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'It is not on 1 person to beat Michigan' as MSU volleyball prepares for rivalry game

February 17, 2021
Senior Alyssa Chronowski returns the ball during the Spartans' loss to Ohio State on Feb. 1, 2021.
Senior Alyssa Chronowski returns the ball during the Spartans' loss to Ohio State on Feb. 1, 2021. —
Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

MSU has a jam-packed week as they host three games, and while every game is an important one in a shortened season, one game in particular still stands out.

After having their previous matchup postponed, MSU is eager to finally take on their rival University of Michigan on Feb. 17. MSU is looking for revenge after dropping both matches to the Wolverines last season, but now the circumstances have changed.

Michigan has only played two games this season due to COVID-19 problems and while many may see this as an advantage for MSU, it may make things harder, head coach Cathy George said.

“There are some things we did not know about Michigan because this was the first weekend they played. We didn’t really get a big look at them, they’ve been watching us for weeks,” George said Tuesday.

The Spartans are not at a complete disadvantage, as they are fresh off two momentous victories and looking better each week. The Wolverines are coming in off two tough losses and still searching for an identity as their season is just beginning.

The biggest factor that will be missing from the annual rivalry will be the electric atmosphere created by the fans that usually pile into Jenison Fieldhouse for this exhilarating matchup.

With only the immediate family of players and staff allowed, along with the media, MSU will look to generate its own energy for what is usually one of their most attended games.

For freshman Sarah Franklin, her first rivalry game will be different than what she imagined before the season.

“I am kind of sad we aren’t gonna have the whole packed thing, all the fans, because I love that stuff, I live for that,” Franklin said.

“It’s not like it’s going to be completely quiet. I think everyone is going to bring some type of excitement,” said Franklin. “I feel like we’ll be able to have that same type of energy even with just us.”

As a veteran on the team who has faced off with Michigan several times, senior Alyssa Chronowski knows it will take a team effort to beat their in-state rivals. 

“It is not on one person to beat Michigan,” said Chronowski. “Do your best and rely on the person next to you … because we are about to do this as a team.”

Before losing their only two games this year to then-No. 11 ranked Purdue, Michigan was ranked in the Top 25 in the country, with several star players, but the Spartans are ready for whatever comes their way.

“They have a lot of really talented players, so they're going to come in and be really tough,” said George. “So, we have to control what we can control.”

After what looks to be an exciting matchup against Michigan, MSU hosts the number one ranked Wisconsin Badgers on Feb. 20 and 21.

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