PREVIEW: Volleyball wraps up home schedule

PREVIEW: Volleyball wraps up home schedule
FERRIS STATE & NORTHWOOD
Date Friday, Nov. 8 | Saturday, Nov. 9
Location SDC Gym (Houghton, Mich.)
Radio Ferris State | Northwood
Video Stream Ferris State | Northwood
Live Stats Ferris State | Northwood
GLIAC VB GLIAC Standings
Facebook Facebook.com/MichiganTechWVB
Twitter Twitter.com/mtuwvb
Instagram Instagram.com/mtuwvb

 

THIS WEEK'S MATCHES
• Michigan Tech returns home for the final time in the regular season this weekend, hosting No. 19 Ferris State Friday and Northwood Saturday for Senior Day.
• First serve Friday is at 5 p.m. against the Bulldogs. Saturday's match against the Timberwolves starts at 3 p.m.
• Kristine Fink, Courtney Kurkie, Rachel Ping, and Emilia Widen will be honored before Saturday's match against the Timberwolves.
• The Huskies are 19-4 overall and 11-1 in the GLIAC. Tech is on top of the GLIAC Standings with a half-game lead over Ferris State

ON THE RADIO
• 107.3 FM and 920 AM WMPL will broadcast both volleyball matches this weekend. Fans can listen live on the radio at 107.3 FM or 920 AM, online at wmpl920.com or Pasty.com, or by using your favorite radio streaming app.
• Mitch Lake will call all the action from the SDC Gym.

AVCA RANKING
• Michigan Tech is ranked No. 20 in this week's AVCA Coaches' Top 25 Poll, jumping one spot from last week.
• Tech was No. 21 last week, No. 22 on October 21, No. 24 on October 15, No. 21 on September 9, and has received votes in every other poll this season.
• The No. 20 ranking is the highest since the preseason poll in 1998 and the highest regular-season ranking since 1996.
• Tech was ranked in five polls in 2018. The Black and Gold spent two weeks at No. 24 and three at No. 25 last season.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
• FSU is 19-5 overall and 11-2 in the GLIAC and ranked No. 19 in this week's AVCA Top 25 Poll. The GLIAC losses are to Saginaw Valley State and Ashland. Kira Merkle is second in the GLIAC in hitting percentage (.337), Allyson Cappel is third in the conference with 3.97 kills per set, Maeve Grimes ranks third in the league with 10.9 assists per set.
• Northwood is 5-19 overall and 5-8 in the GLIAC. The Timberwolves have lost 11 of their last 12. Hanna Siegel leads the GLIAC in hitting percentage (.342). Carson Rutherford leads a balanced offense with 2.35 kills per set. Lauren Bell averages 3.52 digs per set to lead the team.

FIRST MEETINGS
• Ferris State swept Tech 3-0 on October 5 in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs won 25-21, 25-21, and 25-18. Olivia Ghormley had 11 kills and 10 digs. Anna Jonynas tallied 12 digs and nine kills. Laura De Marchi tallied 31 assists and 10 digs. Megan Utlak registered 14 digs.
• Tech came back for a 3-1 victory at Northwood on October 4 in Midland. The Huskies won 22-25, 25-21, 25-21, and 25-17. Ghormley and MacAulay Petersen led the team with 17 kills. Rachel Ping added 10 kills. De Marchi piled up 55 assists and Utlak led with 18 digs.

REGIONAL RANKINGS
• The NCAA released its first regional rankings of the 2019 season and Michigan Tech is ranked No. 4 in the Midwest Region.
• Tech holds an 18-3 record against in-region opponents. Teams ahead of the Huskies in the regional rankings are Lewis (22-4), Hillsdale (19-3), and Missouri-St. Louis (23-3).

STATISTICAL RANKINGS
• Tech leads the GLIAC in hitting percentage (.258) and assists per set (13.29) and is second in kills per set (14.13)
• The Huskies rank third in the league in digs per set (17.47) and opponent hitting percentage (.163)
Laura De Marchi is fourth nationally in career assists per set (11.75) and fifth amongst setters in all three divisions
Olivia Ghormley is fifth nationally in career kills per set (3.8)
• De Marchi leads the GLIAC in assists per set (11.82), ranking sixth in the nation
• Ghormley leads the GLIAC in kills per set (4.35), ranking fifth in the nation
• Ghormley leads the GLIAC in points per set (4.75)
Megan Utlak is third in the GLIAC in digs per set (4.52)
Anna Jonynas is fourth in the GLIAC in aces per set (0.33)
Emilia Widen is fifth in the GLIAC in hitting percentage (.314)

SWEEPING THE COMPETITION
• Tech has 13 3-0 sweeps this season and is currently on a four-match sweep streak.
• The Huskies had six straight sweeps to begin the 2015 season and finished the season with 14.
• Tech had 12 sweeps in each of the last two seasons.

