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Huskies sweep Warriors to wrap up regular season

Huskies end regular season with sweep.
(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 13, 2021 at 10:22 PM EST
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DETROIT, Mich. (WLUC) - No. 21 Michigan Tech wrapped up its regular season with a 3-0 sweep at Wayne State Saturday (Nov. 13). The Huskies won 25-23, 25-17, and 25-22 to improve to 22-5 overall and 14-1 in the GLIAC, winning their final 14 conference matches.

Tech went 44-4 in sets during the GLIAC regular season and finished with the highest conference winning percentage in program history at 93 percent.

“It wasn’t our prettiest win, but like we’ve been saying all season, good teams find a way to get it done, and that’s what we did here today,” Tech coach Matt Jennings said. “To be down that much in the first set and come back like that was something else. A nice mix of tough serving, solid defense, and Olivia’s offense were key in that run. Credit to Wayne State for really taking it to us with their block to start the match. We just kept at it and got really tough behind the service line and in the backcourt and leaned on our leaders to take us to the finish.”

WSU held a seven-point lead at 21-14 before the Huskies went on an 11-2 run to take the lead. Olivia Ghormley had six kills during the run and finished with nine kills in the first set. Tied at 23, Ghormley had a kill for the setpoint lead and then Megan Utlak served an ace.

The Huskies used a 7-0 run in the middle of the second set to lead 13-7. The teams traded runs with Tech getting the final advantage 25-17 after scoring five of the last six points. Four different Huskies had at least two kills in the second set with Anna Jonynas tallying three.

Like the first two sets, the Warriors took the lead in the third. Tech built a 22-15 lead before the home team chipped away late. A Ghormley kill made it match point but WSU scored three straight to stay alive before Ghormley stepped up and ended the match with her fourth kill of the set and match-high 15th kill of the afternoon.

Jonynas finished with nine kills and 10 digs. Laura De Marchi set the attack with 35 assists. Carissa Beyer led the defense with 21 digs, hitting the 20-dig mark for the fifth time this season.

“Our serve-pass game was a huge difference-maker in this match,” added Jennings. “We did an exceptional job serving them out of system and for a lot of points. We’ve turned into one of the better serving teams in the league and it’s adding to our ability to contain teams with strong offenses like Wayne. They have some weapons and can score quickly and efficiently if you don’t try to pressure their backcourt.

“Olivia carried us today. She was outstanding all match long, mixing up her shots beautifully. She remains one of the best pure scorers I’ve had the pleasure to coach. She put us on her back today and found ways to score when we needed it most. She played like a true veteran today.

“Carissa was strong on both defense and in serve receive. Her serving was really effective too. She’s become one of the best passers in the GLIAC and continues to put out solid defensive performances. Megan passed really well today as well and I thought once we got over some bumps in the opening set, our passing got way better, which helped us get into our groove.

“Now it’s on to the postseason. We’re pumped to be the top seed and to know that if we keep at it, we could be bringing the postseason up North to the U.P. We’ll enjoy our ride home, rest up, and get ready for Wednesday and the first round.”

Tech opens the GLIAC Tournament on Wednesday with a quarterfinal matchup against No. 8 seed Northwood at 6 p.m. at the SDC Gym. Should the Huskies advance, they will host the GLIAC Semifinals on Saturday and the GLIAC Championship on Sunday.

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