The M State volleyball team got their season underway Saturday as they hosted their home invitational.

The Spartans took on Rainy River in their first game of pool play in the tournament. A bit of rust and getting familiar with new teammates showed as the Voyageurs defeated the host in two sets 25-17 and 26-24.

M State rallied in game two and three as they downed Hibbing 25-21 and 25-18 and Vermilion 25-6, 25-19.

The 2-1 record sent the home team into the third place game against the Northland Pioneers. The Spartans began strong taking the first set 25-12, but battled for the victory in set number two 25-23.

“I am very proud of how the girls performed today,” Spartans’ head coach Abby Crowser said. “We are a young team adjusting to the college level, but we showed today that we are capable of meeting the challenge. I’m encouraged and optimistic about the future of our season.”

Leading the Spartans in kills in the tournament were Kayla Pring (30) and Lexi Frederick (24). Emily Hendrickson recorded 81 assists and seven ace serves, while teammate Brianna Norman was the top defensive player for the Spartans recording 39 digs.

The Spartans will open their dual season Monday as they travel to take on North Dakota College of Science in Wahpeton at 7 p.m.

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