The last regular season game for the Spartans wasn’t a step forward, but a rehash. Similar to of many of the losses that have plagued the last third of the season, MSU couldn’t capitalize on key opportunities. And it ultimately cost them the match.
Most MSU students will home preparing, eating or working off a Thanksgiving feast over break, but the Spartans will be on the field, court, ice and mat working hard to give MSU some victories. Check out what will be happening in the Green and White world of sports over the holiday week.
The volleyball senior class has seen steady, season-by-season progression since joining the program. Coming in as freshmen, middle blocker Alexis Mathews, setter Kristen Kelsay and outside hitter Kelsey Kuipers entered a program that hadn’t seen a great amount of national success.
Senior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski transferred to MSU from Northern Illinois before her junior year. Despite only being with the program for two years, her impact on the team’s success has been measurable. Last season, Wicinski helped the Spartans achieve a 25-10 overall record and Sweet Sixteen finish in the NCAA Tournament. It was a definite leap forward in the program.
It’s no secret the MSU volleyball team is talented. In the past few weeks, it’s become more clear just how talented the roster is in a historical sense. A week after junior libero Kori Moster became the all-time digs leader in MSU history, senior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski set the all-time career kills record against Iowa on Saturday.
Since becoming a member of the MSU volleyball team, junior libero Kori Moster knew she wanted to leave her mark on the program. In her three years as a Spartan, her impact has been considerable. In addition to strong leadership, the co-captain has entered her name into Spartan lore.
Junior libero Kori Moster entered the Spartan record books last Friday. With 24 digs in the team’s 3-1 victory over Northwestern, Moster topped former MSU volleyball outside hitter Veronica Morales to become MSU’s all-time digs leader.
The second half of the volleyball season is approaching, and the No. 14 Spartans will hope to begin the second half how they began the first one — with wins over Penn State and Ohio State. The first half upsets over then-No. 1 Penn State and then-No. 13 Ohio State were the first of a strong Big Ten start for volleyball. However, MSU (17-5 overall, 6-4 Big Ten) finished the first half with a four-game losing streak after winning the first 10.
In the past couple weeks, a storybook season for the volleyball team steadily declined into anything but. After being ranked No. 5, winning six-straight matches at the start of Big Ten play and posting the best start to the season since 1996, the Spartans (17-5 overall, 6-4 Big Ten) lost the fire that enabled them to topple some of the top teams in the nation.
After a hot start to the season, the volleyball team is reeling. With a loss to Indiana (9-12 overall, 1-9 Big Ten) in five sets (17-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 12-15) on Saturday night, the volleyball team (17-5, 6-4) has now lost four straight Big Ten matches after a 6-0 start to conference play.
With a third-consecutive loss, head coach Cathy George said it’s time for the volleyball team to get back to basics — and back to work. “People are trying to do a little bit too much more than they have to,” George said. “You don’t have to press to get things done. You have to execute to get things done. There has to be patience in your game.”
After nearly a decade at MSU, Cathy George is in special territory. By building the MSU volleyball program into a serious Big Ten contender and starting the season off with the best record of any Spartan team since 1996, the volleyball head coach has the opportunity to place the program among the national elite – a path not unlike the one taken years ago by men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo.