EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – After the 2020-2021 spring season allowed just family members, at times, to attend Michigan State volleyball’s home matches, MSU started the 2021 fall campaign with a much better feel.
The Spartans started their season with the Green & White scrimmage on Saturday at Jenison Field House and welcomed back fans, and the Spartan cheer and dance teams, who MSU coach Cathy George made sure to say hi to prior to the match.
“It was really cool and all the energy that came with it,” George said. “You had all the people that made it feel like a real game.”
“In the spring, with COVID-19, we would look up, and of course our parents could be there, sometimes, and while we love seeing them there and we love our parents, we missed the rowdy crowds, the cheering, even just standing when it’s match point,” MSU senior libero and captain, Talia Edmonds said.
The scrimmage lasted four sets, with White taking the first two and Green taking the final two. So no one got bragging rights, but George liked what she saw from both sides.
“I thought it was extremely competitive. I saw teams fight,” George said. “We don’t know who the real winner is, but we like that there was a battle in them.”
Playing on the Green team was redshirt freshman Sarah Franklin, who missed most of her true freshman season due to injury. Despite playing in just seven games in the spring, Franklin led MSU in average kills per set, with 3.81.
Saturday was the first time Franklin and seven other members, from both the sophomore and freshmen classes, got to experience a ‘traditional’ home match, and their performance certainly stood out with the upperclassmen.
“I remember my first Green & White match. I was so nervous and all the seniors were like ‘Why are you nervous? It’s just a scrimmage and it’s basically practice,'” Edmonds said. “We were in the locker room before and, these freshmen and sophomores are cool and composed. They acted like they’ve done this before and that is something I really admire about both of those classes. Obviously, they had a little bit of nerves, but after the first serve this is it, this is like practice.”
“The freshman have come in and have done a good job working with the upperclassmen. I love what our team has done to accept them in and help them understand what’s going on,” George said. “I thought today would be nerve-wracking for them, but I actually thought that they held their own.”
Michigan State will officially begin the season at home against Western Michigan in the Auto Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational, on Aug. 27.