HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech volleyball team defeated the Tiffin Dragons Saturday, Oct. 7. The Huskies came out hot in the first set 25-18 and dropped a tight second set 25-23. The Huskies responded for the 3-1 victory, controlling the next two sets on their way to a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory.
The Huskies have some momentum going, winning their third consecutive GLIAC matchup on Saturday. Again, the Black and Gold came out swinging, hitting at a .339 attack percentage compared to the Dragons' .242. In set one alone, the team tallied 17 kills. The Huskies recorded a match high of 75 kills and 89 digs led by Olivia Ghormley with 22 kills and Elle Heinonen with 30 digs.
"We saw them (Tiffin) rattle off four in a row before last night, at home, against pretty evenly matched teams," said Michigan Tech Head Coach Matt Jennings. "But then they go and beat Northern in five, at Northern, which is not an easy thing to do. If anything, that got our guard up a little bit more and we were ready for them. We were determined to start off well, and I think we did in that first set."
Ghormley pounded the ball in all the right spots, earning a career-high of 22 kills at .353 with only four errors. Ghormley also tacked on five digs and a block.
Outside hitter, Mariah Sherman stepped up with fifteen kills at .333. Outside hitter, MacAulay Petersen and middle blocker, Stephanie Dietrich, also picked up double-figure kills in the match. Petersen had 12 while Dietrich chipped in 10 kills. Emilia Widen, in her second career start, thrived in the middle for the Huskies, contributing nine kills and five digs.
"Offensively I think that we are continuing to get better and that's kind of fun to think about because right now we are scoring a lot of points on the offensive side of the ball," Jennings added. "Olivia was pretty automatic tonight and she had a little bit of extra pop in her swing. It was fun to watch."
Freshmen, Laura DeMarchi set up the offense with a high of 59 assists, 21 digs, while adding five kills – earning her 12th double-double of her college career. DeMarchi is leading all setters in the GLIAC in assists per set with 11.91.
The back row was solid with senior, Elle Heinonen, leading the team with 30 digs. She ranks fourth in the conference with 302 total digs and fifth in digs per set with 4.79. Freshman, Megan Utlak aided the defense with 11 digs, followed by Halie Hart (10).
"We are getting more experience," said Jennings. "Our seniors are leading us; our underclassmen are getting older and more experience as they go on and I think we are starting to play pretty good team ball."
Following the weekend's conference wins, the Huskies (6-3) are now tied for second place with Northern Mich. in the GLIAC standings.
Tech travels to Aurora, Ill. next weekend to compete in the Midwest Crossover Tournament on Friday and Saturday.