Quick hits: Volleyball All-GLIAC team honors, swimming & diving victory over Ball State

Four GVSU volleyball players grab All-GLIAC honors

Although they had a successful regular season, the Grand Valley State volleyball team ended their playoff and season hopes at the GLIAC Quarterfinals match against Wayne State on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

However, four Laker volleyball players didn’t end their season empty-handed, as senior Katie Olson, junior Staci Brower, senior Sydney Doby and junior Shannon Winicki were all awarded All-GLIAC team honors, announced Saturday, Nov. 18.

Olson and Brower were both awarded All-First Team honors for their productive play this season. Olson finished the year with 895 assists as the team’s primary setter, enough for sixth in the GLIAC, and she also tallied 207 digs on the defensive end. Brower dominated as the Lakers’ outside hitter, leading the team in kills (292), kills per set (2.83), solo blocks (23) and assisted-total blocks (92). With the award, Brower has become the third Laker in program history to earn first team honors for three consecutive years, the first since the 2008-10 stretch.

Doby earned her first career All-GLIAC honor with an All-GLIAC Second Team nod, which was well-deserved after a breakout season for the senior. Doby ranked second on the team in kills (252), solo blocks (16), block assists (62) and total blocks (78) while also ranking in the top 20 in the GLIAC in kills, kills per set, hitting percentage, service aces and all blocking categories.

Rounding out GVSU GLIAC awards is junior outside hitter Winicki, who was the Lakers’ spark plug in later sets this season. Winicki was awarded with an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention nod after finishing the year with 207 kills and 27 blocks. Ten times throughout the season, Winicki posted 10 or more kills in a match.

The Lakers finished their season with a 16-12 overall record (11-5 GLIAC) and a first-place finish in the GLIAC South Division. 

GVSU men’s swimming & diving defeats Ball State, women come up short

While the rest of the fall and winter sports still find themselves dominating on the field and courts, the Grand Valley State men’s swimming program has been quietly turning heads with an undefeated start to the season.

The men’s team claimed a dominating 184-109 victory over Ball State University on Saturday, Nov. 18, in Muncie, Indiana. With the win, the men’s team improves to a solid 5-0 record to start the long season. 

The Laker men won 11 of their events, including a dominating three-second victory in the 400-meter medley relay of Ben Walling, Ahmed Nabih, Marius Mikalauska and Harry Shalamon with a time of 3:30.56.

Other Laker winners included freshman Moritz Bartels (1,650-meter freestyle), Oscar Saura Armengol (200-meter freestyle), Ben Walling (100-meter backstroke) and Gonzalo Rodriguez (200-meter fly). 

However, the women’s team did not experience the same type of success as the men did. The Lakers fell by a tightly contested score of 164-136 against the Cardinals. With the loss, the Lakers’ record falls down to 4-3 on the year, as the team has not been able to maintain consistency throughout the beginning of the season.

Wins from the Lakers came from Megan Shaughnessy (1,650-meter freestyle) and Melina Goebel (500-meter and 200-meter freestyle).

Both men’s and women’s teams will compete next in the three-day Calvin College Invitational in Grand Rapids, Michigan, starting Thursday, Nov. 30, and ending Saturday, Dec. 2.