BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Michigan Tech volleyball team fell 3-0 to Ferris State in the 2017 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Championship match Sunday (Nov. 19) inside FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena. Senior middle blocker Lauren Emmert and sophomore outside hitter MacAulay Petersen were named to All-Tournament Team.
"We played our hearts out and stuck together that whole match," said Tech head coach Matt Jennings. "We fell short to a great team that's led by a great coach. Both teams fought hard and should be proud of the way that match was played."
The No. 3 seeded Huskies fell to the GLIAC's top-seed Ferris State with scores 25-20, 25-23, and 27-25. FSU has earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and there is still a chance Tech could make its way into the tournament with an at large bid.
With this loss, Tech dropped to 20-10 overall on the season and Ferris improved to 23-7. Ferris became the first team in GLIAC history to win four-straight conference championship tournament titles. The Huskies last GLIAC Championship appearance was in 1996 as runner-up and in 1994 as tournament champions.
The Huskies fought long rallies against the Bulldogs in the opening set and tied it seven times. The Bulldogs capitalized on Tech's attack errors and jumped ahead to win 25-20.
Tech responded in set two, gaining a three-point advantage early on. MacAulay Petersen had three big swings to position the Huskies in front of the Bulldogs 17-13. Ferris fired back and climbed ahead to lead 21-17. A kill from FSU's Allyson Cappel closed the set 25-23 in favor of the home team.
Laura DeMarchi's serving streak, three big kills from Mariah Sherman, and a clutch kill from Petersen kept the Huskies momentum rolling in the final set to tie up the match 19-19. Again, Ferris challenged the Huskies point for point. Battling to the bitter end, the Huskies fell 27-25 in the final set.
Sherman led the Huskies with a match-high 18 kills and recorded a pair of blocks. Petersen, Tech's point leader all season, was held to eight kills. Petersen also chipped in seven digs and earned All-Tournament Team Honors for her performance in all three tournament matches, compiling 34 total kills.
Stephanie Dietrich had five essential kills to add to the team's total of 38 and also added one block. Freshman Olivia Ghormley and Emmert each added four kills. Emmert also tallied four digs, clinched a solo block, and a pair of block assists. Emmert recorded seven blocks on NMU Saturday (Nov. 18) and had a match-high of 13 kills against Tiffin Wednesday (Nov. 15) to earn her spot on the All-Tournament Team.
Senior Elle Heinonen posted another 20 dig match this season against FSU, followed by DeMarchi with 19 digs and 33 assists to setup the Black and Gold offense. Halie Hart had nine digs, and Anna Jonynas totaled seven digs.
"It's been an emotional couple of weeks for us as we've gone on this run," said Jennings. "Two big wins over Northern, two title matches, and two postseason wins, including one at home. It's been a lot of fun. This group is a special bunch of Huskies, and I am honored to be their coach. We still have an outside chance of getting a bid into the NCAA regional, but if we don't get in and this was our last match, we can keep our heads high and and we should be proud of the way we fought here today and all-season long."
Selections for the 2017 NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Championship will be announced at 7:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 20) on NCAA.com.