GVSU volleyball caps off year with loss to Michigan Tech
The Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball team traveled to Houghton, Mich. to take on Michigan Tech in the first round of the GLIAC tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The match saw the Lakers take the court for the last time this season as they lost in three sets 25-15, 25-23 and 25-23.
The Huskies dominated the first game hitting .485 with 18 kills and two errors to GVSU’s .231 hitting percentage, 13 kills and four errors. Set two would fare a little better for GVSU, as they rallied back but came up short to lose 25-23.
Michigan Tech hit .175 with 15 kills and eight errors compared to GVSU, who hit .150 with 12 kills and six errors. In game three, Michigan Tech hit .209 with 15 kills and six errors, while GVSU hit .190, 13 kills and five errors. Head coach Deanne Scanlon talked about the final result of this match, detailing how she was proud of her Lakers for fighting hard.
“When we would come out of timeouts we would have some decent leads or decent gaps in the game, but when we got to the 20 point mark, they would call a timeout and our serve receive broke down at crucial times," Scanlon said. "Our serve receive was good all night long and it seemed like when we would come out of timeouts that they would score those quick points that would close that gap or help them take the lead.”
MTU finished the match leading in every major statistical category, scoring 62 points to GVSU’s 47. MTU also had 48 kills to GVSU’s 38, as well as tallying five aces to GVSU's four.
The Huskies also bested the Lakers in blocks (9-5), totaling 46 assists as a team to GVSU’s 34 and finishing with 64 digs to GVSU's 44.
Staci Brower, Jillian Butsavich and Alexandra Thompson led the Lakers in kills with 11, eight and seven kills, respectively.
Ashlyn Kartes led the team in assists with 31, while Thompson, Kaylene Norris and Kendall Yerkes each contributed on the defensive end, totaling 28 digs between the trio.
Despite the Lakers losing this match, Scanlon was able to focus on the positives in the contest.
“I feel like the kids went up there against a very good Michigan Tech team and they played hard," Scanlon said. "It would have been very easy for them to say we’re done, but I feel like they gave it their best shot. We just had some match-up problems against a talented team.”
The loss brought the team's season record down to 13-15, with a 6-10 record in the conference. The final result saw the Lakers finishing the season earlier than they had planned, and although the record wasn’t what they had hoped, Scanlon still praises the fight her team displayed over the course of this season.
“We started off with high hopes after we had a couple good opening weekends, but we faced a lot of injuries this year. We had five concussions and a couple of knee injuries that never allowed us to settle in and I think that got the kids down for a while," Scanlon said. "I think they lost some confidence when things didn’t fall in place, but I think once we focused on battling through it. Once the kids started focusing on only controlling what we could control that made it easier to go and compete every night.”