HILLSDALE, Mich. – The Michigan Tech Volleyball Team split a pair of matches at the Hillsdale Tournament in the Potter Arena Saturday (Sept. 2). The Huskies swept Glenville St. 3-0 (25-15, 25-10, 25-13) and battled Findlay to the fifth set where Findlay took the win 15-12 in an exciting match.
Michigan Tech 3, Glenville 0
Glenville St. couldn't match up to the Huskies this morning, Tech executed a clean 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-10, 25-13) to establish their second consecutive win of the tournament.
"Playing an unfamiliar team on the front end of back to back matches can be difficult sometimes and we were looking to come out strong and take control of the match right away," said Michigan Tech head coach Matt Jennings. "We did just that and I was happy with the consistency we played with during all three sets."
"Mariel stepped in and ran the offense and did a good job moving the ball around. Anna took advantage of her opportunity to play six rotations and dominated our point scoring."
Mariel Leibovitz had a solid performance, setting up the Huskies with 31 assists, seven digs and a serving ace.
The Black and Gold hit .400 and were led offensively by Tech freshmen, Anna Jonynas (13 kills). Jonynas cleared three aces, picked up nine digs and totaled 16.5 points. Olivia Ghormley followed behind Jonynas in points, hitting .583 for seven kills with zero errors. Rachel Ping was .273 on five kills and had two blocks.
Findlay 3, Michigan Tech 2
Findlay slid past Michigan Tech in the fifth set, 15-12 for the match win. Tech averaged more kills, points, digs and aces than Findlay.
"This was, without a doubt, the best match of the whole tournament," added Jennings. "We always go toe to toe with Findlay, who is one of the best teams in the region every year and I think they are even better this season. Our systems are very similar and when both teams get going, it's a really fast and aggressive match, which is what we saw again today.
Lauren Emmert led the team in points (17), blocks (3) and hitting percentage (.435). Olivia Ghormley took first in kills with double digits (16 kills), followed by four teammates who tapped into double digits, MacAulay Petersen (15 kills), Lauren Emmert (13 kills), Stephanie Dietrich (10 kills) and Mariah Sherman (10 kills). Dietrich hit .400 and claimed five successful blocks, Sherman added four blocks.
"On opening weekend, we were hoping to establish our system and look to build on the team chemistry we've seen so far in preseason," said Jennings. "Aside from a few first match jitters on Thursday, you wouldn't know that we started four freshmen, one of whom was running the offense for the first time. Laura turned a lot of heads this weekend, not only her setting, but poise and court presence as well, which is promising.
"Our seniors were strong and gave us the leadership we've come to expect from those four. If we continue to improve from here, we have a lot to be excited about with this group. I think the girls are excited to come home and play in front of our fans this weekend."
The Huskies freshmen had standout matches this weekend. DeMarchi had 136 assists, 44 digs and six aces in three matches – all three double doubles. She had the third most digs while even sitting out a match. Ghormley hit .245, leading all pin hitters and had 41 kills. She managed second behind veteran Petersen. Jonynas took second on the weekend in total digs and in aces (5).
Tech veteran, Petersen, led in total kills even while not playing in the Glenville St. game (43 kills). Heinonen was the defensive powerhouse with 69 digs in four matches. Emmert finished with 13 blocks in three matches played and Dietrich had 11 blocks and hit highest amongst the primary attackers (.246).
The Huskies host the Keweenaw Classic this weekend beginning Thursday, Sept. 7. Mtches will continue Sept. 8-9 in the SDC Varsity Gym and the Multipurpose Gym. Friday's match, Tech vs. Mary, is set for 6:30 p.m.