GVSU volleyball falls short at Midwest Region Crossover

By Payton Miloser | 10/15/18 9:56am

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GVL / Sheila Babbitt

As the saying goes, bad things come in threes. That was the case on Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13 for the Grand Valley State volleyball team.

The Grand Valley State women’s volleyball team traveled to Indianapolis, Ind. for the Midwest Region Crossover where they lost to Tiffin, Illinois-Springfield and Bellarmine.

The Lakers first played Tiffin and took a difficult 3-0 loss with set scores of 20-25, 21-25 and 18-25. The Dragons proved to be an ambitious opponent by taking the lead early on and continued to hold steady throughout the game.

Offensively, the Lakers struggled to keep a consistent hitting percentage, sitting at.155 while their season average is .207. They also struggled to get big blocks up against the Dragons.

Tiffin started each match by taking set leads of 5-2, 9-6 and 4-1. These leads constantly left the Lakers behind and forced GVSU to play catch up the entire game. While the Lakers fought back, it wasn’t enough to put the Dragons down in the end. 

Staci Brower, ten, and Ali Thompson, nine, led in kills. Defensively, Abby Graham, Ali Thompson and Kendall Yerkes each had 11 digs against the Dragons for a total of 33 out of the 107 digs for the Lakers. 

Later that night, the Lakers played Illinois-Springfield, resulting in another 3-0 loss (10-25, 23-25, 23-25)

While the first set against the Prairie Stars didn’t go well for GVSU with UIS getting a 10 point lead and ending the set quickly, the Lakers came back firing during the last two sets. 

The Lakers started the second set with a 13-6 lead on the Prairie Stars, however, toward the end of the game, a crucial point went to the Prairie Stars following a 23-23 tie followed by one more kill from the Prairie Stars would give the game to Illinois-Springfield. 

Hannah Murdock and Brower led in kills with Murdock bringing in 14 while Brower added nine kills and three blocks. Ashlyn Kartes led with 25 assists and Yerkes led with 14 digs.

On Saturday, GVSU played Bellarmine for the last game of the Crossover. The Lakers ended with another loss (2-3) making their overall record 12-10. The game had scores of 25-22, 21-25, 25-21, 21-25 and 10-15. 

It was a very close game with the points consistently bouncing back and forth for both teams with neither one getting major leads until the final critical points. GVSU had eight service erros to Bellarmine's six, but offensively was right behind Bellarmine with a hitting percentage of .194 to .196. 

Major leaders this game included Murdock with 20 kills, Jillian Butsavich with six blocks, Kartes with 28 assists and Yerkes with 24 digs.

GVSU will look to improve upon their 12-10 record (5-6 GLIAC) as they'll play the Ashland Eagles (18-5, 9-2) on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. at GVSU's Fieldhouse Arena. 

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