GLIAC Champs! No. 21 Tech sweeps SVSU

NCAA

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – No. 21-ranked Michigan Tech earned its second straight GLIAC Regular Season Championship Friday (Nov. 12) with a 3-0 sweep at Saginaw Valley State. The Huskies defeated the Cardinals 25-18, 25-14, and 25-17 at Hamilton Gym.

Northern Michigan defeated Wayne State 3-2 Friday after Tech’s match was over to give the Huskies their first outright championship and first back-to-back regular-season championship in program history. Tech also clinched the No. 1 seed in the GLIAC Tournament for a second straight season with its 21-5 overall record and 13-1 GLIAC mark.

“What a great night to be a Husky,” Tech coach Matt Jennings said. “We played together and for one another out there and it really showed. We were having a lot of fun as a group, playing with a ton of energy, and getting behind each other on the bench.”

The Huskies built an early 9-3 lead and held an eight-point advantage for much of the first. Anna Jonynas had five kills in the opening set and Jillian Kuizenga added four kills.

Tech jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the second with seven early kills to get on track. Three more Tech kills made it a 12-3 margin. Jonynas racked up seven kills in the second and Janie Grindland got going with five kills.

The Black and Gold never trailed in the third set either, building a 7-1 lead and 17-7 advantage. Tech forced SVSU into seven attacking errors in the third and Jonynas went for seven kills again.

“Anna was outstanding again tonight,” added Jennings. “To be one shy of 20 kills, with 15 digs in just three sets is big time. Jill was solid again tonight as well. She’s really hard to stop when she’s swinging with the kind of confidence that she is. Lindy came through in a big way in this one, especially in sets two and three. It was nice to see her get in on the action and come through with the performance we needed from her.”

Kuizenga finished with eight kills while Grindland and Lindy Oujiri added seven each. De Marchi set the attack with 40 assists and added 10 digs. Carissa Beyer tallied a match-high 16 digs while Megan Utlak added 11.

“Our senior leadership is second to none,” Jennings said. “They continue to influence this group in a way that you can’t replicate or pretend. They give to their teammates, both physically and emotionally, and provide the kind of poise needed to stay focused until the end of each set. They were leading the pack again tonight, with both their play and their presence.

“This was a long time coming. We’re absolutely thrilled to be in this position. To see this group go out and accomplish one of their major goals is such a great reward. I know how hard they work and that they do things the right way. I’m blessed to be part of this team, I’m so proud.

“That said, we have a big match tomorrow and need to be ready to go and battle against a good Wayne State team. We’ll savor this a bit on the way to Detroit, rest up, and get after it again tomorrow.”

Tech wraps up the regular season at Wayne State. First serve against the Warriors is set for 2 p.m.

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