BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Michigan Tech volleyball team had its seven-match winning streak snapped with a 3-0 loss at No. 16 Ferris State. The Bulldogs won 25-21, 25-21, and 25-18 at Ewigleben Sports Arena. Tech is now 11-4 overall and 6-1 in the GLIAC.
"The discipline and consistency with which Ferris plays is a major reason why they continue to beat teams and stay top dog in our conference," Tech coach Matt Jennings said. "They simply executed better than we did and credit should go to them for playing a good game."
Tech jumped out to a 13-9 lead in the first set and led 20-17 later in the frame. The Bulldogs scored eight of the final nine points to take the win. Anna Jonynas led the Huskies with five kills.
Ferris (12-3, 6-1 GLIAC) never surrendered the lead in the middle set and held Tech to a .056 hitting percentage.
There were seven ties in the third set. Olivia Ghormley racked up six kills and Tech was within two at 19-17. The Bulldogs scored six of the final seven with Allyson Cappel recording three kills for the home team down the stretch.
"We were in this match for most of the first two sets and had some strong moments that made it seem like we were going to compete and be in a position to win at the end of each set," added Jennings. "We started to fray tied at 21 in set one and again about midway through set two. It wasn't that Ferris started playing better at those moments, it was that we tensed up and didn't execute a handful of routine plays while Ferris just kept doing their jobs. That was the ball game right there."
Ghormley finished with a team-high 11 kills and added 10 digs. Jonynas had nine kills and 12 digs. Laura De Marchi eclipsed 3,000 career assists Friday and finished Saturday's match with 31 assists while adding 10 digs. Megan Utlak had 14 digs.
"Our middles were very good today on both sides of the ball," Jennings said. "We just couldn't control the ball enough to get them involved as much as we needed to. Olivia was strong again at the pin and behind the service line. Her ability to keep scoring as teams concentrate their defense on her is impressive and a huge asset for our team."
"I think we realize that we didn't show up to this opportunity today and played unnecessarily tight for a lot of the match," said Jennings. "It's disappointing but not defeating.
"We're a really good team that is in a position to accomplish something this season. We need to take a good look at how we can get better and be more consistent, particularly in big game situations. It's the next step we are looking to take as a program and we just have to keep at it and get there. We play Ferris again at home in November and have a chance to bounce back next weekend against two good teams at the SDC. I trust we'll respond accordingly."
The Huskies remain at the top of the GLIAC standings tied with Ferris State and Ashland at 6-1. Tech will host Ashland next weekend at the SDC Gym. Wayne State is first up for the Black and Gold on Friday.