HOUGHTON, Mi. The Michigan Tech Huskies volleyball team swept the Northwood Timberwolves (25-23, 27-25, 30-28) in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match, Friday Nov. 10 inside the SDC Varsity Gym. Tech tallied its ninth straight conference win of the season and improved to 18-8 overall and 12-3 in the conference standings.
"It was a tight one, probably not our best played game, but I credit our team for holding on strong and believing, not stopping until each set was done and coming through with the victory," said Michigan Tech Head Coach Matt Jennings. "Northwood had been playing pretty good ball and they were fighting for a playoff spot; to hold on and win in three is quite an accomplishment."
The Timberwolves (14-11, 6-8 GLIAC) took off in the first set with some momentum and led the Huskies 9-4. The visiting team continued to stand their ground for most of the set but Tech responded, climbing the ranks back to within two of Northwood at 21-19. Senior Lauren Emmert slammed a big kill for the Huskies, positioning MTU at 22-20. Tech then fought back to tie up the set at 23-23. An attack error on Northwood and a quickly executed attack by senior middle blocker, Stephanie Dietrich ended set one 25-23.
Again, the Timberwolves challenged the Huskies in set two. Tech managed to tie up the set 6-6, but Northwood was steadfast, and held a big lead on the Huskies until the end. The Black and Gold fought back with grit, after Northwood was up 24-19, ascending out of six-point deficit to be victorious 27-25.
Tech powered out of the gate 4-0 in set three, but much like the previous sets, Northwood battled back to even out the score 9-9. Both teams matched point for point until Northwood pulled away 16-14. Three lead changes later, Tech fired back with a kill from Stephanie Dietrich to tie it at 23-23. Both teams fought hard for the win, but after two points from freshman Olivia Ghormley, the third set commenced at 30-28.
Tech out blocked Northwood 9-2 and led with an impressive attack percentage of .271. The team was led by MacAulay Petersen and Mariah Sherman. Petersen pounded 12 kills, hitting at .333 while adding two blocks on defense. Sherman had 11 kills and three blocks for the Huskies.
Dietrich hit eight kills at .500 and chipped in two blocks, while Emmert had eight kills and six blocks.
"Our serving was really huge and earned us points that took them out of system quite a bit," added Jennings. "Our blocking tonight though, I think was the story of the game."
Laura DeMarchi set Tech's offense and racked up another double-double this season with 43 assists, 10 digs, three service aces and a pair of blocks.
Elle Heinonen led the defense with 15 digs and Anna Jonynas also recorded nine digs and three serving aces for the Huskies.
Tech will host Ferris St. (19-7, 12-3 GLIAC) Saturday as they battle for the regular season championship title. The match will begin with a celebration of the team's four seniors Halie Hart, Elle Heinonen, Lauren Emmert and Stephanie Dietrich.
"Ferris is a good team coming in and it's going to be a battle between two good teams, the top two in the league this year," said Jennings. "We are expecting a well-played game by both teams and hopefully we can keep on playing well and come out with a win in the end."
First serve takes flight at 3 p.m. inside the SDC Gym.