Huskies fall in five-setter at Grand Valley State

Michigan Tech volleyball
Michigan Tech volleyball(MTU Athletics)
Published: Mar. 27, 2021 at 10:12 PM EDT
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ALLENDALE, Mich. (WLUC) - No. 20 Michigan Tech fell 3-2 Saturday (Mar. 27) at Grand Valley State in a five-setter that went over two hours long. The Huskies won the second and fourth sets before the Lakers won 15-13 in the fifth.

“That was a real battle,” Tech coach Matt Jennings said. “It certainly wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but I’m glad we didn’t go down without a fight.

“I think their blocking started to wear us down some after we came out a bit flat and they capitalized on some of our mental mistakes. Other than that, it was a grudge match with two good teams playing hard to the wire.”

Tech trailed 21-17 before battling back to a 24-all tie. GVSU got a kill and then an attacking error on the Huskies to go up 1-0 after a 26-24 win.

The second set had 11 ties. Tech trailed 23-21 before back-to-back kills by Jillian Kuizenga tied it again. The Lakers took the setpoint lead before a kill by Anna Jonynas and a pair of attacking errors by the home team tied the match after Tech won 26-24.

GVSU (9-3) led throughout the third set after building a 15-10 lead and closing on a 7-3 run to win 25-18.

Three straight kills by Kaycee MeinersLaura De Marchi, and Janie Grindland in the middle of the fourth put the Black and Gold up 16-11. The Huskies maintained the lead and got to setpoint after an attacking error on the Lakers. Grindland hit down the match-tying kill for a 25-21 Tech win.

The Lakers never trailed in the fifth. They used a 7-2 run to take a 14-9 match point lead. The Huskies didn’t go quietly, scoring four straight points with a pair of kills by Anna Jonynas, another one by Kaycee Meiners, and an attacking error on the home team. The Lakers finally got the victory after Sarah Wight and Jaelianna Primus teamed up on a block.

As a team, Tech had more kills and digs than the Lakers. Laura De Marchi set a new career-high with 65 assists while also adding 13 digs and six kills.

Megan Utlak (32) and Anna Jonynas (27) both tied career highs in digs. Jonynas led the team with 17 kills.

Jillian Kuizenga tied her season and career-high with 15 kills while hitting .379. Olivia Ghormley and Janie Grindland added 13 kills each.

Lina Espejo-Ramirez had a Tech career-high. 25 digs in an important defensive role, while Maggie Petersen chipped in with 12 digs.

“We were a set win away from sweeping the weekend,” added Jennings. “To come out with a split on the road, while not ideal, is enough to keep us geared up for the final two weeks of the season. Now we turn our attention to Northern.”

Tech wraps up the regular season against No. 21 Northern Michigan next weekend. The teams will meet in Houghton Friday and Marquette Saturday.

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