HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech Huskies volleyball team wrapped up their final regular season Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match in the SDC Varsity Gym Saturday, Nov. 11 in a 3-1 heartbreaker vs. the Ferris State Bulldogs. The Huskies honored seniors Elle Heinonen, Halie Hart, Lauren Emmert and Stephanie Dietrich to celebrate Senior Night. Tech (12-4 GLIAC) dropped to a tie for second in the league's standing with Northern Michigan (12-4 GLIAC).
Though the Huskies wrapped up their final regular season game, they will continue to contest in the 2017 GLIAC Volleyball Tournament as they host a quarterfinal match inside the SDC Varsity Gym. The Huskies have confirmed a No. 3 seed and will face the No. 6 Tiffin Dragons, Wednesday Nov. 15 at 6 p.m.
"It stings a little bit anytime you have that much on the line, it doesn't feel good when you lose it," said Tech head coach Matt Jennings. "The team played hard, and we played well for the majority of the match, particularly in the first set. Even the three that we dropped – two, three and four, I thought they were clearly competitive, both two point matches with leads for both teams. I think you can make the argument that tonight was the two best teams in the conference playing and I'm proud of that and I'm proud of the way the girls fought."
The Black and Gold came out to a hot start in set one, leading the (13-3 GLIAC) Bulldogs 4-0. Halie Hart made some key serves to force the Bulldogs out of system. With the Huskies ahead 16-5, the Bulldogs fought hard to retaliate but ultimately the Huskies' strong blocks held them back to 12 points. Tech tallied nine blocks as a team in set one and came out victorious 25-12.
A block from Olivia Ghormley and Stephanie Dietrich got the Huskies rolling into set two. Ferris reset and matched Tech point for point with long rallies. MacAulay Petersen positioned Tech ahead 7-5 with two big kills. The teams met again at 19-19, but Ferris pulled ahead with the win 25-19.
Several lead changes and tie breaking points later, Ferris captured set three 26-24. The Huskies were relentless to win back the fourth to stretch the match to five, but came up short. Both teams were tied in the fourth set 24-24, and 25-25, but FSU had two critical attacks that gave them the match's winnings edge 27-25.
"Both teams were making big runs of points there at different times in each set," Jennings added. "But in those last two sets, those runs ended against us. I give Ferris credit; there's a reason they continue to be the top in our league and I credit them for doing that again this year. For our team to come as far as have and to battle the way we have, and to know we at least get one more home game here next week, that's really exciting."
The Huskies were efficient on the net tallying 20 blocks as a team, seven of which were made by senior middle blocker Stephanie Dietrich. Dietrich also chipped in nine kills.
Sophomore, MacAulay Petersen, was clutch offensively, recording 17 of the Huskies 54 kills and added a pair of blocks. Olivia Ghormley stepped in for 11 kills and racked up 4 blocks. Mariah Sherman had nine kills and four blocks and Lauren Emmert tallied eight kills, four blocks and five digs.
Laura DeMarchi set MTU's offense with 45 assists and 10 digs.
"At this time of season there is no consolation; it's you win and advance, win and advance, so that's our goal," said Jennings. "We have to get back to playing our game and controlling the ball, playing fast and continuing the blocking. I think the blocking piece has been nice to see these last two matches."