GVSU volleyball falls to Ferris State 3-1

The Lakers are now 7-5 (2-2 GLIAC) on the season

By Brady McAtamney | 9/28/16 11:18pm

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Kendall Yerkes (2) jumps and sends the ball over the net. The Lakers fall to the Bulldogs of Ferris State with a final score of 1-3 Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016 in Allendale.
by Kevin Sielaff and Kevin Sielaff / The Lanthorn

The Grand Valley State volleyball team lost to the Ferris State Bulldogs (9-5, 3-1 GLIAC) in four sets by a score of 3-1 at Fieldhouse Arena Tuesday, Sept. 27 to drop their record to 7-5 (2-2 GLIAC).

In the first set alone, there were a total of 12 ties and two lead changes. There were a total of 12 ties in the next three sets combined.

After Ferris got the leg up by closely taking the first set 26-24, the Lakers stormed back in the second and convincingly took the set by a score of 25-21. Freshman Jayci Suseland led the charge for the Lakers in the second set, tallying a total of seven kills in the set and would finish with 17 on the match.

Staci Brower had 13 kills, Amanda Glaza had 23 digs and Brooke Smith had 19 digs.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, things would go awry in the third and fourth sets, dropping them by scores of 25-20 and 25-18, respectively. The Bulldogs closed the fourth set out on a 10-1 run.

After hitting at clips of .350 and .347 in the first and second sets, the Lakers fizzled out and hit .113 and -.022 in the third and fourth sets, making points more difficult to come by than before.

“I think we have to look at our ball control,” said GVSU coach Deanne Scanlon. “We have a great offense. You can see that. We have a lot of people that can terminate, but the key thing that has to happen is we need to get that first touch that puts us in a position to where our setter isn’t running all over the court putting the ball someplace. We’re going to win when we can set our middles and set Jayci (Suseland) on the right side.”

The Lakers were disappointed with their execution on their side of the net when it came to setting up passes and controlling the ball.

“Like (Scanlon) was saying, we just mentally had a lot of errors,” said junior setter Katie Olson. “It wasn’t anything that Ferris was doing, it was all just our personal errors that we had at the worst time and they were all just back-to-back.”

Being as young as they are, Scanlon said that she would like to see more toughness out of her players.

“They got punched in the mouth and what they did was back down. I want to see a team that gets punched in the mouth and comes out and punches back,” Scanlon said.

Additionally, Scanlon is looking for her veterans to step up in times of need. When the Bulldogs adjusted their game plan to alleviate the damage Suseland was doing, Scanlon felt her experienced players did not rise to the occasion and bear the responsibility of carrying the team.

As for the Bulldogs focusing on the freshman, Suseland loves the attention.

“I think that motivates me because I know they’re trying to stop me,” Suseland said. “If I get blocked, I just shake it off, like I’m going to kill this next ball, like I don’t think it affects me at all. It feels good. I’m somebody that they need to watch out for. It just makes me feel good. It boosts my confidence but I don’t let it get to my head. I know that anyone can come off the bench in for me at any time so I just work hard.”

Even with the loss, the Lakers feel as though the disappointment that comes with defeat – especially that against a rival at home – can be spun into a positive.

“It’s definitely a tough loss. It sucks, it’s going to hurt, but we just need to get back into practice tomorrow, work hard, this should make you mad enough to work hard in practice so that when we have to go to their gym to play we can just come out on top,” Olson said. “I think it is a reality check for us. We’re very confident so this is going to help us in the long run.”

The Lakers will continue their conference play Friday, Sept. 30 at Ohio Dominican (4-7, 1-3 GLIAC) and again Saturday, Oct. 1 at Lake Erie (9-5, 2-2 GLIAC).

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