The Montana State volleyball team began its season against Grand Canyon University Friday (Photo courtesy Montana State University)

BOZEMAN – The Montana State volleyball season starts Friday at the Air Force tournament. Before flying out on Friday afternoon, head coach JJ Riley held a two-hour game session that was the official end of the team’s preseason camp.

“From the first day of practice until now they’ve come a long way,” Riley said. “I think they have great competitive spirit, great team chemistry, and now we just have to get out there and compete and see what it looks like when things are on the line.”

Fifth-year senior Eli Svisco, who was granted another year because of an ankle injury last season, is thrilled at what she’s seen so far.

“I’ve seen a ton of progress this fall,” the outside hitter said. “Our mindset is one of the biggest things I’ve seen shift. Everyone is just super motivated, everyone has a lot of passion for the sport, and it’s taking us really far. As far as defense goes, we’re extremely scrappy and everyone has just definitely upped our level a lot.”

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The Bobcats open Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. against Grand Canyon and then play the Air Force Academy at noon Saturday.