GVSU volleyball comes back from 2-0 deficit to defeat Tiffin University

GVL / Emily Frye   
Katie Olsen and Staci Brower on Tuesday September 19, 2017.

GVL / Emily Frye Katie Olsen and Staci Brower on Tuesday September 19, 2017.

Kellen Voss

Grand Valley State volleyball continued its winning streak Friday, Oct. 27, as the team took down the Tiffin University Dragons 3-2.

Tiffin came out hot at the start of the match, winning the first two sets 25-19 and 25-18. But the Lakers rallied in comeback fashion during the last three sets, winning the last set by a score of 17-15. GVSU head coach Deanne Scanlon had one word for the Lakers’ effort: resilience.

“We obviously didn’t come out strong to start with, since Tiffin took it to us,” Scanlon said. “For us to rebound and flip it on them was huge.”

GVSU bested Tiffin in all offensive categories, racking up 67 kills, 65 assists and 85 digs on the night. When they needed efficient production the most, the Lakers deliver as they completed 30 percent of their team attack attempts in the final two sets of the game.

Scanlon was impressed with the determination the team showed in the comeback. 

“I don’t feel good about how we started, and we could have easily just laid down and died,” she said. “But we battled through, and it was an important and stressful win, to say the least.”

Five Lakers posted double-digit kills on the night, including senior Sydney Doby, who led the team throughout the comeback. She posted 15 kills on the night while adding 11 digs, a block assist and an ace.

Juniors Staci Brower, Hannah Murdock and Shannon Winicki also posted kills on the night. They executed on the defensive side of the ball, as Brower had three solo blocks and two assisted blocks in the match. Murdock and Winicki also each had an assisted block.

Doby wasn’t the only senior to perform well, as Katie Olson had a quality performance in the back-line defense. She amassed 53 assists on the night, a match high for her Laker career, while also posting 15 kills and leading the team with two aces.

“Katie Olson at setter played well, and we played great defensively even though at the start we weren’t digging a lot of balls,” Scanlon said. “But she picked up the pace defensively, and everyone rallied around her play. We showed great effort all day long.”

Scanlon was also proud of the team chemistry that was shown throughout the match, as it appeared to be a key ingredient in sparking the comeback. 

“It got to a point where we were down 2-0 in sets, and we could have thrown a pity party for ourselves,” Scanlon said. “But we chose to flip it back in our mind, and we had to keep working to stay in it, and that united our team for sure.”

Tiffin is not a bad team, so for GVSU to win three sets in a row and come back on the road might be a sign of good things to come for the Lakers.

“Tiffin’s having a great year, and they came out on fire and took it to us, but I loved the way we battled back and didn’t give up,” Scanlon said.

With a GVSU win Saturday, Oct. 28, in the matchup against Ashland University, and a Wayne State loss the same day, the Lakers are now tied for first in the South Division of the GLIAC with a 14-10 overall record.

GVSU travels to Wayne State in Detroit Saturday, Nov. 4, for a key matchup with the Warriors at 4 p.m.