GVSU volleyball defeats Lake Superior State 3-1 in Breast Cancer Awareness game

GVL / Dylan McIntyre. Friday, October 20, 2017. Grand Valley getting pumped up before their game against Lake Superior State.

GVL / Dylan McIntyre. Friday, October 20, 2017. Grand Valley getting pumped up before their game against Lake Superior State.

Robbie Triano

Donned with all pink gear and jerseys, the Grand Valley State volleyball team stepped onto their home court for the first time since Saturday, Sept. 30, to raise awareness for breast cancer.

The return back home wasn’t spoiled as the Lakers (11-10, 7-4 GLIAC) took care of business for a 3-1 victory over Lake Superior State (3-16, 1-9 GLIAC) at the GVSU Fieldhouse Friday, Oct. 20. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, GVSU head coach Deanne Scanlon takes pride in her team for giving back. 

“The kids like doing it, and it’s something we do every single year,” Scanlon said. “There’s always somebody, whether it’s your immediate family or someone you’re not far removed from, that’s suffering from cancer.”

The win was GVSU volleyball’s 51st straight over Lake Superior State.

GVSU junior Staci Brower paved the scoring for the Lakers, leading all players with 13 kills and seven blocks. Brower has been a consistent source of production for the Lakers. She was even named GLIAC South Division Player of the Week Monday, Oct. 16, her second time of the season. 

“My team is working hard, which is pushing me to work even harder,” Brower said.

Things weren’t going the Lakers’ way in the first set, as the team started the contest riddled with 11 attacking errors against a quick Lake Superior State team. By the end of the first set, Lake Superior State took an early 1-0 lead with a 25-21 set victory. Brower led the set with six kills. 

“It was definitely disappointing to start out like that,” Scanlon said. “We had a game plan to finish the game in three sets and have a hitting percentage around .300 percent, but it obviously didn’t go the way as planned. But I was glad we were able to flip it around.”

The next three sets were a much different story for GVSU, as the Lakers used their height to their advantage in the blocking game. In the second set, sophomore Jayci Suseland led the blocking parade with one solo block and three assists to lead the Lakers to a 25-16 second-set victory.

GVSU found their groove in the third set, as senior Sydney Doby served 9 straight points in the pursuit of the Lakers’ 25-11 set victory to take a 2-1 lead. Doby also led the set with four kills and two service aces.

The Lakers finally took care of business to clinch the 3-1 victory in the fourth set with a 25-17 set victory. Junior Shannon Winicki and Brower led the set with three kills, while Brower also added three blocks. 

“At the beginning of the game, we clearly had a rocky start, but after we started getting into the rhythm of it, we started playing our game,” Brower said. 

End of the game stats favored GVSU in almost every category, as the Lakers led in kills (50-41), aces (5-3), assists (48-40), digs (71-61) and, most importantly, blocks (13-4). Brower knew the success her team had in the blocking category was the biggest difference between the two GLIAC opponents.

“We had quite a few blocks this game, which sometimes isn’t really the case with us,” Brower said. “Having that production really helped our defense out quite a bit.”

Notable Lakers included Suseland (nine kills, six blocks), Winicki (eight kills), Katie Olson (25 assists) and Kaylene Norris (21 digs, four assists).

After the Lakers collected a 3-0 victory over Saginaw Valley State at home Saturday, Oct. 21, the Lakers improved to 12-10 on the season as winners of four of the last five games. GVSU hopes to continue the stretch of success on the road next weekend against GLIAC opponents Tiffin University Friday, Oct. 27, and Ashland University Saturday, Oct. 28.