Marquette eliminates GVSU at NCVFs

Lucas Rains

The No. 2 Grand Valley State University women’s club volleyball team entered the NCVF National Championships as the only Division II team in the tournament and was among the favorites to win it all.

GVSU, which was ranked first in the Mizuno Women’s Division II rankings five times this season, fell just short of its first-ever national championship over the weekend at the Reno Convention Center in Reno, Nev.

GVSU (36-4-3) lost to No. 3 Marquette University 25-22 and 25-21 in the tournament semifinals.

Marquette advanced to the finals and defeated No. 9 Ohio State University in three games to claim the NCVF National Championship.

In the opening round of pool play on Thursday, GVSU went 3-0 without dropping a single set. The Lakers beat the University of Virginia, the University of Georgia and California Polytechnic State University.

GVSU defeated the University of Florida and the University of Michigan in the second round of pool play to advance to the championship round on Saturday. Against Florida, the Lakers won the first game 25-17, but dropped the second 25-22 to force a deciding third game, which the Lakers won 15-9. Michigan was dispatched quickly in two games, 25-14 and 25-20.

After advancing to the gold bracket, GVSU faced University of Wisconsin. After taking the opening set 25-13, Wisconsin won the second 25-21 to force a decisive third game.

The Lakers held on to win the third game 15-12 and advanced to play Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals.

GVSU swept Virginia Tech in two games, 25-15 and 25-19, to advance to the national semifinals against Marquette, where the Golden Eagles proved to be too much.

GVSU freshman outside hitter Nicole Hahn was tabbed as a First Team All-Tournament selection. Sophomore libero Taylor Shomin earned second-team honors while senior setter Jamie Brandon received honorable mention laurels.

Winning a national championship was the ultimate goal for the Lakers and, although they fell short of their lofty expectations, it was still a successful season. On top of its 36-win season, GVSU coach Anna Tollefson was named NCVF Coach of the Year.