GVSU volleyball's season ends with 3-1 loss to Ferris State
The Lakers finished the year 15-14
The No. 8 seeded Grand Valley State volleyball team has seen its season come to an end with a gritty 3-1 loss to the No. 1 seeded Ferris State Bulldogs in Big Rapids, Michigan Wednesday, Nov. 16 in the first round of the GLIAC tournament.
The Bulldogs took the first set 25-21, but the Lakers responded by pounding out a commanding 25-19 set win. However, Ferris State did not take the loss sitting down and came back to win the next set 25-19 before winning the match in a hard fought fourth set 25-23.
Freshman Jayci Suseland led GVSU with 14 kills and added half a block. Sophomores Shannon Winicki and Staci Brower added offense as well, adding 10 and nine kills, respectively.
Junior setter Katie Olson showed off her utility, dishing out 24 assists, digging 18 balls, tallying four kills and a block to the scorecard.
Ferris State tallied 51 kills to GVSU's 43 and dished 49 assists to GVSU’s 39. The Lakers outhit the Bulldogs .138 to .129.
GVSU made it a point to focus on bringing more positivity and energy to the hardwood.
“We had high energy and lots of communication,” Olson said. “Our serve receive game was very good so that made it a lot easier to distribute the ball and we had some splits and one-on-ones that really helped us. (We had) the will to fight through everything. We didn’t give up on each other.”
GVSU coach Deanne Scanlon said she was impressed with the serving and defense of the team, noting their aggressive serve style often got the Bulldogs out of position, which opened up opportunities for the Lakers.
GVSU's undoing was the team's inability to halt Bulldog runs. In close sets, the Bulldogs were able to hammer out numerous points in a row during multiple sets–all of which they won.
The Lakers lost to the Bulldogs in both of their regular season meetings by way of 3-0 sweeps. Despite the loss, they were proud of the fight they displayed in their final game of the season.
“You kind of get a perspective on the season,” Scanlon said. “I don’t think it progressed how we thought that it would. There’s a lot of potential on this team and the whole conference was that way. When you look around the conference tonight, you see that the lower seed won every game. I am proud the way the girls battled tonight, I just wish the outcome could’ve been a little different.”
The top eight teams from each region qualify for the NCAA tournament. The Lakers were sitting outside the top 10 before the loss to Ferris State, and it is extremely unlikely that GVSU will move into position for the national tournament.
The Lakers will return 15 of the 17 players on their current roster in 2017.