AT HOME
• The Huskies are 8-1 at the SDC Gym this season with seven of the eight wins being sweeps. The lone loss was to current No. 22 Upper Iowa in the Keweenaw Classic.
• Tech finished 7-1 at home in 2018.

MILESTONES THIS SEASON
• Junior Olivia Ghormley recorded her 1,000th career kill on September 28 against Lake Superior State at the SDC Gym.
• Junior Laura De Marchi tallied her 3,000th career assist on October 4 at Northwood.
• Junior Megan Utlak hit the 1,000-dig mark for her career on October 18 against Drury at the Crossover.

UPCOMING MILESTONES
• Junior Anna Jonynas is also closing in on 1,000 digs and is currently at 994
• Junior MacAulay Petersen has 948.5 career points and 898 career kills

LAST WEEK
• Tech won its eighth in a row and picked up its fourth straight sweep with a victory at Northern Michigan Saturday.
• The Huskies won 27-25, 25-20, and 25-21 at Vandament Arena.
MacAulay Petersen and Olivia Ghormley led the Huskies with 11 kills. Laura De Marchi had a double-double with 34 assists and 17 digs. Megan Utlak also hit double figures with 15 digs.
• The Huskies have now won six straight matches over their rivals for the longest win streak in series history. Tech also swept the Wildcats twice in the regular season for the second year in a row.

GLIAC NORTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Olivia Ghormley – October 21
Olivia Ghormley – October 14
Olivia Ghormley – September 30
Laura De Marchi – September 23
Olivia Ghormley – September 9

NUMBERS TO KNOW
• The 6-0 GLIAC start was the best for the Huskies in over 20 years
• Tech is 25-0 in the GLIAC against teams other than Ferris since the start of last season
• The Huskies are 37-7 in conference play since the start of 2017 with losses only to Ferris State, Grand Valley State, and Northern Michigan.
• Tech is 1-4 versus the current top 25. The Huskies defeated Southwest Minnesota State and fell against Upper Iowa, St. Cloud State, Minnesota Duluth, and Ferris State.
• Tech is 5-1 against opponents in neutral site matches.
• The Huskies went 8-3 against its nonconference opponents.
• The Huskies are 6-2 in road matches so far this season.

COACH JENNINGS
• Head coach Matt Jennings enters his eighth season and has won 130 matches overall.
• Under Jennings, the Huskies have gone from the last place in the conference to nationally ranked and in the postseason.
• Jennings has coached the Huskies to back to NCAA tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018.
• He was named the GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2017 and led the team to a program-record 10 straight wins to start the 2016 season.

CROSSOVER ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Laura De Marchi and Olivia Ghormley were named to the 12th annual Midwest Region Crossover All-Tournament Team for the second year in a row. Of 41 teams at the Crossover, Tech was the only team with two players honored.
• De Marchi set up the Tech offense with 139 assists, averaging 12.64 per set. She added 30 digs, averaging 2.73 per set, six kills, and five blocks.
• Ghormley led Tech with 58 kills on the weekend, averaging 5.27 per set. She hit .329 with only 12 errors on 140 attempts while adding 28 digs, four service aces, and two block assists.

PRESEASON GLIAC POLL
• In the 2019 Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Huskies were second in the North Division with 57 points, including four first-place votes.
• Ferris State (61) was the top pick after its fifth straight GLIAC Championship last year. Saginaw Valley State (44), Northern Michigan (33), Northwood (22), and Lake Superior State (14) round out the North.
• Ashland (57) and Wayne State (43) were selected to lead the South Division followed by Grand Valley State (41), Davenport (39), Parkside (24), and Purdue Northwest (12).

LAST SEASON
The Huskies are coming off back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament and three straight second-place finishes in the GLIAC North Division. Tech has won 20 matches in back-to-back season, including the fourth-highest win total and third-fewest losses in a single-season with a 23-7 record in 2018. The Huskies also posted a mark of 14-2 in the GLIAC, the second most conference wins in program history, and the second-highest winning percentage against GLIAC competition in team history (.875).

AVCA ALL-AMERICANS
Outside hitter Olivia Ghormley (Third Team) and junior setter Laura De Marchi (Honorable Mention) were AVCA All-Americans a year ago. Both earned major league awards as Ghormley was the GLIAC Attacker of the Year and De Marchi the GLIAC Setter of the Year for the second straight season. Ghormley tallied 518 kills with an average of 4.58 per set to lead the GLIAC and rank sixth in the nation. De Marchi racked up 1,254 assists and averaged 11.72 per set to lead the league. 

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
• The regular season wraps up with a road trip to Lake Superior State (Nov. 15) and Saginaw Valley State (Nov. 16) next weekend.
• The GLIAC Tournament is November 20-23.
• The NCAA Regional is December 5-7.