Lakers strike gold at Oredigger Classic

GVSU defeats No. 6 Washburn, No. 22 Central Washington

By Jay Bushen | 9/15/13 4:57pm

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GVL / Jessica Hollenbeck

Kaleigh Lound (15)


This unranked team could care less where they stand in the AVCA Coaches Poll.

The Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball team used an unpredictable attack to upset a
pair of ranked opponents in a 4-0 weekend at the Oredigger Classic in Golden, Colo.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” GVSU head coach Deanne Scanlon said. “I’m still kind of overwhelmed.
We’ve broken through to the next level now and realize we’ll be playing with a target on our back.”

GVSU (6-2) had emphasized the importance of closing out tight games in practice all week
following a mediocre outing in the Riverfront Hotel Grand Rapids Classic. The extra time in practice
paid off in a big way, as the team pulled off upsets over No. 6 Washburn University and No. 22
Central Washington University.

The team figures to move into the Top 25 soon after knocking off three ranked opponents in a
seven-day span. It had already upset No. 6 Southwest Minnesota State University in four sets on
Sept. 7.

“I don’t pay too much attention to the rankings, but we deserve to be there,” Scanlon said. “We
played ourselves into a good spot, and I think people will take notice of us. I will be surprised if we
don’t move up.”

On Thursday, the 2005 AVCA?National Coach of the Year said she hoped to get more players
involved offensively, and it paid off in a big way.

In a five-set victory over Texas Woman’s University (25-13, 25-19, 22-25, 19-25, 15-10), senior
right side hitter Megan Schroeder stepped up to lead the team with a match-high 16 kills.

“I love taking that role,” Schroeder said. “It’s nice to be able to step in and know that other people
can have that confidence in me.”

GVSU then geared up to take on Washburn, a perennial powerhouse that has occupied a top-10
spot in the AVCA rankings for 53 consecutive weeks. GVSU once again found itself tied after four
sets.

“In the fifth set, we said ‘this game is ours,’” junior setter Kaitlyn Wolters said. “Our energy was so
high…it was unreal. It was a huge turning point for us.”

Behind a balanced attack, the team rallied for a 15-13 victory. A breakout game from middle
blocker Kaleigh Lound may have changed the dynamic of the 2013-2014 season for the Lakers, as
the sophomore tallied a team-high 13 kills and six blocks.

“People were stopping to watch her play,” Scanlon said of Lound.

Her momentum carried over into the next game against Fort Lewis College, where she recorded
seven kills and six blocks to help the team reach its third victory of the weekend (17-25, 25-19,
25-12, 25-23).

The Lakers had one more opportunity to show that rankings mean little on the court and relied
upon a familiar leader to carry them.

Junior outside hitter Abby Aiken capped off an impressive weekend with a double-double (17 kills
and 11 digs) as the team defeated Central Washington in four sets. Lound also kept it going with
eight kills and seven blocks.

Wolters played a significant role in the offense throughout each of the four wins, tallying 182 total
assists. Both she and Aiken were named to the All-Tournament Team.

GVSU begins its GLIAC schedule at home on Friday against Hillsdale College at 7 p.m. before taking
on Northwood University on Saturday at 4 p.m.

assistantsports@lanthorn.com

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