Sweet Revenge

No. 21 volleyball opens GLIAC play 2-0 against teams that ended its GLIAC, NCAA tournament runs in 2012

By Jay Bushen | 9/22/13 6:36pm

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Archive / Nathan Kalinowski
No. 8 Ally Simmons and No. 17 Josie Werner


The Lakers made a statement to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference in a weekend full of revenge.

The No. 21 Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball team began conference play at home on
Friday and Saturday with a pair of emphatic victories over Hillsdale College and Northwood University.

“It certainly feels good to start 2-0 in the conference, especially after starting 0-2 last year,” GVSU
head coach Deanne Scanlon said.

GVSU (8-2, 2-0 GLIAC) pushes its winning streak to six games and is the only team in the conference
listed in the AVCA Division II Coaches Poll.

The Lakers dominated Hillsdale in three sets (25-18, 25-17, 25-11) on Friday night after being upset
by the Chargers in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Region Quarterfinals a year ago.

GVSU rarely trailed in a contest that only had eight tie scores and five lead changes. Junior outside
hitter Abby Aiken led with 10 kills, while sophomore outside hitter Betsy Ronda and senior right side
hitter Megan Schroeder both chipped in with eight.

“We wanted that game wholeheartedly,” GVSU junior setter Kaitlyn Wolters said. “We’re really confident
in each other right now.”

Wolters had a game-high 28 assists while adding 10 digs in the victory after being named the GLIAC
North Division Player of the Week. She transferred to GVSU this season after leading Grand Rapids
Community College to a NJCAA Division II National Championship in 2012.

The Hudsonville native said the sky is the limit for her new team.

“I want to prove to myself that I can win nationals here with this team,” Wolters said. “I feel like we
have the potential.”

The 2013 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches’ Poll had selected GVSU and Hillsdale to finish in a
third-place tie in the North Division, while Northwood was chosen as the division’s top team after
winning the regular season and tournament championships a year ago.

The Lakers, who fell to the Timberwolves 3-1 in the GLIAC Tournament Championship, were more
than ready for a rematch.

GVSU defeated Northwood in five sets (25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12) on Saturday, perhaps
demonstrating that the conference will have a new No. 1 team when all is said and done this time
around.

Aiken led with 24 kills to go with eight digs and was at times unstoppable in the victory. The Onsted,
Mich., native said her confidence level has been on the rise.

“It’s getting there,” Aiken said. “In Colorado, Betsy went down and I had to step up. Now that she’s
back, I know that I can make mistakes but I have to keep improving every day. I still have a lot to work
on.”

The score was 14-12 in the fifth set when Ronda ended a late rally from the Timberwolves with a
decisive spike that capped off the 2-0 weekend for the Lakers. Ronda, Aiken and Schroeder combined
for 10 kills in the final set in what ended up being a dramatic victory.

Wolters showcased her talent for the second straight day, tallying 51 assists to go with 16 digs and six
kills. Junior libero Christina Canepa also played an important role defensively, notching a team-high
19 digs.

The team intends to continue its winning streak on the road this weekend as it travels to Ohio to take
on Malone University on Friday at 7 p.m. and Walsh University on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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