The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV volleyball goes 2-1 in ‘measuring stick’ Midwest Region Crossover

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

The Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball team finished 2-1 in the Midwest Region Crossover with wins over the Northwood University Timberwolves and No. 25 ranked Rockhurst University Hawks, sandwiching a narrow loss to the No. 12 Lewis University Flyers in between the victories.

Lakers’ head coach Jason Johnson was impressed with how his team played this weekend and was optimistic about their play going forward.

“Besides the first couple of sets against Lewis, I thought we played really well. Coming into the weekend we were using these games as a measuring stick against the difficult competition that we faced,” Johnson said.

The Lakers opened the tournament on Oct. 13 against the NU Timberwolves, starting fast in the first set by coming out to an early 5-0 lead. GVSU rode that momentum before battling a late Timberwolves’ run, still winning the set 25-22.

NU took an early 8-7 lead in the second set but an eight-point run by the Lakers stole the momentum back, riding it to set win 25-16. The third set opened similarly to the first with the Lakers dominating 25-11, sweeping the match 3-0.

GVSU’s Meghan O’Sullivan led a balanced offensive attack with nine kills, while Sarah Wight had eight kills and seven total blocks. Jordyn Gates had six kills, 16 assists and nine digs, with her sister Madison Gates tallying 10 digs in the win.

“All around I think our game has been really crisp and clean, which has made it easier for me and the team to excel because of the hard work that we have put in,” Jordyn Gates said.

To finish out the day, GVSU matched up against one of their toughest opponents of the season, the No. 12 Lewis University Flyers. In the first set, the Flyers came out strong dominating the Lakers and winning it by a score of 25-13. The second was a bit closer, but the Flyers took that one 25-20.

GVSU needed to regather themselves after opening the third set trailing 9-4. A 9-1 Lakers’ run gave them some life and the lead. Lewis ended up tying the score at 17-17, but GVSU went on to win the set 25-19 off the back of an 8-2 stretch.

The fourth set was a tug-of-war battle from the start, with neither team gaining any momentum. GVSU put together a late 6-2 run to win the set 25-23, extending the match to a fifth set. 

Lewis opened the fifth set with a 6-2 lead as the Lakers responded with a 6-0 run to take the lead 8-6. Rallying back and forth, the set tied at 13 all. In the process, the Lakers fought off 5 match points and missed their own before ultimately falling to the Flyers 22-20 in their 3-2 loss.

“Seeing teams like Lewis is the only way you are going to learn what it’s like to win at a high level to make a run in the NCAA tournament. That match was part of it. We still have some growing up to do. We will see going forward into next week,” Johnson said. “(We) would have liked to have won the match, but even in a loss, there was a lot learned from our team and how they have to compete at a higher level.”

To close out the event, the Laker’s match against No. 25 Rockhurst University opened highly competitive at 6-6. This battle continued the entire set, with GVSU coming out on top 25-22. The Lakers rode the momentum of winning the first set into their second with an early 4-0 start before a late surge by the Hawks brought the match close. O’Sullivan slammed the door shut on a kill, winning the set for the Lakers 25-21. GVSU closed out the game with a 25-19 third-set win and another match sweep.

Coming out of this tournament the Lakers are looking to build on the loss and their big wins in the Midwest Region Crossover.

“Definitely, a high morale headed into next weekend, we know where we sit with some of the best teams in the country,” Jordyn Gates said.

GVSU will take on Lake Superior State University on Friday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. in Allendale, Mich. at the Fieldhouse Arena, followed by playing archrival Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m.

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