Huskies beat Parkside to advance to GLIAC Semis

NCAA

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – No. 21 Michigan Tech advanced to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals with a 3-1 win over Parkside Friday at O’Neill Arena on the campus of Saginaw Valley State. The Huskies improved to 10-3 on the season and will meet Ferris State on Saturday at 4 p.m. for a chance to advance to the GLIAC Championship for the third time in the last four seasons.

“We were pretty solid today in most departments and did a good job of hanging tough when they pressed us and made their run later in the match,” Tech coach Matt Jennings said. “We stayed together out there, held our ground, and came up with some clutch play on both ends of the ball.”

Tech jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Lindy Oujiri set the tone with seven kills in the first set while Anna Jonynas dug up 11 balls. The Huskies used an 8-1 run early in the first to build a lead and then went on a 9-3 run to never look back. Oujiri had a kill for a setpoint lead before Jonynas gave Tech a 25-16 win.

The top-seeded Huskies never trailed in the second set, taking a 10-4 lead and closing on a 9-3 run to win 25-16. Jonynas and Oujiri teamed up for a dozen kills and Tech hit .500 in the set.

Parkside cut into the lead with a 25-22 win in the third. The Rangers used a 7-0 run in the frame to take command and held off a late rally by the Huskies.

In the fourth, the teams battled through 12 ties. After it was tied at 17, the Huskies went on a 5-0 run to take a late lead. The AVCA National Player of the Week Anna Jonynas had three of the final four kills to lead Tech a 25-19 win.

“Anna and Lindy were really strong for us again today, they were scoring a lot of big points all match long,” added Jennings. “I thought the passing and back-court defense were a big part of this win as well. Meg, Anna, and Laura were particularly strong defensively. I thought Meg passed very well today.”

Jonynas tied her career-high with 23 kills, hitting the 20-kill mark for the third straight match. She hit .400 and also added 21 digs and a pair of service aces. Oujiri had a season and career-high with 20 kills while hitting .378.

Jillian Kuizenga (9), Morgan Radtke (9), and Janie Grindland (5) also contributed offensively and each had a pair of block assists at the net with Radtke putting back three.

Laura De Marchi set the offense with 55 assists, hitting the 50-assist mark for the fourth straight match. She added 13 digs, two kills, and a pair of block assists. Megan Utlak was also in double figures defensively with 11 digs.

Ferris State defeated Northwood 3-2 in the quarterfinal. The Huskies defeated the Bulldogs in both meetings this season at the SDC Gym.

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