GVSU volleyball splits two-game road trip

The Lakers defeated Ohio Dominican 3-1 and lost to Lake Erie 3-1

By Brady McAtamney | 10/2/16 10:34pm

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GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Jayci Suseland (15). 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 / Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Grand Valley State volleyball team split their weekend series with a win at Ohio Dominican (4-9, 1-5 GLIAC) Friday, Sept. 30 by a score of 3-1 and then a loss at Lake Erie (10-6, 3-3 GLIAC) Saturday, Oct. 1 by the same score. The Lakers now sit at 8-6 (3-3 GLIAC).

The first match against the Ohio Dominican Panthers was close. The bout featured 20 ties and 12 lead changes (25-23, 24-26, 25-22, and 26-24).

Freshman Jayci Suseland led the attack for the Lakers, compiling 19 kills and three blocks. Also contributing were sophomores Brooke Smith and Staci Brower with 12 kills each. Smith added three blocks and an ace while Brower notched two blocks of her own. Sophomore Katie Olson and freshmen Kendell Yerkes and Sydney Benchley also put up strong numbers in the win.

Despite coming away with the victory, head coach Deanne Scanlon was not enthused with her team’s performance.

“They really kind of outworked and outhustled us,” Scanlon said. “We were lucky to come out with the win. I think we were the better team, we were able to score some points on the road when it mattered, but they competed.”

Scanlon noted that she was specifically impressed with the play of Suseland in the match, who has had a strong year thus far.

The Lakers' bout against the Storm sang a different tune, as they were beaten handily in three of the four sets (22-25, 19-25, 25-17 and 25-18).

Again, the trio of Brower, Suseland and Smith spearheaded the offensive attack while Olson set them up and Benchley compiled digs.

The Lakers hit under .100 in every set lost, while the Storm mustered 13 blocks to GVSU’s three. Lake Erie came away with the convincing victory despite the Lakers leading statistically in kills, aces, digs and assists.

“(Lake Erie) worked harder than we did, bottom line,” Scanlon said. “Nothing came easy for us. They were a team that was physically nowhere near as big as we were and they had 13 blocks easy. We were too comfortable trying to do things the same way instead of trying to beat teams. We didn’t really start playing defense until the third set, until we were down 2-0. We have to learn to bring our intensity all the time.”

Suseland felt as though their hitting was the difference maker in the match.

“We needed to put the ball down and be more efficient with that,” Suseland said. “We didn’t really hit any shots, we just hit right into the blocks. That didn’t really help us.”

Blocks are an area the Lakers plan to work on in the upcoming week of practice.

Brower echoed Suseland’s concerns.

“Today I feel like we hit a lot of balls out of bounds, making a lot of errors for them,” Brower said. “Also, we didn’t really produce a lot of blocks, so I assume we’ll be working on our hitting and blocking this week.”

On top of that, Brower felt they could have communicated better on the floor. She noted that without their communication they do not have their energy, which ties directly into Scanlon's concerns.

The Lakers will look to get back on the right track when they return to the friendly confines of Fieldhouse Arena when they host Tiffin (9-6, 3-4 GLIAC) Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. and then Ashland (10-6, 4-3 GLIAC) Saturday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m.

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