Tech advances to GLIAC Semis after sweep at Wayne State
DETROIT – Michigan Tech advanced to its sixth straight GLIAC Volleyball Tournament Semifinal after making quick work of Wayne State Wednesday at Matthaei Gym. The Huskies swept the Warriors 25-21, 25-19, and 25-19 to win their fourth straight.
"We couldn't have been more together as a unit than we were tonight," Tech coach Matt Jennings said. "I'm so proud of our team and the way we brought it out there. Our energy was a huge factor, you never would've thought we were the ones playing so far from home.
"We did almost exactly what we needed to do to win this match. Our serve-pass game was excellent, especially once our serve-receive found its groove. We got under their skin a bit with our serving, which kept the ball away from their middles who are hard to stop in system. And our offense just hung in there and gave us what we needed. Lina did a great job moving the ball around, while Meg had another excellent match on the attack."
The Huskies won their 20th match of the season for the fifth time under Coach Jennings and will travel to Ferris State to take on the top-seeded Bulldogs. First serve for the early semifinal is 4 p.m. at Jim Wink Arena.
"Now we'll reset and get ready to battle a very good and well-coached Ferris team," Jennings added. "They're tough to beat at home, but if we come out like this on Friday, it should be a very exciting match."
Tech got down 10-5 early in the first before finding momentum with four straight kills, including three by Meg Raabe. The Huskies used a 6-1 run to take the lead and closed the set by scoring six of the final nine points. Raabe piled up seven kills in the first while hitting .583.
Similar to the first, the Huskies got down by six early in the second. The visitors again responded this time with a 9-1 run to take the lead for good. Tech held on to a 21-19 lead late in the frame and finished on a 4-0 run with a kill by Kaycee Meiners, an attacking error on the Warriors, and pair of kills by Meg Raabe, including the winner for a 2-0 lead. Five different Huskies had at least a pair of kills in the second.
There were eight ties and four lead changes in the third. Tech went on a 10-3 run which included four straight kills and a pair of service aces. The Warriors had a couple of mini runs down the stretch, but Tech advanced after back-to-back kills by Jillian Kuizenga who had five kills in the third.
Meg Raabe tallied a match-high 13 kills while hitting .400 and added eight digs. Jillian Kuizenga finished with 10 kills, Makena Wesol had nine, and Janie Grindland and Kaycee Meiners combined for 10. Carissa Beyer led with 21 digs, and Lina Espejo-Ramirez set the attack with 34 assists.
Second-seeded Northern Michigan and sixth-seeded Grand Valley State will meet in the other semifinal at 6:30 p.m. The GLIAC Championship Match will be on Saturday at 4 p.m.