Hot start for GVSU volleyball goes cold over the weekend
The Grand Valley State University volleyball team entered conference play with a five-match winning streak and high aspirations.
Now, after two consecutive defeats over the weekend, it’s back to the drawing board as the Lakers (7-3, 0-2 GLIAC) prepare to regain their momentum after dropping 3-1 decisions to conference foes Hillsdale College (2-8, 1-1 GLIAC) 25-18, 25-22, 20-25, 25-18 and Northwood University (5-2, 2-0 GLIAC) 25-20, 25-15, 16-25, 25-20.
“It’s definitely not where we wanted to be,” said head coach Deanne Scanlon. “We knew it was going to be a tough road trip going in. I think both matches were very winnable. We are definitely disappointed and we just have to get better. Both teams that we played did some very good things and we were not able to make adjustments. Some of that is inexperience, some of that is not. We have had our more experienced players step up and lead the way, and we kind of lacked that this weekend.”
“I didn’t think our blocking was very good,” Scanlon said. “Our blocking and our defense kind of go hand in hand. If the blocking scheme isn’t good up front, then it’s hard to play defense behind that.”
One of the biggest key sets in the Hillsdale match was the second set. GVSU built an 8-2 lead, but was not able to hold off the Chargers.
Freshman Betsy Ronda was a bright spot for the Lakers. Ronda recorded double-doubles in both matches over the weekend, giving her six of them on the year. Ronda tallied 21 digs and 12 kills against Hillsdale and recorded 16 kills and 11 digs against Northwood.
“I think this weekend there were a lot of things we struggled with as a team that we will definitely need to work on,” Ronda said. “The whole putting things together and working all the way through matches. We didn’t really put everything together as a team. It’s the GLIAC, so it’s definitely more important games and I think we let some of that let that get to us.”
GVSU hopes to get back on track with three-straight home conference games next on their schedule. The 0-2 start is obviously not the start they were looking for, but the Lakers remain confident that they can turn things around.
“It’s not the start we wanted at all, but we’re very confident with ourselves and our play,” said sophomore Clair Ruhenkamp, who recorded 56 assists and 18 digs over the weekend. “We’re still confident in our abilities that we can still finish well in the conference.”
GVSU will continue to look to gel as a team. For Coach Scanlon and the rest of the Lakers, this upcoming week of practice will be critical for them.
“We got some great physical talent, but they need to learn how to be better volleyball players, and learn to play our system a little bit better,” she said. “They need to learn to adjust. We’re glad that we’re home, but we’re not gonna rely on that. We want to just be a better volleyball team right now.”
GVSU will be back in action at home on Friday at 7 p.m. against Malone University.
Pictures of the Year 2012-2013
8:00 am | MBA Information Meeting: AM session
10:00 am | SAP Farm Stand
5:30 pm | MBA Information Meeting: PM Session
11:00 am | GVSU Track & Field at NCAA Championships
No events for Fri