The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

On the back of Jordyn Gates, GV volleyball takes home two big wins on road trip

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

After their first loss of the season, a 3-0 sweep at Michigan Technological University, the Grand Valley State University Lakers’ women’s volleyball has won three straight games.

The Lakers now sit at a record of 9-1 through the first 10 contests of the season off the back of junior setter Jordyn Gates’ dominant play. 

GVSU took on the Wayne State University Warriors (3-9) on Friday, Sept. 22 and the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals (2-10) the following day, winning both games in a combined seven sets.

“Two good wins on the weekend. I think we still have a lot of room for improvement,” said Lakers’ head coach Jason Johnson. “Any time you get on the road playing in conference and get two wins it’s a good weekend.” 

Following their 3-0 sweep of the Warriors, the Lakers traveled up to Saginaw, Mich. to take on an SVSU team that was reeling after losing eight straight games. However, things would not get better for the Cardinals.

After dropping their first set of the match 25-22 to the Cardinals, the Lakers took the final three in relatively close fashion with sets of 25-19, 25-18, and 25-20. Although the Lakers won three straight sets to take the game 3-1, SVSU showed up to play.

“I think we were hoping to be a little cleaner with our offense. Saginaw is a tough team. They’re scrappy, they play hard, they keep balls in front of them and they force you to play extra points. It forced us to have to lean a little heavier on our block, our serving and our defense,” Johnson said.

Leading the way for GVSU was Gates, who put up a triple-double against the Cardinals, her third of the season. With a stellar 15 kills, 30 assists and 16 digs, she led the team in all three categories.

Gates is averaging an impressive 11.4 kills per game and 17.5 assists per game on the season.

“Offensively there’s just been a lot of maturity and growth over the last 6-8 months. I think the way we run our offense allows her a lot of opportunities, and she’s one of our top point scorers. We’re able to go to her in crunch situations and find ways to get kills and points on the board,” Johnson said.

GVSU needed every bit of Gates’ performance as the offense struggled at times.

“We’re super proud of her, she’s doing a great job as a setter, defender, blocker and as a hitter,” said senior setter Rachel Jacquay, who led the team during the weekend with 40 total assists.

With the two wins, GVSU heads home at 9-1 to play a 5-7 Davenport University Panthers team, located in Kent County, Mich., that they expect to give a tough fight.

“They’re very similar to a Saginaw team where they are very well coached. They are very good defensively,” Johnson said. “I anticipate that it is going to have to be the same thing where there are a lot of long points, probably longer sets. Excited to play against them, I think it always brings out the best in us.” 

According to Jacquay, GVSU played Davenport in Allendale for a preseason tournament that the team hosted.  The cross-town rival that the Lakers will face at the Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale, Mich. at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Nelson Hubbell
Nelson Hubbell, Sports Editor
Nelson Hubbell is the Sports Editor for the Lanthorn for the 2023-2024 school year. A senior at Grand Valley State University, before his time with the Lanthorn, he was a staff writer for The Collegiate Live, Grand Rapids Community College's student publication where he was a student for two years. He worked for a restaurant for four and a half years in Holland, Mich. called Hops at 84 East, a place he holds close to his heart. During his time there he was a manager for roughly two years. He loves camping, hiking and being outside in general. He is super passionate about football, basketball, baseball and hockey and loves all things sports and competition. Nelson will be pursuing a career in sportscasting as a play-by-play broadcaster and or as an analyst after his time at GVSU. Graduating Winter 2024 Major: Multimedia Journalism