten play after her transfer from Oregon State and playing in the Pac-12.
“I’d say the defense, like on other teams’ defense, it’s a lot harder to score. There was a lot of times where you could just get away with certain things, but the Big Ten will definitely take away your weaknesses.”
Max-Brown was a lead performer for the Spartans against Ohio State with 14 kills, 39 total attempts and a hitting percentage of .231. Her stats only fall short to one other Spartan, Sarah Franklin.
Match after match, freshman Sarah Franklin leads the pack with standout performances.
Alongside Franklin, the freshmen bring a level of energy and drive with them.
“I think a lot of the newcomers are playing with a real fire … I don’t think it’s about being perfect on every play. It’s just about competing on every play.”
The Spartans are looking to bring the energy this weekend against Maryland to walk away with their first season win. The Spartans and the Terrapins will face off Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. in College Park, Maryland.
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