Volleyball Sweeps Both Opponents to Start Season

Following last year’s NCAA Tournament run that ended in the regional semifinals, the MSU volleyball team opened its season on Friday with unfinished business.

The Spartans’ first two matches of the season were played in Birmingham, Ala. against Southeastern Louisiana and the host, Alabama-Birmingham. The day could not have gone much better for the Spartans, as they swept each of their opponents 3-0.

After losing four seniors last year to graduation, head coach Cathy George must have been relieved with the production she saw out of her freshmen.

Newcomer Holly Tolliver started both matches for MSU, and led the team or tied for the lead in kills each match, 14 against SELU and 10 against UAB.

Two other freshmen, Alyssa Garvelink and Rachel Minarick, also played key roles in the Spartans’ victories. Against UAB, Garvelink finished with eight kills and Minarick with 37 assists, the most on the team by a wide margin.

For the team to build on last year’s success, the Spartans will need the help of their returning starters. Sophomore Chloe Reinig is the top returning starter on the team in kills. She turned in a strong showing on Friday, finishing with nine kills against SELU and another seven versus UAB.

The Spartans will look to see if Birmingham is still good to them on Saturday and attempt to finish the weekend 4-0, as they take on Jacksonville State at 1 p.m. and the host school Samford at 8 p.m.

Michael Higer is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports

Photo: Michigan State University Volleyball