GVSU Volleyball drops both games during season’s opening weekend


GVL \ Alexis Velazquez

Rosemary Booher, Staff Reporter

Finally, the season’s home opening games had arrived for the Grand Valley State volleyball team on Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21st. The Lakers took on both the Northern Michigan Wildcats and the Michigan Tech Huskies at home. GVSU fought hard but in the end they lost both matches.

Friday’s match was the first GLIAC match-up for the Lakers as well as their first home match of the season. It was officially time for the Laker’s to play on their home court.

“I think that we were excited to play at home,” said GVSU coach Deanne Scanlon. “I think that the focus was good all week, we just were excited to play at home and let the home fans see what we’re about.”

Friday’s game was a nail-biter that turned into a full five-set match against Northern Michigan that eventually led to a loss for the Lakers. GVSU started off with an explosive first set that reached a lead of 12 points. However, the Wildcats started to close in on the Lakers and eventually lessened the lead to 24-18 until GVSU was able to score the last point needed to win the set.

The second set started with the Lakers once again in the lead at 4-1, but the lead would be short lived as the Wildcats would catch up to GVSU multiple times and make the score 6-6, 9-9 and 10-10. It wasn’t long after that when the Wildcats gained a lead of their own and finish the set at 25-19.

Once again the Lakers started off strong in the third set with a 5-0 lead and later a 8-1 lead as well. The Wildcats were able to catch up for a little bit, but it was the Lakers who would finish the set and win by ten points.

Set four started at a different pace as the Wildcats began with a 7-2 lead over the Lakers, until GVSU was able to gain some momentum to tie the teams at 8-8. The rest of the set would have both teams within two points of one another until Northern Michigan was once again able to pull ahead at 20-17. Yet GVSU did not give up, as they were able to score six points to make the score 23-22. The two teams would go back and forth with each other scoring points until eventually the Wildcats would collect another set won.

The fifth and final set was much like the others, both teams were neck-and-neck with each other at 12-12. Northern Michigan was able to pull ahead and gain the lead, which would eventually lead to then winning the set as well as the match as a whole.

“So far we have played five matches that have gone to five sets, this early in the season already and it is a sign of an inconsistent team,” Scanlon said. “In those important games where we make it to twenty points and then give it up, it is a sign of a team that is still looking for a leader.”

Saturday’s match-up against the Michigan Tech Huskies only went to three sets. Although the Huskies were able to win all three sets, the Lakers for the most part were able to challenge their opponents.

The first set quickly started with the Huskies in the lead, 4-1, but the Lakers were able to score five points in a row to take the lead, 6-4. The teams went back and forth with points until the Lakers would once again pull ahead at 15-12, but were unable to keep the win when the Huskies eventually would retake the lead at 24-21. GVSU tried to catch up with the score at 24-23 but were unable to win the set as Michigan Tech scored their last point to clinch victory.

The second set began with both teams even with one another, both unable to gain a lead larger than two points and ended up tied at 15-15. However, Michigan Tech would eventually lead the Lakers 19-15 and then again at 24-18. GVSU would score two more points before the Huskies were able to finished off another set with a win 25-20.

The Lakers would start off the last set with a quick lead of 6-2, but the lead wouldn’t last long before the Huskies would tie the score at 6-6 and eventually break out into a lead of their own at 13-10. GVSU fought back and was able to stay in the game and cut the lead down to just one point, but were unable to do much more as Michigan Tech would go on a 9-1 run and finish off the set as well as the match.

“This is something that we’ve already faced, being down and battling back,” Scanlon said. “Our team has confidence that we can get down a set or two and still come back to win, we have faced that a few times already. I don’t think that we panicked but it definitely is not where we want to be.”

Even with two losses in conference play, the team is not down on themselves. The Lakers are set to keep working on what needs to be improved and they are ready to focus on what it is that they are able to control according to head coach Scanlon.

“I think that we just need to be more consistent is what we can control. Things like how we communicate with each other such as making sure that we don’t give up points due to lack of communication, energy and effort no matter what the circumstances are, and to continue to grind things out and work on it,” Scanlon said. “Just everyday coming into the gym to get better, it doesn’t matter what it is that we are practicing, we just want to work and get better.”

The Lakers will once again be in the gym in another GLIAC matchup at home against the Davenport Panthers, on Tuesday Sept. 24.