Husky volleyball earns emotional split

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mjsteger

Laura DeMarchi cheers for her team

The Husky volleyball team (18-8, 12-4 GLIAC) earned a tough split on the weekend to finish out the regular season. They defeated the Northwood Timberwolves (14-13, 6-10 GLIAC) Friday by a score of 3-0, but lost to the 17th ranked Ferris State Bulldogs (20-7, 13-3 GLIAC) on senior night, Saturday 3-1.

Friday, Nov. 10, was the night of comebacks for the Huskies, as Northwood gained an early 9-2 lead on a service ace in the first set. Northwood increased their lead to 20-14, but a service error on Northwood was the start of a five-point run by Tech to pull within one 20-19. A kill by the Timberwolves gave Northwood the 23-21 lead, but Tech finished out the set on a four-point run. Senior Stephanie Dietrich delivered the final kill to the Timberwolves to win the first set 25-23.

Northwood gained the 17-11 advantage on a ball handling error on Tech. However, three straight attack errors on the Timberwolves pulled Tech within three 18-15. The Timberwolves answered with a four-point run to take a 22-15 lead on a service ace. A kill by Northwood made it set-point as their lead was 24-18. However, seven straight points by Tech gave the Huskies the 25-24 lead. Northwood tied it up at 25 on a kill, but a kill by Junior Mariah Sherman and an attack error on the Timberwolves gave set two to Tech 27-25.

Northwood went on an 8-1 run to take the 9-6 lead. Freshman Laura DeMarchi tied it up at nine apiece, before both teams went on a point-for-point battle, to be tied at 13. An attack error on the Huskies gave the Timberwolves the 19-17 lead. Tech and Northwood each had four-point runs to make it 23-21 NU. Kills by DeMarchi and Dietrich tied it up at 23. Both teams traded point-for-point until Ghormley took charge delivering a kill and a service ace to win the set 30-28.

Sophomore MacAulay Petersen paced the Huskies with 12 kills, followed closely by Sherman with 11. Senior Elle Heinonen led the Huskies with 15 digs, while Ghormley had the sole block for the Huskies. The Huskies had eight service aces led by DeMarchi and Freshman Anna Jonyas each with three.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, Tech started out the first set strong as they gained a 19-9 lead. A kill by the Bulldogs made it 20-11 MTU, but a 5-1 run, ending with an enormous kill by Dietrich gave set one to Tech 25-12.

Set two saw Tech have the lead for most of the set until Ferris tied it up at 19, which was the start of a seven-point run by the Bulldogs to win set two on an attack error, 25-19.

Both teams went back and forth in the third set, eventually being tied up at 12 apiece. Ferris took the 19-16 lead, but a kill by Dietrich, two kills by Sherman, and a service ace by Freshman Megan Utlak gave the Huskies the 20-19 lead. A kill by Senior Lauren Emmert tied it up at 24. However, two straight kills by Ferris gave set three to Ferris 26-24.

Tech took the early 7-2 lead in the fourth set, but Ferris came back to tie it up at nine each and continued to roll on as they went up 18-14. Tech battled back to tie it up at 20, forcing Ferris to take a timeout. Set point for the Huskies after an attack error made it 25-24 MTU, but three straight points by Ferris and the match fell in favor of the Bulldogs.

Petersen led the Huskies with 17 kills on the day. Four different Huskies were in double digits with digs, paced by Heinonen with 23. Ghormley and Dietrich each had a block for Tech, while the Huskies had five service aces led by DeMarchi with two.

“It stings a little bit any time you have that much on the line, it doesn’t feel good when you lose it,” said Tech head coach Matt Jennings. “The team played hard, and we played well for the majority of the match, particularly in the first set. Even the three that we dropped – two, three and four, I thought they were clearly competitive, both two-point matches with leads for both teams. I think you can make the argument that tonight was the two best teams in the conference playing and I’m proud of that and I’m proud of the way the girls fought.”

The third-seeded Huskies will take part in the GLIAC conference tournament as they play host to the sixth-seeded Tiffin Dragons (20-12, 10-6 GLIAC) on Wednesday the 15th at 6 p.m. in the SDC wood gym. The Dragons are on a six-match winning streak, as they defeated the Ashland Eagles 3-0. The Huskies defeated the Dragons earlier this year 3-1 at home.