Volleyball Tabbed Ninth In Big Ten Preseason Poll
Aug. 17, 2005
The Spartan volleyball squad has been picked ninth in the Big Ten Preseason Poll, the announcement came today from the conference office. In 2004, the Big Ten led all major athletic conferences with seven member institutions advancing to the NCAA Tournament, while Minnesota advanced to the National Championship game. Penn State garnered first place honors in preseason rankings, while Minnesota and Wisconsin round out the top three spots on the chart.
Returning eight letterwinners, including a senior class with four experienced players, head coach Cathy George feels her team has taken the necessary steps to post a competitive 2005 season:
"Throughout the spring and summer training I have seen the confidence and commitment within our team, and our coaching staff, take monumental steps in the right direction," said George. "Our goals this season are to prepare for each opponent and every competition to the best of our ability. We will emphasize building a strong bond within our team which we feel will only strengthen our on-the-court performance. The entire Michigan State University athletics department has shown so much support for the volleyball program which will help us reach our goals this season and in years to come."
Michigan State will open the season welcoming MAC competitor Kent State to Jenison Field House on August 27, and will host the 10th Michigan State Volleyball Classic the following weekend. The Classic will feature MSU, Ball State, Wichita State and South Florida and will be held at Jenison Field House Sept. 1-3. The Spartans will travel to the Pizza Hut Jayhawk Invitational hosted by the University of Kansas Sept. 9-10 where they will face host Kansas, Temple and Virginia Commonwealth at the two-day event. MSU then travels to Miami, Fla., for the Orange and Green Challenge hosted by Miami Sept. 16-17. MSU will face Sacramento State and Louisville at Miami before returning to Jenison Field House for the Sept. 21 Big Ten opener against in-state rival Michigan.
As always, the Big Ten schedule will prove very competitive as the Spartans will face national champion runner-up Minnesota, as well as NCAA Tournament competitors Penn State, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan throughout the fall season.
With such a strong non-conference start to 2005, George feels her team will be prepared and eager for the start of the Big Ten season:
"Our non-conference schedule will be a great opportunity for our team to prepare for the highly competitive Big Ten season that we expect to have. The Michigan State Volleyball Classic has a great field, as well as the tournaments at Kansas and Miami before we return home to face Michigan in the Big Ten opener," George said. "A challenging schedule from the start, against talented teams, will give our team great confidence and experience as we move farther into our 2005 season."U The complete preseason poll, and preseason All-Big Ten Team are listed below.
2005 PRESEASON BIG TEN POLL
2005 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN VOLLEYBALL TEAM
UNANIMOUS SELECTION IN CAPS
(2) Two-time selection
(3) Three-time selection
at the official