Volleyball rebounds after big loss, sweeps matches
Women's team cruises past Ohio Dominican, Tiffin universities for weekend home victories
The No. 17 Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball team found a way to bounce back after
being knocked down by its rival on Tuesday.
GVSU rebounded from the loss against No. 22 Ferris State University by using a pair of solid defensive
performances to sweep both Ohio Dominican University (25-14, 25-15, 25-15) and Tiffin University
(25-21, 25-20, 25-13) over the weekend at the Fieldhouse Arena.
“We just have a calmness about us,” GVSU head coach Deanne Scanlon said. “When we do get into
some tight points, we’re able to fight through it.”
GVSU (12-3, 6-1 GLIAC) was all over the court defensively in both matches, making a number of
athletic digs that extended plays and ultimately led to points. Both opponents were held to a hitting
percentage mark lower than .060.
The team appears to be one of the favorites to win the conference this season after winning 10 of its
last 11 games. It has upset the No. 6 team in the AVCA Top-25 Poll on two separate occasions and
has swept five different GLIAC opponents.
“We’re very confident,” Scanlon said. “We do want to win the conference. That’s our goal, and we have
to bring that every single night.”
The team currently holds the No. 2 spot in the standings beneath only Ferris State (12-3, 7-0 GLIAC).
The Bulldogs defeated the Lakers in five sets Tuesday in Big Rapids, Mich.
GVSU seemed unaffected three days later.
It easily dominated Ohio Dominican on Friday by posting double-digit victories in straight sets. GVSU
made it look easy by hitting better than .300 in each stanza.
Junior outside hitter Abby Aiken led both teams with 11 kills, while junior setter Kaitlyn Wolters posted
a match-high 27 assists. Both players chipped in with seven digs in the victory.
The team also had a strong performance from junior middle blocker Ally Simmons, who has been
establishing herself as an offensive presence inside. Simmons recorded eight kills and finished with a
hitting percentage of .667, making it her third straight contest with a mark of .545 or better. She
entered Saturday’s match with the fifth-highest percentage in the GLIAC.
“I’ve been building confidence for the last couple of weeks,” she said. “People have been cheating to
the outsides, and that frees up Kaleigh and I completely. We’ve been able to put it away.”
Sophomore middle blocker Kaleigh Lound stepped up with 11 kills and a match-best four blocks in
the victory over Tiffin on Saturday, while sophomore outside hitter Betsy Ronda posted a pair of
match-highs with 14 kills and a .483 hitting percentage.
Ronda, the 2012 GLIAC Freshman of the Year, was impressive despite spraining her wrist in the loss to
FSU. She did not play on Friday and has missed a number of matches this season due to an abdominal
“It’s coming along,” she said. “It’s going to be a work in progress. Lots of rest, lots of ice, there’s not
much else I can do. It’s feeling better than it was last week.”
The team will attempt to push its conference record to 8-1 in Ohio this weekend when it takes on
Lake Erie College on Friday at 7 p.m. and Ashland University on Saturday at 6 p.m.