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Huskies fall in season opener to Winona State

Huskies fall in season opener to Winona State Play Video

HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech volleyball team began the 2023 campaign with a 3-2 loss to Winona State Thursday (Aug. 31) at the SDC Gym. The Huskies held a 2-1 lead but surrendered the final two sets as the Warriors took the first-ever meeting between the two teams 16-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-19, and 15-13.

"It was the start I was looking for, but we were on the wrong end of the final score," Tech coach Matt Jennings said. "It happened tight in the fifth set with some unforced errors on our end. Our team played with a ton of heart tonight and it was a tough finish. I'm proud of my team."

Tech jumped out to the early lead riding Lindy Oujiri and Rachel Zurek who combined for nine kills in the first. The Huskies used a 7-0 run early in the frame and Zurek made it set point followed by an error by the visitors.

WSU went on a 5-1 run midway through the second and closed to it out to tie the match 25-17 after scoring the final three points. The Warriors hit .533 in the second set.

The teams battled through six ties and four lead changes in the third. The Huskies scored four straight to take a 21-19 lead and closed the frame on an 8-3 run to take a 2-1 lead, 25-22. Kaycee Meiners had four kills in the set and Kate Walch dug up nine balls.

The Warriors tied the match in the fourth, overcoming 11 ties and five lead changes. Sidney Paulson had six of her match-high 24 kills in the set, including the winner.

Tech held an 11-8 lead in the fifth but the Warriors closed the match scoring six of the final seven points to take the season-opener.

Makena Wesol and Lindy Oujiri led the Huskies with 15 kills each. Kaycee Meiners finished with 12 kills while hitting .455. Tess Hayes set the offense with 50 assists while adding 15 digs. Kate Walch had a match-high 24 digs while Alayna Corwin (14 digs) and Brook Dzwik (11 digs) also helped anchor the back row.

"Kaycee is an amazing volleyball player," added Jennings. "She had a great match tonight and both of our middles were phenomenal.

"Our young setter really showed out tonight. She was really good and got our hitters going in a way that really gave us a chance to win."

Tech continues its opening weekend down in Marquette for three matches at Northern Michigan's Vandament Arena. The Huskies play No. 2 Concordia-St. Paul at 2 p.m. Friday, Minnesota Crookston at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, and Hillsdale at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

"We're playing arguably the best team in the country tomorrow," Jennings said. "We'll see where we are physically and get back after it down in Marquette."