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Volleyball begins season up north

The USF volleyball team opens its season in East Lansing, Mich., at the Michigan State Spartan Invitational this weekend. USF will be the only team in the tournament that has not played a match in the 2005 season.

“It is hard to say what the matchup will be,” coach Claire Lessinger said. “We’ve got new kids on the floor, and it will be very experimental for us.”

The first matchup will be against Ball State at 10:30 a.m. today. The Cardinals already have a record of 2-0 after beating Southern Methodist and Wright State. USF will look to break the Cardinals’ winning record and get their first win of the season.

At 7 p.m USF will face host Michigan State. Overall the Bulls’ record versus MSU is 2-2, but at the last meeting in 2002 the Spartans beat the Bulls 3-1. MSU has tallied a 1-0 record so far, after defeating Kent State. The last game in the tournament for USF is on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., when they will play Wichita State for the first time. Wichita has an overall record of 2-1, beating Houston and Texas Tech while losing to Stephen F. Austin.

“We are playing good competition,” Lessinger said. “It feels good to be back on the road and in uniforms after several weeks of preseason.”

The team is ready to be on the other side of the net of an opponent, she said. “It is good for us to be challenged this early.”