GVSU Volleyball wins close match against Davenport


GVL \ Caleb Worpel

Danielle Curtiss, Staff Reporter

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the Grand Valley State volleyball team faced the Davenport University Panthers in their third home GLIAC match-up. The first two home match-ups resulted in losses for the team, making them more determined to get a win. After a long, five-set match, the GVSU volleyball team took the victory over the Panthers.

The first set ended with a 25-15 win for GVSU, with many winning blocks from the Lakers. After this powerful start, the team had two close sets with the lead going back and forth between the teams, eventually ending in two set wins for the Panthers: 25-19 and 25-23.

The fourth set started strong with GVSU in the lead, but became another close set between the teams once the score reached 17-17. The Lakers continued gaining points on the Panthers through strong blocking and aggressive serves, eventually leading them to a 25-21 set win, leaving both teams with two set wins and resulting in a fifth set.

“We usually struggle keeping our energy and momentum by the end of the match,” said sophomore Ali Thompson. “But tonight showed our success in doing just that.”

The final set started with an aggressive spike from Thompson, then a score from the Panthers, evening out the score. Freshman Karlie Kucharczyk came in with a threatening spike of her own, bringing another point for the Lakers, but Davenport came back to even out the score once again.

Next, registered freshman Emma Clines picked up another point before losing two points again tying up the set.

Freshman Jaelianna Primus proved herself by collecting three more points for the Lakers along with two points from Kucharczyk. With two more points for the Panthers, the score was 8-4. The set carried on with GVSU keeping strong and ending the set with an assailing spike and a 15-7 set win — a match victory for the Lakers.

“I think the last set is how I had envisioned the team being: consistent and smart,” said coach Deanne Scanlon. “It was the greatest set we have played this season. Having a very young team with nine freshmen and one registered freshman makes for a lot of inconsistency. We approached the season as a learning process where being on the court is like being in a classroom; the players are constantly learning.”

The victory over Davenport University brought hope to the GVSU volleyball team after their first two losses in conference play. The Lakers are ready to take what they learned from each match and work towards future wins against GLIAC match-ups.

“This was a good growth game for the team,” Thompson said. “The team has started working a lot better and have gotten more comfortable with each other. Having already played six other five-set matches, we are getting a lot of practice trying to keep our energy and momentum through the match.”

Thompson and Clines have begun to shine as leaders for the rest of the team. Especially in young teams, leadership and control are important factors in success. Previous statements made by Scanlon addressed the lack of leadership and how it has affected the team dynamic, but Tuesday night the Lakers finally began to form a productive dynamic.

“Before, it was hard to see any leadership among the team, but Ali Thompson really stepped up and took control,” Scanlon said. “Emma Clines as well. Everyone contributes their own part to the team. The team has had its ups and downs, but it keeps getting better every day.”

The Lakers look to earn a few more wins this weekend as they travel for road match-ups with Purdue Northwest and Wisconsin-Parkside.