Nov. 14, 2012
Allendale, Mich. - For the second time in five days, Grand Valley State and Hillsdale met in the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena. And for the second time in five days, GVSU was victorious over the visiting Chargers, defeating Hillsdale in the GLIAC Tournament quarterfinals, 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-21). Grand Valley State advances to the GLIAC Tournament semifinals at Northwood this weekend (Nov. 17-18).
The Lakers dropped the first set to Hillsdale in Saturday's (Nov. 10) match, but won the next three sets in dominating fashion. GVSU hit a season-high .389 on Saturday. In Wednesday night's GLIAC Tournament victory, the Lakers hit .304 and committed only 12 hitting errors in recording its 15th sweep of the year.
With the victory, Grand Valley State is 24-6 on the season, while Hillsdale falls to 15-15 overall. The Lakers were the #3 seed entering the tournament, while the Chargers were the #6 seed.
In other GLIAC Tournament action, #1 Northwood defeated #8 Findlay (3-1), #7 Wayne State upended #2 Ferris State (3-2), and #4 Ashland came back to win the last three sets in a 3-2 win over #5 Northern Michigan.
Grand Valley State and Wayne State will square off on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. In the only meeting this season between the schools, the Lakers easily handled WSU by a 3-0 sweep in Detroit on Oct. 19.
While GVSU's offense was strong on Wednesday, it was the defensive performance that stole the show. The Lakers recorded 13.0 total team blocks in the win, while Hillsdale did not record a block in the match. Grand Valley State also picked up 51 digs to HC's 40 digs. Another strong aspect for the Lakers was seven service aces, but more important was only one service error.
Four Lakers tallied nine or more kills, led by a match-high 11 putaways from junior Megan Schroeder. She hit .346 with three blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Abby Aiken hit .368 with 10 kills, while adding four block assists. Freshman Betsy Ronda just missed her 18th double-double, as the rookie tallied 10 digs and nine kills.
Senior middle blocker Eno Umoh recorded nine kills and a .412 hitting percentage. But even more impressive was her eight total blocks (one solo), which again moved her up the GVSU career blocking list. Umoh is now third in Laker history with 493 total blocks, trailing only former GVSU greats Wendy Lesch (515) and Rebeccah Rapin (525).
A tight first set saw nine tie scores, including one final tie at 22-22. Umoh and Ronda put down consecutive kills to put GVSU on top, 24-22. After a Hillsdale point, Umoh tallied another kill to end the set with a 25-23 victory.
In the second set, the score was tied at 12-12 before Grand Valley State rattled off five straight points, two of which came on service aces from junior Sacha Gill. The lead would stretch to 20-13 on a kill from sophomore setter Clair Ruhenkamp and the Lakers moved ahead 22-15. This is when Aiken took over, notching back-to-back-to-back kills to push the Lakers out to a 2-0 lead in the match. GVSU hit .343 in the second set.
Hillsdale stayed close in the third set, with the score being tied at 20-20. GVSU answered by scoring four consecutive points on a Schroeder kill, a service ace from junior Lyndsey Holt, a Ronda kill, and a Charger attack error. After Hillsdale made the score 24-21 with a kill, the Lakers finished the set and match with another Schroeder kill, her 11th of the match.
Sophomore Christina Canepa picked up 16 digs, while Holt provided eight digs and a pair of aces. Umoh and Gill also had two aces apiece. Ruhenkamp passed for 37 assists, added six digs, three blocks (one solo), and a pair of kills. Junior Abby Ebels blocked four shots (one solo).