Thursday, December 2, 2021

MSU volleyball to host No. 3 Wisconsin and Maryland this weekend

October 14, 2021
<p>Redshirt freshman Sarah Franklin (13) spikes the ball over the net during the game against Central Michigan University at the Jenison Fieldhouse on Sept. 17, 2021. The Spartans won against the Chippewas 3-1.</p>

Redshirt freshman Sarah Franklin (13) spikes the ball over the net during the game against Central Michigan University at the Jenison Fieldhouse on Sept. 17, 2021. The Spartans won against the Chippewas 3-1.

Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

In back-to-back home weekends of Big Ten play, Michigan State volleyball will take on No. 3 Wisconsin and Maryland this weekend after falling short to Ohio State and Minnesota last weekend. 

Despite two close losses in last weekend’s matches, the Spartans had standout performances across the board. Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Franklin leads the league in kills per set and the team as a whole is second in the league in service aces. 

Franklin proved to be a versatile powerhouse again with a double-double of 16 kills, 11 digs, five blocks and two aces against the Gophers. Junior outside hitter Biamba Kabengele added 11 kills for the Spartans and sophomore setter Celia Cullen with 39 total assists. 

“The great thing about volleyball in this league is that every night you come to watch a game, you’re seeing excellent volleyball," Michigan State Head Coach Cathy George said. "You’re seeing future Olympians, future stars and it’s a battle. You’re seeing the best there is, and that’s exciting.”

The Spartans will have their work cut out for them this weekend as Wisconsin is 13-1 overall and 5-1 in Big Ten play after losing to Maryland. Maryland is 14-4 overall with 12 of those wins coming from non-conference play, as well as defeating Wisconsin in their season opener. 

Michigan State is in a four-match home stretch with Wisconsin and Maryland being the last two home matches before hitting the road to compete against Purdue and Maryland. MSU will host Wisconsin Friday at 6 p.m. and Maryland Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Fans will be in attendance and both will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network. 

“I truly believe that it’s getting us better and it’s helping us improve in areas they’re looking to exploit," George said. "We definitely are seeing progress with this team day after day, and I like the way they’re fighting, I like their tenacity, and I like the fact we’re in for the fight.” 

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