GVSU Volleyball dusts competition with back-to-back wins, hits milestone


COURTESY \ Nicole Lamson

Rosemary Booher, Staff Reporter

This weekend, the Grand Valley State volleyball team swept the competition, bringing home two conference wins on the road. The first was against Lake Superior State and the second against Saginaw Valley, which makes the Lakers’ overall record 11-11 and boosts their GLIAC record to 6-5.

The matchup against Lake Superior State was a special victory for the Lakers as it marked GVSU’s head volleyball coach Deanne Scanlon’s 600th career win. This is her 25th year coaching at GVSU and as Scanlon celebrates this milestone, she is reminded of those who she’s worked with along the way.

“Reaching this 600th career win milestone means a lot because I’m at a place that really allows me to grow as a coach and lets me be apart of a school with a tradition of supporting their athletic teams,” Scanlon said. “It’s more than just the wins. It’s all the players that were involved over the years, the great teams and the experiences that we’ve had together.”

The Lakers lept to a quick start in their Friday match between LSSU and were able to secure a win in just three sets. During the first set, GVSU would go back and forth in scoring with LSSU until they were able to pull ahead 13-8 and eventually finished off the match 25-23.

GVSU jumped to an early lead in the second set with a 17-9 but was met with LSSU catching up 19-17. The Lakers were able to answer with a 5-1 run and finish off the set at 25-19. The third and last set would finish with the same score of 25-19 after trading points with one another making the score 21-19 until GVSU would pull ahead and win.

“In the three set win against Lake State, we came out and were really focused from the start,”  Scanlan said. “To stay aggressive, we started serving aggressively and getting them out of their system. We started passing really well, and we had a lot of people who were involved in the offense able to spread the ball around to keep them off guard.”

Saturday’s matchup against the Saginaw Valley Cardinals went into a five-set nail bitter, with each set ending with the teams being within six points of each other.

The first set would have both teams consistently going back and forth with points until the Lakers were able to push ahead and finish the set 25-23. The second would go the same way until SVSU was able to break off in a 24-20 lead and eventually win the set 25-23.

The third and fourth set once again had the two teams trading points with each other, as the third ending with GVSU up 25-20 and the fourth with SVSU up 25-19. The final set started with the teams tied 4-4 until the Lakers broke free scoring 9-4 and kept the momentum going to finish off the set.

“In the five-set match against Saginaw, it was a familiar place that we’ve been in,” Scanlan said. “It was our seventh or eight five-set match this year, but we talked about going into this weekend that it was time for us to start playing with a little more maturity and experience. I feel like we’ve battled through a lot and that we needed to prove to ourselves more than anything that we are capable of beating some of the top teams in the conference. I think that we had some confidence after how we did the weekend before in the crossover and we just stayed aggressive and battled by staying calm. I was very proud of them.”

The end of the season is quickly approaching, meaning that the GLIAC tournament is right around the corner for the Lakers, and coach Scanlon feels confident with where are heading into it.

“We’re sitting in fifth place in the conference right now, and I think that were in a good position to get ourselves a good seed going into the conference tournament,” Coach said. “We had two five-set losses early on in the ear to Northern Michigan and then to Wayne State. Those are a couple ones that you wish you could have back, but I feel really good about the way that we’ve been playing and approaching the last part of the season.”

Next weekend, the Lakers continue their on the road journey to play against the Davenport Panthers Friday, Nov. 2. in hopes of continuing their winning streak.