MTU Volleyball announces awards; DeMarchi is MVP
The Michigan Tech volleyball team recently handed out its team awards. Laura De Marchi was named the Most Valuable Player. MacAulay Petersen received the Sportsmanship Award, Anna Jonynas and Megan Utlak shared the Digger Award, and Rachel Ping was named the Most Improved Player. Utlak also received the Scholastic Achievement Award for her fifth consecutive 4.0.
De Marchi (Milan, Italy) was named an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American, All-Midwest Region by the AVCA and D2CCA, CoSIDA Academic All-District, the GLIAC Setter of the Year, and to the All-GLIAC First Team. The junior tallied her 3,000th career assist on October 4 and ranks third in program history with 3,588 assists. De Marchi led the GLIAC in assists per set at 11.59 to rank seventh in the nation and sixth in program history. She also tallied 260 digs, 81 kills, 40 blocks, and 20 service aces.
Petersen (Paw Paw, Mich.) was a team captain for the second straight season and appeared in all 32 matches after missing the 2018 season with an injury. The redshirt junior was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team and was second on the team with 2.93 kills per game, hitting double figures in kills 20 times. Petersen tallied her 1,000th career kill in the NCAA regional semifinal against Hillsdale and became the ninth player in program history to reach the milestone. Petersen also tallied 73 digs and 38 blocks.
Utlak (Parma, Ohio) anchored the backcourt with 4.85 digs per set to rank second in the GLIAC and fourth in program history. Her 543 dig total led the league and is second in team history. The junior recorded her 1,000th career dig on October 18 and currently ranks sixth in program history with 1,296 digs. She tallied 20 digs in 10 matches this season while also tallying 78 assists. Utlak led the Huskies in the classroom with a 4.0 grade-point average in psychology.
Jonynas (Orland Park, Ill.) was second on the team with 3.45 digs per set, totaling 390 on the season. The junior led the GLIAC in service aces per set (0.41) and was third on the team with 2.12 kills per set. She tallied her 1,000th career dig on November 8 and ranks ninth in program history with 1,117 digs. Jonynas had three double-doubles, including a match with 23 kills, 17 digs, three blocks, and two aces against Upper Iowa in the Keweenaw Classic. She has never missed a match in her career and also has 557 kills, 134 aces, 86 assists, and 51 blocks.
Ping (Batavia, Ill.) led the Huskies and ranked sixth in the GLIAC with a .291 hitting percentage. She finished her career fifth in program history with a .292 hitting percentage. The senior had a career-high 181 kills in 2019, averaging 1.91 per set to rank fourth on the team. She had double-digit kills four times and was named to the GLIAC All-Tournament Team after totaling 22 kills, nine blocks, eight digs, and three aces while hitting .362 in the Huskies runner-up finish.
Michigan Tech finished the 2019 season with a 24-8 overall record, winning the most matches since 1996. The Huskies were ranked throughout the season, climbing as high as No. 20 on November 5. They went to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season and advanced with the first NCAA win since 1995.