Aug 27, 2013
Allendale, Mich. - Grand Valley State was selected to finish in third place in the GLIAC North Division when the league offices released the 2013 Coaches' Preseason Volleyball Poll on Tuesday (Aug. 27). After a 25-8 record and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2012, the Lakers bring back 13 letterwinners, five starters, and three All-GLIAC honorees from last season.
GVSU was actually predicted to tie for third place in the competitive North Division of the conference, with league foe Hillsdale. Both teams racked up 35 points. Northwood - with five first-place votes - was chosen to win the North Division, as the Timberwolves' 45 points were slightly ahead of Ferris State's 42 points. FSU picked up two first-place votes and Hillsdale had one.
After Grand Valley State and Hillsdale tied for third place, Northern Michigan (28 points) came in fifth, while Saginaw Valley State (18), Michigan Tech (14), and Lake Superior State (seven) rounded out the eight schools in the North Division.
Ashland was chosen to win the South Division, garnering five first-place votes and 47 points, finishing just ahead of Wayne State (three first-place votes, 44 points). Findlay (33), Malone (31), Ohio Dominican (26), Walsh (21), Tiffin (15), and Lake Erie (seven) close out the voting.
Northwood captured the GLIAC regular season and tournament championships, defeating Grand Valley State in the league tournament finals. The Timberwolves return the GLIAC Player of the Year in outside hitter Juliia Pakhomenko. GVSU was one of five conference teams - along with Ashland, Ferris State, Hillsdale, and Northwood - to advance to the eight-team Midwest Regional Tournament in 2012.
The Lakers finished the 2012 season with a 25-8 record and the runner-up finish in the GLIAC Tournament. GVSU also advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in program history. Head coach Deanne Scanlon returns the GLIAC Freshman of the Year in outside hitter Betsy Ronda, who became the first player in Grand Valley State history to be named to the All-GLIAC First Team as a freshman. Ronda tallied even statistics of 390 kills and 390 digs, along with 44 blocks and 32 service aces.
Also returning is junior outside hitter Abby Aiken, who recorded 364 kills, 157 digs, and 31 total blocks. She was an All-GLIAC Second Team choice last year. Junior setter Clair Ruhenkamp is also back after earning All-GLIAC Honorable Mention honors for the second straight year, as she dished out 1,181 assists last season.
GVSU will open the 2013 campaign on Sept. 6-7 at the Riverfront Hotel Grand Rapids Classic in the Fieldhouse Arena. The Lakers will face Adelphi, Saint Leo, Southwest Minnesota State, and Eckerd to start the year.