SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The No. 5 seed Michigan Tech volleyball team sees their season come to an end as they fall 3-0 (16-25, 17-25, 20-25) to No. 4 seed Lewis in the First Round of the 2018 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament inside the O'Reilly Family Event Center on the campus of Drury University. Michigan Tech ends its 2018 season with a record of 23-7.
"It's disappointing that we didn't win," said Matt Jennings following tonight's loss. "Credit to Lewis, they played a good match, but we're going to leave here with our heads high here. It was a great season, and we have a lot to be proud of."
The Huskies lone senior on the roster, All-GLIAC First Team selection Mariah Sherman, finished with 10 kills, one assist, and one block assist to close out her Michigan Tech career. Sherman finishes her career with 1,169 kills, the sixth-most in a career in program history, and 210 total blocks, and as a two-time All-GLIAC First Team selection.
"I don't have enough time to talk about Mariah [Sherman]," Jennings said of his lone senior. "She's a dynamite kid, a wonderful human being, and she's going to go on and do great things in life. We send her off with a lot of love and a big thank you for everything she's done for us in her four years here. She leaves as one of the best players we've ever had."
The Huskies opened the first set leading 3-1 before losing that lead to Lewis (26-7). The Huskies eventually retook the lead 8-7 but the Flyers went on a run of eight unanswered points to take a commanding 15-8 lead. Three straight Husky points brought the deficit to four, but Tech couldn't bridge the gap any further as Lewis pulled further ahead with four straight points. The Flyers scored four of the final five points of the frame to win 25-16, and lead 1-0 in the match.
The Black and Gold pulled ahead early in the second set, leading 3-0 before Lewis scored five of the next six points to lead 5-4. The Huskies battled and kept it to a one-score margin before Lewis broke things open with a 7-2 run to go ahead 15-10. Michigan Tech hung with Lewis throughout the action and brought themselves to within five points late, but Lewis scored the final three points of the set to win 25-17 and make it a 2-0 score in the match.
Once again, Tech jumped out to an early lead, going up 4-1 at the start of the third set, before Lewis scored three straight to tie the score at 4-4. Michigan Tech held off the Flyers for most of the early goings, leading 11-8 after three straight points before, they gave up four straight points to trail 12-11. Tech was able to tie the score at 13-13 midway through the frame, but Lewis rattled off a 6-1 run to lead 19-14 going into a Tech timeout. The Huskies were able to pull to within four points of the Flyers multiple times, but they couldn't build any momentum and were eventually defeated 25-20 in the final set, being swept for only the second time this season.
Sophomore Olivia Ghormley finished with eight kills and three digs, while junior Emilia Widen provided seven kills and an attack rating of .278. Sophomore Laura DeMarchi posted her 16th double-double of the season with 30 assists and 16 digs. Also posting double-digit totals in digs was sophomore Anna Jonynas (14) and sophomore Megan Utlak (12).
The Huskies were held to a hitting percentage of .163 with 37 kills on 123 attempts, while Lewis was able to achieve a .304 hitting percentage with 49 kills on 125 attacks.
The Huskies end their season with the most wins in a single season since 1997, and have made the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season and the 10th time in program history. The Huskies brought home two GLIAC award winners in Ghormley (Attacker of the Year) and DeMarchi (Setter of the Year). Additionally, Ghormley, DeMarchi, and Sherman were all named All-GLIAC First Team, while Utlak received All-GLIAC Honorable Mention recognition.