Huskies fall at Ferris State in GLIAC Semifinal

The Huskies won the first 25-20 before the Bulldogs edged Tech 25-21, 27-25, and 26-24.
Published: Nov. 12, 2022 at 10:16 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Tech volleyball season came to an end Friday with a 3-1 loss at Ferris State in the GLIAC Semifinals. The Huskies won the first 25-20 before the Bulldogs edged Tech 25-21, 27-25, and 26-24.

“We were right there. Just a few plays late in sets three and four separated us, but honestly, we played a pretty darn good game,” Tech coach Matt Jennings said. “We feel that we gave Ferris a worthy fight here tonight. They’re a tough team to beat at home and in the postseason. We have a lot to be proud about this season, including the way we left it all out there tonight.”

The Huskies won their ninth straight set in the first after leading by as many as six points. Meg Raabe was a force all night and began the match with nine kills in the opening frame.

Ferris (23-9) tied it up in the second with three different Bulldogs tallying at least four kills. They used a 5-0 to build a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Meg Raabe kept rolling with eight kills in the second.

There were 10 ties and five lead changes in the third. Tech came back from a five-point deficit and the teams traded points late. The Huskies had a pair of setpoints after kills by Meg Raabe and Kaycee Meiners, but the home team kept responding and scored the final three points with a pair of kills and an ace for a 3-1 lead.

The Huskies kept fighting in the fourth and held a 22-19 lead. FSU showed why it’s the number one team in the conference by advancing to Saturday’s GLIAC Championship with a 7-2 run.

Meg Raabe pounded down 26 kills—the most by any Husky this season. She took 67 swings and added 10 digs. Makena Wesol (13) and Janie Grindland (12) also hit double figures in kills and both hit over .470.

Lina Espejo-Ramirez set the offense with 55 assists while adding 12 digs. Carissa Beyer led with 21 digs and Grace Novotny added 14 digs.

“How about our freshmen stepping up in a big way,” Jennings said. “Megan and Makena were excellent in the postseason and down the stretch in general. They certainly were not playing like freshmen tonight or like it was their first semifinal. They were the best two outsides on the court for large parts of this match. Brooke was serving super tough as well and more than held her own in the backcourt again. I don’t know what more we could’ve asked from those three this season, they had a really nice first year.

“Janie had one of her best matches of the season in what’ll be her last match. She was excellent and was a lot of fun to watch out there. I’ll really miss her energy and what she brought to the court.”

Tech finished the season with a 20-10 record, winning 20 matches for the fifth time under Jennings.

“The growth we saw from start to finish this season is a point of pride for this group and our staff,” added Jennings. “The way we fought our way into the top cluster of the GLIAC and into a position to advance in the postseason was the result of a lot of hard work and dedication to the task at hand. We came so far this season and can honestly say we finished the year playing some of our best ball. You want to peak at the end of the year, I think anyone paying attention to this squad knows that’s what we did. We won a bunch of matches this year, beat some really good teams, advanced into the postseason, and enjoyed one another along the way.

“Our seniors know they finish their Husky careers as winners. They did so much in their time here with us and we’ll be forever grateful for their sacrifices and dedication to the program. They really stepped up this year and we’re not even in this match tonight without what they did all season to help get us here.”

Friday’s match wrapped up the careers for seniors Carissa Beyer, Lina Espejo-Ramirez, Janie Grindland, Jillian Kuizenga, Grace Novotny, Maggie Petersen, and Morgan Radtke.

Ferris State will face Grand Valley State in Saturday’s GLIAC Tournament Championship Match.