GVSU Volleyball heads north, splits matches with NMU and Michigan Tech

By Payton Miloser | 9/24/18 10:10am


Grand Valley versus Purdue Northwest on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.  GVL / Archive 

The Grand Valley State University volleyball team crossed the Mackinac Bridge and traveled to the upper peninsula this weekend, taking on Northern Michigan University and Michigan Tech. 

With two wins at home last week, the Lakers kept their winning streak alive, beating NMU on Friday, Sept. 21 (3-1 with scores of 25-20, 20-25, 25-23, and 25-21). This improves the team’s record to overall 10-4 with a conference record of 3-3. 

GVSU led the first night in blocks, hitting percentage and digs. Overall they held the Wildcats at 11-4 in blocks and also held the advantage in hitting percentages at .227 to the Wildcats' .198. The Lakers also led in digs 76 to 74.

Senior Hannah Murdock led the team in kills with a total of 17 kills with senior Staci Brower right behind her with a total of 14 of her own. Freshman Abby Graham scored eight of her own kills with freshman Ali Thompson with seven kills to round out the Lakers offense for the night.

After winning the first set and losing the second, tying the Lakers with the Wildcats (1-1), the Lakers kept their energy high in order to come back from the loss of the second set only to take the next two. GVSU took the lead early in the third set and did not let NMU take back the lead from that point onward.

While the girls lost one of the sets, their momentum for the evening helped carry them through four sets to defeat NMU and move onto Michigan Tech on Saturday night.

The Lakers lost 0-3 against MTU, though, with scores of 25-23, 25-22, 24-19. With this loss, the Lakers’ record dropped to 10-5 overall and 3-4 in the GLIAC conference.

While the Huskies led the Lakers in most statistical categories, the Lakers held the Huskies down in digs 51 to 50 and total blocks six to four. Kendall Yerkes led the Lakers in digs with 18 digs overall and Thompson came behind her with 9 digs. Ashlyn Kartes racked up 30 assists for the Lakers allowing them to get a total of 37 kills. 

While the Lakers put up a great fight, the Huskies rallied and stayed with them point by point. The first two sets were a back and forth point rally before the Huskies finally took the lead towards the end of both games, giving them the advantage they needed to beat the Lakers.

Senior Jillian Butsavich led GVSU defensively through the night, picking up three assisted blocks while Hannah Murdock added two more and Staci Brower’s solo rejection of the night added up to have the Lakers lead in blocks six to five. 

In the last set, the Lakers came out strong only to burnout and lose their lead after a quick timeout. Following the timeout, Michigan Tech would score the next 10 points causing the Lakers to fall behind and lose the third set. 

The Lakers will play their next game back home at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena on Friday, Sept. 28 against Northwood (6-9, 3-4 GLIAC). The match is set to start at 7 p.m. 

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