ALLENDALE, Mich. – The Michigan Tech volleyball team picked up its second win of the weekend and third in a row with a 3-0 sweep at Grand Valley State Saturday (Sept. 21). The Huskies won 25-23, 25-20, and 25-16 to improve to 7-3 overall and 2-0 in the GLIAC.
"We're very pleased with this win and for starting conference play strong with a pair of road wins," Tech coach Matt Jennings said. "Grand Valley is a storied program and is very well-coached and while young, we expected them to play to win and to their strengths. I was particularly happy with how we countered and made the right adjustments as the match progressed."
The two teams battled with 11 ties in the first set. GVSU led 21-20 late in the frame before a pair of attacking errors and kills by MacAulay Petersen and Olivia Ghormley gave the Huskies the set point lead at 24-21. After a pair of errors by Tech Ghormley finally put the Black and Gold in front with a kill and 25-23 win. Ghormley and Petersen each had five kills in the opening frame.
"Pulling off that first set was huge," added Jennings. "We worked through some early pressure in serve receive and kept battling together until we had an opportunity to make a stand. We took advantage of that opportunity late in that set and came up with some big plays."
The second set was similar with 12 ties. Knotted at 15, Tech scored 10 of the final 15 to take the 2-0 lead. Ghormley pounded down six kills in the second. Anna Jonynas added three, including the final point for the 25-20 win.
Tech closed out the match, scoring nine of the final 10 points in the third set. Jonynas got going again with four kills. Rachel Ping also had three of her five kills in the frame.
Laura De Marchi setup the balanced offense with 39 assists on the night while adding 12 digs defensively.
"Laura did an excellent job running the offense all weekend and in this one, did a phenomenal job getting our attackers good opportunities to score," Jennings said. "Not to mention she played very well on the defensive side of the ball as well. Her decision making continues to be at an elite level. That, coupled with her ability to keep us in system with the location of her sets, is what makes her a next level setter."
Ghormley led the Huskies with 13 kills while Petersen and Jonynas each added 11. Ping added five block assists with her five kills.
"Olivia, Anna, and MacAulay really showcased our depth at the pins," said Jennings. "Each one did their job and came up with big swings for us all match long. Anna continues to play a solid six rotations and is an anchor of our serve receive every match. Olivia added a stretch of very good serving again today that gave us an important spread in the final set."
"Both Megan and Grace were solid on defense as well as serve receive again tonight," Jennings mentioned. "I thought Megan did a very good job commanding the backcourt all weekend."
The Huskies have a quick turnaround with a Tuesday match against Northern Michigan at the SDC Gym.
"Now our focus is on our studies and preparing for our rival at home on Tuesday night," Jennings added. "If recent history is any indication, it should be an exciting match. We're excited to get home and play in front of our fans and of course, the Pep Band."
First serve Tuesday is at 7 p.m. against the Wildcats. Tech will then host Saginaw Valley State Friday and Lake Superior State Saturday.