- Coach Jennings Post-Match Interview vs. St. Cloud State
- Coach Jennings Post-Match Interview vs. Minnesota-Crookston
MARQUETTE, Mich. – Michigan Tech volleyball ended their weekend at the NMU Wildcat Open with a five-set loss to St. Cloud State before a three-set victory over Minnesota Crookston. After the day's competition, the Huskies see their record stand at 6-2.
VS. ST. CLOUD STATE
Michigan Tech led 2-1 going into the fourth set, but errors proved fatal as the Huskies were defeated, 3-2 (17-25, 25-14, 25-18, 18-25, 8-15), against St. Cloud State. Tech was dominant in the second and third sets, limiting them to a .097 attack rating and only allowed 20 kills across both sets. However, St. Cloud State rallied in the fourth set and maintained momentum into the final set to take the match.
Junior Emilia Widen finished with the highest individual attacking efficiency rating for Michigan Tech, scoring on nine of her 18 attempts with only two errors for a rating of .389. Sophomore Olivia Ghormley finished as the leading Tech player in kills with 15, followed by senior Mariah Sherman with 10. Sophomore Laura DeMarchi recorded 41 assists in the defeat.
Michigan Tech had three players finish in double-digit figures in digs. Sophomore Megan Utlak recorded 14 digs, followed by DeMarchi with 13, and sophomore Anna Jonynas with 12. Of the team's six combined assisted blocks, Widen was responsible for three of them.
VS. MINNESOTA CROOKSTON
Michigan Tech ended their day with a satisfying 3-0 win (25-16, 25-16, 25-11) over Minnesota Crookston. Tech's non-conference schedule comes to a close until the Midwest Regional Crossover on October 12-13 in Indianapolis.
"It was really nice to see our team bounce back after a pretty tough loss the match before that," said head coach Matt Jennings. "The way we responded after the loss to St. Cloud with the performance against Crookston was impressive."
The Huskies achieved an attack efficiency rating of .350, hitting on 54 of their 120 attempts while only committing 12 errors. Comparatively, Minnesota Crookston was limited to a paltry .058 attack rating, hitting on just 24 of their 103 attack attempts and committing 18 errors. In the second and third sets, the Huskies limited Crookston to a hitting percentage of .000.
"Offensively, we were aggressive and responsible with the ball," Jennings added. "I thought our offense was pretty dominant, very overwhelming for them. We gave them a hard time putting together any kind of attack in transition. I think our offense did a good job putting them back on their heels, and forcing them either into hitting errors or in positions where they couldn't put the ball away. On top of that, I thought we played a very clean game defensively. We're happy with both the offensive and defensive effort."
Tech saw four of their players hit over .250 in efficiency, with three achieving over .300 percent. Leading the way was sophomore Anna Jonynas with an attack efficiency of .444 after recording 14 kills on 27 attempts with only two errors. Sophomore Olivia Ghormley posted a .317 percentage with 16 kills on 41 attacks and just three errors, and senior Mariah Sherman ended the match with nine kills on 19 attacks with three errors for a .316 rating.
"After losing to St. Cloud, we came in with a stronger mind-set that we need to take care of business," said Sherman. "We tried to pick up our energy and stay confident the entire game, and I think we did just that."
Sophomore Laura DeMarchi tallied 29 assists against the Golden Eagles, and sophomore Mariel Leibovitz recorded 12 in just one set of action. DeMarchi also recorded two of the team's four service aces in the match. Juniors Rachel Ping and Emilia Widen both added five kills from the middle blocker position.
On the defensive side, the Huskies tallied four team blocks in the match, with Ping being apart of three blocks. Sophomore Megan Utlak led all players with 16 digs, while freshmen Grace Novotny and Maggie Petersen tallied 11 and 10 digs, respectively.
For their performances, Ghormley and Sherman were both named to the Wildcat Open All-Tournament Team. Sherman totaled 41 kills on 79 with 13 errors for an attack percentage of .354, and Ghormley recorded a .215 attack rating on 59 kills from 172 attempts with 22 errors, along with 10 digs and four block assists.
The Huskies open GLIAC competition with three consecutive road games. The Huskies take on Saginaw Valley State on September 7, followed by a match against Lake Superior State the following day, and an early affair with U.P. rivals Northern Michigan on September 11. The first home match of 2018 for the Huskies takes place on September 14 against Northwood.