Schedule Preview: Volleyball

With the addition of two teams to the Big Ten Conference this fall, the Spartans look to amp up their 2014 fall season with strong non-conference play and begin the battle of Big Ten volleyball with the release of the 2014-15 schedule.

In the 2013 season, eight teams from the Big Ten made it to the NCAA Tournament. The National Championship match was a Big Ten matchup between Wisconsin and Penn State, marking the Big Ten as one of the best volleyball conferences.

The Spartans will host 15 home games this season, including 13 teams that made it to the Tournament in 2013.

MSU will compete in 11 non-conference games, including the Spartan Invitational and matchups between North Carolina and Duke, which will be held at Jenison Field House in September. North Carolina and Duke both went 27-4 last year.

Big Ten play begins on Sept. 26 when the Spartans head to Bloomington, Ind. to face the Hoosiers.

The Wolverine and Spartan rivalry will be on display twice in week two, first taking place in Ann Arbor, Mich. Sept. 30 and then in East Lansing Oct. 3.

The Spartans will host 10 of their conference games in East Lansing, but only play defending National Champion, Penn State, once in Pennsylvania on October 25.

With 11 returning Spartans, including two-time All-American libero Kori Moster, the Spartans plan to take advantage of the tough competition faced in the 2014 season.

NCAA Tournament play will begin Dec. 4 at campus sites. The National semifinals and finals will take place in Oklahoma City.

Nicole Daniel is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.

Photo: Michigan State University Volleyball