GVSU volleyball splits first two games of UIndy Invitational

By Jake Carroll | 9/10/17 10:41pm

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GVL / Kevin Sielaff Shannon Winicki (18) celebrates after a point scored. The Lakers fall to the Bulldogs at Ferris State University Sept. 29 by a margin of 3-1.

Looking to improve on its last trip, the Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball team took a trip to Indianapolis for two days full of volleyball at the University of Indianapolis Invitational. On Friday, Sept. 8, the Lakers took on Wheeling Jesuit and Clarion University.

GVSU won one out of two games Friday, dropping the game against Wheeling Jesuit and bringing home the win against Clarion.

To start out the day, the Lakers played Wheeling Jesuit, who, in the first set, took the first three points. GVSU, in an early hole, needed to battle back.

After going back and forth with points, the Lakers found themselves on top 8-7 with a lead they would not give up. GVSU went on to win that set 25-18.

In the second set of the game, the score was even at 9-9 before the Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals went on a 10-4 run to break open the game. The Cardinals took the second set 25-16.

The Cardinals did not stop there, as they went on to win the next set as well. After a 6-6 tie, Wheeling Jesuit put nine unanswered points on the board. GVSU never recovered from this run and lost the second set 25-20.

Now, the Lakers needed to win the next set. If they lost this one, they lost the game. Some tough breaks early put the Lakers down 11-6, which ended up being too much of a deficit for GVSU to overcome.

Wheeling Jesuit took the last set, winning the match 3-1.

“(Wheeling Jesuit) plays a totally different game than what we play,” said Deanne Scanlon, GVSU women’s volleyball head coach. “We had way too many errors, and we didn’t make adjustments. They came out and made some adjustments on the match, and our girls did not respond to that.”

To complete the double header, GVSU took on Clarion University later in the day Friday. After losing and going one game under .500 on the season, GVSU was looking to get back to an even record by taking the win against the Golden Knights of Clarion.

In the first set, GVSU went toe-to-toe with Clarion until their 6-6 tie was broken by a 9-2 run by GVSU. This was a run that Clarion couldn't recover from, and GVSU marched their way to a victory in the first set 24-14.

GVSU didn't want to repeat what they did in game one, so they came out in the second set with even more motivation to win. Clarion never took the lead in the second set, and after it was 11-5, they never came within even 5 points. GVSU took the second set 25-10.

The Lakers only needed to win the last set in order to take the match, and it was a bit closer than the first two. The Lakers scored four unanswered points after the two teams were tied 9-9.  Clarion pulled within two points when the score was 20-18. GVSU went on a 5-2 run to close out the set and won the match 3-0.

GVSU seemed to be more in control against Clarion than they were against Wheeling Jesuit. Hannah Murdock and Shannon Winicki both agreed.

“I think the biggest difference was our energy level,” Winicki said. “We didn’t want to go 2-2 on the weekend. We wanted to come back early and not wait until Saturday.”

Murdock thought the improvement in the second game was because of an accumulation of momentum throughout the game.

“We won the first set, and then thought, ‘We can’t let up the second set; we need to keep pushing,’” Murdock said. “We tend to have a problem winning set two after we win set one, but after we win a second set, we just start flowing as a team, and it’s hard to beat us in set three.”

GVSU will take on Ashland University Friday, Sept. 15, at 7 pm in the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena.

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