BAY CITY, Mich. – Michigan Tech head coach Matt Jennings was named the 2017 GLIAC Volleyball Coach of the Year, Laura DeMarchi was named GLIAC Freshman of the Year, Setter of the Year, and to the All-GLIAC First Team along with teammate Mariah Sherman. MacAulay Petersen earned All-GLIAC Second Team honors, and Elle Heinonen was GLIAC Honorable Mention.
Jennings is in his sixth season as head coach of the Huskies. He is the third Tech volleyball coach to earn the honor after leading his team to a tie for second place in the GLIAC standings and to their third straight GLIAC Tournament appearance. Tech finished 18-9 in the regular season and won nine of its final 10 conference matches. Tech leads the GLIAC in kills per set, hitting percentage, and assists per set, and is second in the league in service aces per set, digs per set, and points per set. Jennings has won 88 matches as the leader of the Huskies, including 54 over the last three seasons. Mary Kaminski was the last Tech coach to be named GLIAC Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994.
DeMarchi, a native of Milan, Italy, was the ignition to the Huskies offense this season. To begin her college volleyball career, DeMarchi started 26-of-28 matches, compiling 1,100 assists. The setter averaged 11.96 assists per set overall, ranking seventh in the country. Her 12.45 assist per set average in GLIAC matches was tops in the conference. She also leads the GLIAC in service aces per set at 0.38. DeMarchi has 282 digs under her belt, 28 blocks, and 63 kills with a .361 attack percentage. She has posted more than 40 assists in 15 matches and has tallied 19 double-doubles. She had a season-high 59 assists twice in a 3-1 win versus Tiffin (Oct. 7) and a 3-2 win at Northern Michigan (Nov. 4). She also posted a high of 21 digs in the win over the Dragons. DeMarchi was named to the Hillsdale All-Tournament Team as well as the Midwest Region Crossover All-Tournament Team.
Sherman, a junior outside hitter from Midland, Michigan, is second on the team with 286 kills this season, averaging 2.98 kills per set. She had an attack percentage of .307 and contributed 316.5 points. Sherman was also third on the team with 61 total blocks. She had a season-high 18 kills in a 3-2 win at Northern Michigan on November 4 and eight block assists in a five-set win over St. Cloud State on September 18. She hit double figures in kills 16 times this season.
Petersen of Paw Paw, Michigan is a sophomore outside hitter. She has led the Huskies in kills all season and ranks fifth in the GLIAC in overall kills (340) and kills per set (3.47). Petersen also leads the team with 351.5 points to rank ninth in the GLIAC and seventh in the conference in points per set (3.6). She is a .253 career hitter, has recorded 10 or more kills in 22 matches, and has tallied 20 blocks. Petersen was named the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week on October 2 and to the Keweenaw Classic All-Tournament Team.
Heinonen is a senior defensive specialist from Delano, Minnesota. She is the team leader in digs with 511, ranking third in the league. The team captain's 5.01 digs per set average is second in the GLIAC. Heinonen also ranks third on the team with 23 services aces. She had double digit digs in 25-of-28 matches and had at least 20 digs 13 times. She tallied a season-high 30 digs in a 3-1 win versus Tiffin on October 7.
The No. 3 seeded Huskies play tonight against the No. 2 Northern Michigan Wildcats in the semifinal round of the 2017 GLIAC Tournament. The Huskies have a 19-9 overall record and a 12-4 mark in the GLIAC. This is the third straight season Tech has qualified for the tournament and the fourth time ever the Huskies have made a semifinalist tournament appearance.