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Volleyball opens weekend with pair of wins at Capital Classic

Volleyball opens weekend with pair of wins at Capital Classic

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Michigan Tech volleyball team went 2-0 Friday (Sept. 10) at the Illinois Springfield Capital Classic. The Huskies swept McKendree 3-0 in their morning match and upset No. 8-ranked Northwest Missouri State 3-1 in the evening.

"Today was a really good day for the Huskies," Tech coach Matt Jennings said. "We played together as a team and stayed tough in crucial moments, especially in the evening."

Tech improved its record to 3-3 and wraps up the weekend against Lake Erie at 11 a.m. and tournament host Illinois Springfield at 8 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 11).

Michigan Tech 3, McKendree 0

The Black and Gold won 25-22, 25-12, and 25-17. The Huskies held the Bearcats to a .008 hitting percentage while out digging them 60-40.

Anna Jonynas led the offense with 10 kills and the defense with 15 digs. Lina Espejo-Ramirez set the attack with 30 assists while adding 11 digs. Grace Novotny and Carissa Beyer added 10 digs each.

Michigan Tech 3, Northwest Missouri State 1

The Huskies handed No. 8 Northwest its first loss of the season after they had started 4-0. Tech won 24-25, 29-27, 25-21, and 25-19.

"Northwest Missouri is an excellent team with a lot of weapons at multiple positions," added Jennings. "The first two sets were back and forth with both teams battling point for point. We were locked in and were making really good adjustments that led to us gaining some momentum as we got into the third. Our backcourt really stepped up in the last two sets, which allowed us to start scoring in transition. Laura got her hitters going beautifully tonight, each one of our attackers had their part in this win. The block has looked better so far this weekend, which is a good sign. It needs to continue to improve, but it was an overall positive for us tonight."

Laura De Marchi returned to the lineup and tallied 59 assists, eight digs, three kills, and a pair of blocks. Olivia Ghormley led the offense with 20 kills while Jonynas (16 kills, 21 digs) added a double-double for the fifth match in a row. Jillian Kuizenga found her groove with 12 kills on 19 attempts (.579). Carissa Beyer (16 digs) and Megan Utlak (13 digs) also hit double figures.

"Olivia and Anna took a lot of big cuts out there for us, coming up with a bunch of key points," Jennings said. "Jill was lights out on the attack, same with Janie. Kaycee continues to play both sides of the ball very well and seeing her confidence grow each match has been pretty awesome.

"Megan, Carissa, Anna, and Grace were solid in serve receive today, particularly in the last three sets of tonight. We'll continue to see our team grow as our backcourt continues to gel.

"I'm super proud of the team's performance and resolve down here so far this weekend. Tomorrow is another day and an opportunity to build off this and improve our side of the net."