GVSU volleyball sweeps four game road trip

The Lakers only lost two sets the entire weekend

By Brady McAtamney | 9/11/16 11:10pm

GVL / Kevin Sielaff - Staci Brower (21) winds up for a kill. Grand Valley squares off against Ohio Dominican and claims the victory with a final score of 3-1.
by Kevin Sielaff and Kevin Sielaff / The Lanthorn

Few feelings surpass the sheer delight brought upon competitors than the feeling after a big victory. 

The Grand Valley State volleyball team felt that feeling four times this weekend.

The 1-3 Lakers traveled to California, Pennsylvania to take on four out-of-state opponents and beat them all.

Opening up the weekend grind was a matchup against Adelphi, which the Lakers won 3-2. The next three matches – Davis and Elkins, California (PA), and Winston-Salem State – ended in clean 3-0 sweeps for the Lakers, whose record now sits at 5-3.

Winston-Salem never scored more than 13 points in a single set, while Davis and Elkins never managed to breach the mark of 20 points.

Sophomore Staci Brower stood out over the weekend, netting 59 kills and 16 blocks to go along with a pair of aces.

Junior Katie Olson also continued her strong campaign as a distributor, racking up 134 assists over the four matches coupled with a few digs and aces as well.

“(Brower) and our setter Katie (Olson) did a really good job this past week to work on their communication,” said GVSU coach Deanne Scanlon. “They know they’re a vital part of our team and I don’t think either of them were happy after last weekend. Staci was aggressive and Katie had a lot of confidence. They dominated the whole weekend.”

One focal point the Lakers looked to improve upon during the time in between last weekend’s competition to Friday was its offense, and they were not disappointed with the results.

“I think we did a very nice job coming back. We kept pushing and tallying more points and we just did better than we usually do,” Brower said.

What seemingly set the Lakers apart from the competition, though, was the strong middle presence they held up front. They knew going into the season that their size up front would bode well for them, but it has turned out to be a serious strength as they managed to block shots and set themselves up for kills that the opponents were simply unable to stop.

Scanlon noted she wants them to get better at blocking since she anticipates to see better fronts when they open up GLIAC play on Friday.

“We did OK this weekend, but especially with going on the road we need to get into our comfort zone and be aggressive,” Scanlon said.

Its clear that the Lakers believe in themselves and their ability to get things done.

“I think we learned that we have a lot more potential and we need to keep working and moving forward,” Brower said.

As such a young team, it is not hard to assume that the potential to do great things is there. To the Lakers, it all starts with communication and getting comfortable together, and they feel as though they are getting good at just that.

“I felt like we really started to play together as a team and we settling into our roles in the team and it’s all coming together,” Olson said.

The Lakers will once again jump on the bus and travel to Hillsdale for their matchup with the Chargers (6-1, 0-0 GLIAC) Friday, Sept. 16 and then to Midland to take on the Northwood Wildcats (6-1, 0-0 GLIAC) Saturday, Sept. 17.

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