March 12, 2011
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State got its first taste of competition for the 2011 season on Saturday morning, as it had a series of scrimmage races against defending National Champion Virginia at Hungry Mother State Park in southwest Virginia. The Spartans' focus today was on improvement and technique, and head coach Matt Weise felt that his team got what it needed from facing off with the Cavaliers.
"Well, we got beat, but we learned a lot," joked Weise. "Today was a good opportunity for us to get out there and put into play what we have been practicing all this week during break.
"No one is going to roll over for us. I thought that we rowed well in our first pieces, but we just didn't go fast enough. Over the course of the day, they figured it out and were much closer to the Virginia boats. I certainly felt like there were glimmers of hope By the last race, they really responded. Our varsity eight was very close by the end. It's a good base for us to build on as we have our first races next weekend."
The Spartan varsity boats will travel back to the east coast to take on Ivy League crews Princeton and Brown; the 2V4 and novices will row in nearby Ypsilanti against Eastern Michigan. MSU's first Big Ten competition comes a week later, when MSU travels to Bloomington to race Indiana and Boston University.