Sunday, September 19, 2021

MSU Volleyball prepares for Penn State after nearly month long pause due to COVID-19

March 19, 2021
<p>Five of the Spartans dive for the ball during the Spartans&#x27; loss against the Wisconsin Badgers on Feb. 20, 2021.</p>

Five of the Spartans dive for the ball during the Spartans' loss against the Wisconsin Badgers on Feb. 20, 2021.

Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

After a nearly month-long break from play due to COVID-19 concerns, MSU returns to the court to take on Penn State at Jenison Field House this weekend. 

Before their season was interrupted, MSU had a tough schedule, facing ranked teams like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio State and Michigan. They pick back up where they left off facing the number 12 ranked team in the country, Penn State. 

“They (Penn State) are a very talented team and well-coached,” head coach Cathy George said in her weekly press conference. “We’ve played a very rigorous schedule, and it doesn’t get any easier this weekend.”

It makes it even harder to return to the court seeing how during their three-week hiatus, MSU has not been able to hold full-team practices, only individual practices/workouts. Friday will be the first time in nearly a month that the team will play together, and this may cause some early problems as the Spartans try to regain their on-court chemistry.

In their individual practices, the focus has been on individual skills so that when it is time to come back together, everyone’s skills are sharp enough to overcome the fact that the team hasn’t played together in such a long time. 

George said they know coming back from COVID-19 isn’t easy and that as they get certain players back at different times they will see where they are at as they continue their season.

At the beginning of the season, after their first game against Michigan was canceled, George emphasized how important it was to even have chances to play. And while those chances haven’t really been available to MSU, they are staying ready and optimistic as the season goes on.

“Things didn't work out the way we scripted out for us,” George said. “You have to control what you can control. You have to do everything you can at the best of your ability and make sure you’re giving everything that you possibly can.''

“We don’t know how this is all going to pan out, so you just have to be flexible and have to keep things in perspective,” George said.

George has preached flexibility to her team all season. The Spartans can’t do anything besides stay ready and worry about the games they do play and not worry about the ones they don’t play. 

There’s no doubt that MSU will look to bounce back strong and sneak in a win to gain the momentum that they weren’t able to get in the early part of the season, as their current record is 2-7, and were on a three-game losing streak before their season was stopped. 

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