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

GV Volleyball makes it six straight wins, taking down three teams in one week

Courtesy GVSU Athletics

The first of three wins for the final week of September’s action for the Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball team (12-1) began at home as the Fieldhouse Arena was packed with their biggest crowd of the year (784 people), a cross-town rivalry match against the Davenport University Panthers (7-8).

Feeding off the energy of the home crowd, the Lakers came out with an early 6-1 lead in the first set, ultimately taking it 25-14, as GVSU put out a dominant showing throughout the game in a 3-0 victory.

The second set was a tug-of-war battle for the lead before the Lakers pulled away late. With 10 consecutive lead changes to open the set, neither team was taking the momentum. This changed when Lakers’ freshman Kate Goudreau had a huge kill as GVSU took an 11-9 lead causing a huge 12-4 Lakers’ run to help win the second set 25-18. 

The momentum was all in GVSU’s favor as they dominated their final set of the match 25-9 before heading on the road to take on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers (9-6) and the Purdue University Northwest Pride (9-6). Both road games served as far-stiffer competition than the Panthers.

The Lakers’ head coach Jason Johnson and his team came in anticipating stiff competition on the road, rising to the occasion.

“Third weekend in a row, we knew we were going to have to execute at a high level playing against a good team that has had some success,” Johnson said. “We got a little ugly with the way we played, but we found ways to score points and get the victories.”

The Rangers lost in a 3-0 sweep against the Lakers, but only by a combined 10 points. They scored at least 21 points in every set. The defense and serving of Parkside kept them in the game, although they failed to take a set.

“It was knowing the personnel that they had. They are a much more athletic team this year than what has been in years past,” Johnson said.

Game two of the week was led by Lakers’ junior Jordyn Gates and redshirt freshman Brianna Stawski. Gates put up 13 kills, 18 assists and three blocks, as Stawski had nine kills and three blocks of her own. 

GVSU then headed to Hammond, Ind. to take on the Pride, which turned out to be one of their toughest matches of the season. After jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead, the win was narrowly in reach but almost slipped away. The Lakers lost set number three 25-19 and then failed to close out set four after going up 22-17, ultimately losing it 27-25. Coming out determined in the fifth and final set, GVSU took a 9-3 lead, holding on the rest of the way to win 15-11.

Gates put up another triple-double for the Lakers in a game where they needed it the most. With 22 kills, 28 assists and 12 digs, Gates had a huge hand in hanging onto a nail-biting victory.

“It’s so exciting. She’s one of the many talented players on the team. It makes me so excited that we have so many options, especially offensively,” said Lakers’ captain and senior blocker Sarah Wight.

Her sister, graduate senior Madison Gates, also played a key role with a crucial effort on defense, leading the team with 16 digs against the Pride.

The Lakers return home on Friday, Oct. 6 to take on the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals at 6 p.m. in Allendale, Mich. at the Fieldhouse Arena. Although the Cardinals have struggled mightily this season at 2-13 and 0-7 in conference play. The Lakers try to approach each game with the same amount of commitment.

“Something that we always try to talk about before games is playing at our level no matter who we’re playing,” Wight said.

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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