HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech volleyball team defeated Ashland 3-1 Saturday (Oct. 12) at the SDC Gym to remain in a tie with Ferris State at the top of the GLIAC standings at 8-1. The Huskies also improved to 8-1 at home and 13-4 overall.
"We had a really good week of practice," Tech coach Matt Jennings said. "I couldn't be prouder of the team for the way they responded after last week's loss at Ferris. We weren't very happy with that effort, and we committed to being more intense and more deliberate."
The two teams were tied at the break before the Huskies took a stronghold in the third set. Olivia Ghormley got her game going with eight kills in the frame. Holding on to a 20-19 lead, the Huskies scored five of the final six points for a 2-1 lead. Ghormley had a pair of kills down the stretch with Anna Jonynas adding one and Emilia Widen pounding down the final point.
"It was all defense in the third set and that's what the focus was in the locker room," added Jennings. "We knew we had to make more stops and those stops helped us speed up our transition on offense."
The Huskies carried that momentum into the fourth, jumping out to a 12-6 lead and building it to 12. Rachel Ping had back-to-back kills to seal the win for Tech 25-14. Ghormley again racked up eight kills in the set, and Megan Utlak had nine digs.
"I thought we were in control in the fourth and our serving was on point all night," Jennings said. "They couldn't stop Olivia in the third and fourth. She was unbelievable tonight."
Ghormley finished with a match-high 23 kills for her fourth 20 plus kill match of the season. She didn't have an attack error and hit a blistering .426 while adding nine digs and a pair of service aces.
Tech never trailed in the first set and won 25-20. The defense forced the Eagles into 12 attack errors.
Ashland (15-4, 7-2 GLIAC) tied up the match with a 25-15 win in set two. There were four early lead changes before the Eagles extended the lead and scored the final five points.
Laura De Marchi hit the 50-assist mark for the fifth time this season with 53 helpers. She also had four kills, four digs, and three block assists.
Ping tied a season-high with 10 kills. Jonynas finished with 17 digs and eight kills. Utlak led the defense with 23 digs and Grace Novotny added 12.
Tech clinched the GLIAC's second seed in next weekend's Midwest Regional Crossover Tournament in Indianapolis. The Huskies will play three matches.