GVSU volleyball splits weekend road games

GVL / Sheila Babbitt

GVL / Sheila Babbitt

Payton Miloser

From one valley to the other and back up north, the Grand Valley State volleyball team had a weekend jam packed full of digs, sets and kills, resulting in a loss against Saginaw Valley State and a win against Lake Superior State.

The Lakers had a tough loss to Saginaw Valley State on Friday, Oct. 5 (3-0) with set scores of 16-25, 23-25 and 23-25. 

The Cardinals put the Lakers at a disadvantage early on and managed to force 21 attack errors over the three games. While neither team did particularly well with hitting, the Cardinals held a slight edge over the Lakers .180 to .112. While the Lakers did lead in digs, 69-63, the Cardinals also held the advantage in blocks (10-8) and aces (3-2).

Staci Brower led in offense with 12 kills and a .300 hitting percentage. She also led the team in solo rejections, setting a new team-best of four rejections defensively. 

“To be able to lead the team offensively is a lot of fun, but I can’t do it without the people in the back row getting the first pass and my setters being able to set me and put me in good situations.” Brower said. “I’ve had to step up and make sure I’m limiting my errors but also be able to take charge and put the ball down and get momentum going.”

Frankie Cavallaro led the team with 14 assists with Ashlyn Kartes right behind her with 13 of her own. Kendall Yerkes led in digs with 26 digs overall and Alexandra Thompson tallied 14 of her own for the Lakers defense. 

SVSU started each set by scoring the first two points before GVSU responded. The teams rallied back and forth for points over the last two games with each team gaining short leads over the other with SVSU eventually pulling ahead and taking the sets. 

“I feel as though we had a rough weekend,” Brower said. “We made better connections with each other and have been having more fun, but there was a weird vibe and not one specific skill that gave us problems. Everything struggled a bit.”

The Lakers headed farther north to play Lake Superior State on Saturday, Oct. 6 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

With an impressive first game, GVSU and Lake Superior State battled it out to come to a 24-26 close in favor of Lake Superior State. However, while the norhtern Lakers may have thought they had the lead, GVSU proved to be the better Lakers in the end. 

The next three games went to GVSU with scores of 25-15, 25-14 and 25-16. This improved their record to 12-7 overall and 5-6 in conference. 

In both the third and fourth sets, GVSU started with 8-1 leads over LSSU and kept the momentum from those initial points throughout the game to shut out their opponents.

The Lakers showed strong offensive strategies that overwhelmed LSSU and gave GVSU the advantage they needed to win. GVSU led with 48 kills and a hitting percentage of .310. Brower again led the Lakers in kills with 20 kills while  Kartes led with 27 assists and Alexandra Thompson led with 16 digs.

The Lakers will be playing in their Midwest Region Crossover in Indianapolis, Ind. on Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13. The start times of games are yet to be determined.