HAMMOND, Ind. – 25th-ranked Michigan Tech brushed aside host Purdue Northwest in a 3-0 sweep (25-11, 25-12, 25-21) at the John Friend Court on Friday (Oct. 5). The win pushes the Huskies to 15-3 overall and 9-1 in the GLIAC.
Senior Mariah Sherman scored 10 kills in the match to become the first Husky since Aubrey Ficek in 2016 to record 1,000 kills. Sherman reached the milestone midway through the first set. This is another accomplishment for Sherman, who was named All-GLIAC First Team in 2017 and GLIAC All-Academic Excellence in 2017 and 2016.
"Mariah has been an impact player for us since she arrived at Tech," head coach Matt Jennings said of his senior captain. "She's continued to improve each season and has turned into one of the most explosive scorers in the GLIAC. She continues to play at a very high level and I know the team is working hard to make her senior season a special one."
Tech reeled off nine straight points in the opening set to pull ahead 9-1 and they never looked back. The Huskies controlled the action throughout, peppering the Pride (2-17, 0-9) backcourt with accurate shots. Tech withstood a five-point run by the Pride and eventually scored six of the last seven points to win the first set, 25-11.
Michigan Tech continued their dominance into the second set, scoring seven of the first eight points. The Huskies would go on another length run of eight unanswered points to widen their already-impressive lead over the Pride to 17-5 before a Purdue Northwest timeout. Tech scored three more points after the break, and went on to win 25-12.
The Huskies found themselves in trouble early, allowing the Pride to score six out of seven points to pull ahead for only the second time all match. The Black and Gold fought back throughout the frame, although they trailed 21-19. Following a Tech timeout, sophomore Olivia Ghormley recorded a kill that sparked a run of six unanswered points that gave the Huskies the set and the match, their fifth straight win.
Ghormley had another outstanding performance, tallying 20 kills for the third straight match and fourth in five matches. Ghormley also finished with a hitting percentage of .421, the highest of any player in the match. Fresh off being named GLIAC North Division Player of the Week and Sports Imports/AVCA Division II Player of the Week, sophomore Laura DeMarchi ended her evening with 35 assists and two service aces.
Sophomore Megan Utlak led with nine of the team's 36 digs, followed closely by sophomore Anna Jonynas (8) and freshman Grace Novotny (7). Tech totaled 6 blocks in the match, with junior Rachel Ping responsible for six assisted blocks.
Michigan Tech was superior to Purdue Northwest in all major statistical categories. They finished with more kills (45-24) and fewer errors (13-24) in the same amount of attack attempts. The Huskies also finished with a significantly higher hitting percentage (.348 - .000), assists (41-22), and digs (36-24).
The Black and Gold are back on the court again on Saturday (Oct. 6) against GLIAC foe Parkside (5-13, 3-7 GLIAC) at 2 p.m. CST. The Rangers enter Saturday's match following a 3-2 win over Northern Michigan.