EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan State volleyball program held its media day on Friday, Aug. 11 at Jenison Field House.
The media gathered while MSU was holding its sixth practice of the week and watched the team participate in high-energy blocking and passing drills.
The formal program with an introduction of the 2017 team and staff. The media was then provided a 30-minute session - a "Volleyball 101" that was designed to help reporters better understand what they see during the coverage of a match - both offensively and defensively. Following the presentation and questions, the team held interviews for more than 30 minutes.
Head Coach Cathy George, entering her 13th season on the Spartan sideline and 31st overall as a head coach, not only had an opportunity to talk about her team, but also share her passion for the game.
"We wanted to set this up as an opportunity to maybe put the game in a little different perspective for the media - showing them our film allowed them to see the game from a different angle than being floor level," noted George. "We had a lot of great back-and-forth and questions. We've always had great people covering us, and we really appreciate the coverage they provide.
The feedback we got from today is that they enjoyed learning more - that the things we walked through, both offensively and defensively, was going to allow them to see the strategy and understand the execution more when they come back again this fall. We really had a great session this morning"
Michigan State, ranked 17th in the AVCA pre-season national poll, returns 11 letterwinners from last year's team that went 25-9, including three All-Americans. Joining the veterans is a recruiting class that was ranked ninth nationally by PrepVolleyball.
"We're going to be a veteran team for sure - we have seven seniors and there's a lot of players who have been exposed to a lot over their careers," shared the head coach. "We're also bringing in some more talented athletes who had the benefit of being on campus in the spring semester after they enrolled early, so they already have a good foundation of how to juggle college life, academics, and volleyball. We had a great bonding trip to Italy, and it gave us some high-level competition on which to test ourselves - all things that were designed to set us up for a strong fall.
"We're taking nothing for granted - the Big Ten is filled with veteran players who are looking for a strong season, and some of the excitement is that we feel that we have the tools and the experience to make a strong run," continued George. "Most people feel good about their teams in the preseason, but we know that the proof is in your performance. We've come into camp this fall with a great energy, and I am looking forward to seeing how we develop over the course of the season."