Get the brooms out
Volleyball sweeps both Wayne State and Findlay over the weekend
The No. 20 Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball team is finding new ways to dominate opposing teams from the GLIAC.
GVSU showcased its offensive firepower at home on Saturday when it rolled the University of Findlay in straight sets after posting a .449 team hitting percentage—the team’s best mark since October 2002.
“Offensively, we’re coming together,” GVSU head coach Deanne Scanlon said. “That’s just the kind of capability we have. Those numbers are pretty incredible.”
GVSU (16-3, 10-1 GLIAC) has been dominant in the majority of conference matches so far this season. It has already swept eight GLIAC squads and has won 14 of its last 15 contests.
The Lakers began the 2-0 weekend with a sweep over Wayne State University on Friday, although the sweep wasn’t easy against the Warriors.
The first set was a back-and-forth battle, but ultimately the Lakers overcame a slow start and came out on top 31-29. The last time a GVSU team scored 31 in a set was in November 2008 in a victory over Northern Michigan University.
Junior outside hitter Abby Aiken led both teams with 18 kills to go with a trio of service aces, but she said the team needs to learn how to be more assertive in the first stanza.
“We’re going to be playing better teams, and they’re not going to let us come back,” Aiken said. “That’s our main focus.”
The Onsted, Mich., native has been in quite the zone lately. The performance came after a 21-kill outing in a victory over the University of Ashland on Oct. 12. She elevated her kills-per-set mark to the fifth spot in the conference entering Saturday’s matchup with Findlay.
“I’m really happy for her,” Scanlon said of Aiken. “Nobody works any harder or wants it any more. She’s been able to balance all of the leadership responsibilities … She’s had that weight on her shoulders. We continue to build her up and her teammates continue to build her up because there’s a lot that she does for our team.”
She and senior right-side hitter Megan Schroeder were simply too much to handle for both Wayne State and Findlay.
Schroeder led the way with 12 kills and just one attack error on Saturday as the Lakers made quick work of the Oilers in straight sets. She finished the weekend with 23 kills overall.
“We still need to peak,” she said. “We’ve been doing well but we still have room to get better and show that we can finish in first.”
Sophomore middle blocker Kaleigh Lound also continues to emerge as a consistent inside presence for the team. Her .316 hitting-percentage and 1.07 blocks-per-set marks both rank as the third highest in the GLIAC.
Junior setter Kaitlyn Wolters spread the ball around in both victories, finishing the weekend with 74 total assists.
The team currently shares the No. 1 spot in the conference with Ferris State University and Northern Michigan, but if the Laker offense continues to produce at a similar level, it could lead to the team’s first GLIAC championship since 2008.
GVSU will return to action on Friday at the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover in Aurora, Ill.