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GVSU’s Volleyball scores win No. 1,000

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Photo: Eric Coulter / Grand Valley Lanthorn

GVL / Eric Coulter
The Lady Lakers get ready to play Lake Erie to try to get their 1,000th win

When her players went to step on the court, Grand Valley State University head coach Deanne Scanlon wanted them to recognize the history and the significance behind the program reaching 1,000 wins.

That is why the opportunity for the volleyball team to record 1,000 wins in the history of the program was a talking point in the days leading up to Friday’s match against Lake Erie College.

“Every single day we talked about it,” Scanlon said. “I wanted them to come in tonight to this match and kind of have a reverent type of feeling when they walked on the court and they played under these banners and take in the whole history of everything.”

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GVL / Eric Coulter Clair Ruhenkamp
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GVL / Eric Coulter Christina Canepa serves the ball during Friday's match up with Laker Erie
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GVL / Eric Coulter Freshman Stephanie Camper sets the ball during a match against Lake Erie.

The Lakers (13-4, 6-3 GLIAC ) played inspired volleyball against an over-matched Lake Erie College team (3-11, 0-8 GLIAC). The Lakers dominated the match taking all three sets 25-14, 25-17, and 25-20.

The Lakers tallied 47 kills and hit .298 for the match, which is their second-best hitting percentage of the season. GVSU’s defense was also on point throughout the match, holding Lake Erie to a pedestrian .060 hitting percentage.

GVSU was ecstatic to be able to accomplish this feat in front of their home crowd.

“It’s so exciting,” said junior Abby Ebels, who recorded nine kills and two blocks, with a .538 hitting percentage. “It’s so humbling to be a part of the thousandth win because there’s been so many teams, so many players that have been through this program and have put wins on the board one by one, but this is the one everyone gets to celebrate about, so it’s really exciting to be a part of it.”

Freshman Betsy Ronda, assisted by sophomore Christina Canepa, secured the match winning kill that would give the Lakers their 1,000th win. Ronda recorded her team high tenth double-double of the season, tallying 13 kills and 10 digs.

“I guess I wasn’t really thinking about it at the time,” Ronda said about the game winning kill. “Just keep the ball in play and it just happened to go in the right spot. It was exciting to be a part of this history, especially as a freshman and being able to follow in after all of the people.”

The Lakers earned win number 1,001 the next day as GVSU carried their momentum over from Friday night into Saturday and secured another conference victory against Ashland University (13-4, 6-3 GLIAC) 25-15, 17-25, 14-25, 25-18, and 15-10.

Sophomore Abby Aiken recorded a match-high 24 kills. Ronda finished with her eleventh double-double of the season with 12 kills and 18 digs and sophomore Clair Ruhenkamp notched a double-double with 49 assists and 12 digs.

“Ashland’s a very good team,” Scanlon said. “It was kind of an up and down match where we had really great moments, but then we were playing really poorly. You just have to fight through those and I felt like we did. The game of volleyball gives you a lot of chances if you stay in there and stay diligent and work on the little things. We weren’t communicating and we stopped serving really tough and when we picked those two things back up we got back on top of our game again.”

With the 1,000th win and the 1,001st win, GVSU becomes the seventh school in Division II history to reach 1,000 wins and the 27th school in any NCAA division to reach that landmark. GVSU has only had two coaches in the 44 years of the program’s history. Former head coach Joan Boand recorded 545 wins in her 26 years (1969-1994) as head coach and current head coach Deanne Scanlon sits at 456 wins.

bderouin@lanthorn.com



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