Tech Volleyball advances to GLIAC Championship with sweep of NMU

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BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WLUC) – The No. 23-ranked Michigan Tech volleyball team advanced to the GLIAC Tournament Championship with a 3-0 sweep of Northern Michigan Saturday at Ewigleben Sports Arena. The Huskies won 25-19, 25-22, and 25-23 for the third sweep of the Wildcats this season.
Tech improved to 23-6 overall and will play No. 17 Ferris State Sunday at 4 p.m. for the GLIAC Tournament Title and chance to be the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

"I'm very happy with the start we had and the resolve we showed as Northern started to push us," Tech coach Matt Jennings said. "We showed a lot of toughness in that comeback in the third set. I'm very proud of this team."

Tech used an early 6-1 run in the first set to gain a 9-6 lead. The Huskies held a four-point cushion until NMU got within two at 20-18. Megan Utlak and Anna Jonynas then served a 6-1 run for the Huskies to take the 1-0 lead. MacAulay Petersen kept her hot postseason going with five kills in the first.

There were six early ties in the second before Tech went on an 8-1 run to take a 17-12 advantage and then never relinquished the lead. Anna Jonynas, Olivia Ghormley, and Petersen all had kills down the stretch in the 25-22 win.

NMU (13-16) jumped out a six-point lead in the third, but the Huskies battled back with an 8-2 run to again take the lead. Jonynas had an ace for set point and a Wildcats attacking error sent the Huskies to the Championship match for the second time in two years.

Petersen led Tech with 10 kills while hitting .304. Ghormley added nine kills and Jonynas had six kills, seven service aces, and nine digs. Rachel Ping tallied six kills and three blocks.

"Mac was excellent at the net all match, and we certainly wouldn't be where we are without Anna's serving these last two matches," added Jennings. "Grace and Megan were strong in the backcourt and really anchored our defense."

Megan Utlak had 17 digs and Grace Novotny added 14. Laura De Marchi returned to the lineup and tallied 32 assists

"Laura ran the offense very well, especially for her first match back in a while. She made good decisions all match, connecting with her hot hitters and using the middles more effectively as we went along. I thought Ping finished the match very well."

The Huskies and the Bulldogs will meet for the third time this season. FSU swept Tech on October 5 in Big Rapids and squeaked out a five-set win on November 8 at the SDC Gym.

"To be back in the conference final is a great thing and means a lot to this team and our program," Jennings said. "We're excited for another shot to play Ferris for the title. It's going to be a great match."



 
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