Tech Volleyball heads to NMU Saturday for second meeting

Sports

Houghton, Mich. (WJMN)- THIS WEEK’S MATCH
• Michigan Tech wraps up his six-match road trip at Northern Michigan on Saturday.
• First serve is set for 4 p.m. at Vandament Arena.
• The Huskies are 18-4 overall and 10-1 in the GLIAC. Tech is on top of the GLIAC Standings with a one-match lead over Ashland and Ferris State.

AVCA RANKING
• Michigan Tech is ranked No. 21 in this week’s AVCA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, jumping one spot from last week.
• Tech was No. 22 last week, No. 24 on October 15, No. 21 on September 9, and has received votes in every other poll this season.
• The No. 21 ranking is the highest since the preseason poll in 1998 and the highest regular-season ranking since 1996.
• Tech was ranked in five polls in 2018. The Black and Gold spent two weeks at No. 24 and three at No. 25 last season.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
• Northern Michigan is 10-12 overall and 6-5 in the GLIAC. The GLIAC wins are over Grand Valley State, Davenport, Northwood, Wayne State, Purdue Northwest and Parkside.
• The Wildcats were picked fourth in the GLIAC North Division in the coaches’ poll after a 16-11 overall record and 5-11 conference mark last season.
• Mike Lozier is in his third season as the head coach at NMU.
• Abigail Durecki ranks third in the GLIAC in hitting percentage (.331) and Lizzy Stark is fourth in the GLIAC in kills per set (3.57).

FIRST MEETING
• Tech swept Northern Michigan 3-0 on Tuesday, September 24 at the SDC Gym with scores 25-16, 27-25, and 25-23.
• Olivia Ghormley led a balanced offensive attack with 13 kills in the match. Anna Jonynas (9), Emilia Widen (7), and Petersen (7) also had over six kills. Laura De Marchi had 37 assists while tallying six blocks and six digs.

STATISTICAL RANKINGS
• Tech leads the GLIAC in hitting percentage (.260) and assists per set (13.35) and is second in kills per set (14.15)
• The Huskies rank third in the league in digs per set (17.41) and opponent hitting percentage (.165)
• The Huskies are eighth in the nation in assists per set and 15th in kills per set and hitting percentage.
• Laura De Marchi is fourth nationally in career assists per set (11.76) and fifth amongst setters in all three divisions.
• Olivia Ghormley is fifth nationally in career kills per set (3.8)
• De Marchi leads the GLIAC in assists per set (11.86), ranking sixth in the nation
• Ghormley leads the GLIAC in kills per set (4.38), ranking sixth in the nation
• Ghormley leads the GLIAC in points per set (4.76)
• Megan Utlak is third in the GLIAC in digs per set (4.5)
• Anna Jonynas is fourth in the GLIAC in aces per set (0.33)
• Rachel Ping is fifth in the GLIAC in hitting percentage (.315)

MILESTONES THIS SEASON
• Junior Olivia Ghormley recorded her 1,000th career kill on September 28 against Lake Superior State at the SDC Gym.
• Junior Laura De Marchi tallied her 3,000th career assist on October 4 at Northwood.
• Junior Megan Utlak hit the 1,000-dig mark for her career on October 18 against Drury at the Crossover.

UPCOMING MILESTONES
• Junior Anna Jonynas is also closing in on 1,000 digs and is currently at 986
• Junior MacAulay Petersen has 935.5 career points and 887 career kills

LAST WEEK
• The No. 22-ranked volleyball team swept its weekend against GLIAC South Division opponents. The Huskies swept Parkside Friday and Purdue Northwest Saturday.
• MacAulay Petersen (20 kills) and Anna Jonynas (16 kills) led the offense with Petersen averaging 3.33 kills per set. Laura De Marchi averaged 9 assists per set, totaling 45 assists on the weekend. Megan Utlak (43 digs), De Marchi (20 digs), and Emilia Widen (4 blocks) led the defense.

SWEEPING THE COMPETITION
• Tech has 12 3-0 sweeps this season and is currently on a three-match sweep streak.
• The Huskies had six straight sweeps to begin the 2015 season and finished the season with 14.
• Tech had 12 sweeps in each of the last two seasons.

GLIAC NORTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Olivia Ghormley – October 21
• Olivia Ghormley – October 14
• Olivia Ghormley – September 30
• Laura De Marchi – September 23
• Olivia Ghormley – September 9

NUMBERS TO KNOW
• The 6-0 GLIAC start was the best for the Huskies in over 20 years
• Tech is 24-0 in the GLIAC against teams other than Ferris since the start of last season
• The Huskies are 36-7 in conference play since the start of 2017 with losses only to Ferris State, Grand Valley State, and Northern Michigan.
• Tech is 1-4 versus the current top 25. The Huskies defeated Southwest Minnesota State and fell against Upper Iowa, St. Cloud State, Minnesota Duluth, and Ferris State.
• Tech is 5-1 against opponents in neutral site matches.
• The Huskies went 8-3 against its nonconference opponents.
• The Huskies are 5-2 in road matches so far this season.

COACH JENNINGS
• Head coach Matt Jennings enters his eighth season and has won 129 matches overall.
• Under Jennings, the Huskies have gone from the last place in the conference to nationally ranked and in the postseason.
• Jennings has coached the Huskies to back to NCAA tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018.
• He was named the GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2017 and led the team to a program-record 10 straight wins to start the 2016 season.

CROSSOVER ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
• Laura De Marchi and Olivia Ghormley were named to the 12th annual Midwest Region Crossover All-Tournament Team for the second year in a row. Of 41 teams at the Crossover, Tech was the only team with two players honored.
• De Marchi set up the Tech offense with 139 assists, averaging 12.64 per set. She added 30 digs, averaging 2.73 per set, six kills, and five blocks.
• Ghormley led Tech with 58 kills on the weekend, averaging 5.27 per set. She hit .329 with only 12 errors on 140 attempts while adding 28 digs, four service aces, and two block assists.

AT HOME
• The Huskies are 8-1 at the SDC Gym this season with all seven of the eight wins being sweeps. The lone loss was to current No. 22 Upper Iowa.
• Tech finished 7-1 at home in 2018.

PRESEASON GLIAC POLL
• In the 2019 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Huskies were second in the North Division with 57 points, including four first-place votes.
• Ferris State (61) was the top pick after its fifth straight GLIAC Championship last year. Saginaw Valley State (44), Northern Michigan (33), Northwood (22), and Lake Superior State (14) round out the North.
• Ashland (57) and Wayne State (43) were selected to lead the South Division followed by Grand Valley State (41), Davenport (39), Parkside (24), and Purdue Northwest (12).

LAST SEASON
The Huskies are coming off back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament and three straight second-place finishes in the GLIAC North Division. Tech has won 20 matches in back-to-back season, including the fourth-highest win total and third-fewest losses in a single-season with a 23-7 record in 2018. The Huskies also posted a mark of 14-2 in the GLIAC, the second most conference wins in program history, and the second-highest winning percentage against GLIAC competition in team history (.875).

AVCA ALL-AMERICANS
Outside hitter Olivia Ghormley (Third Team) and junior setter Laura De Marchi (Honorable Mention) were AVCA All-Americans a year ago. Both earned major league awards as Ghormley was the GLIAC Attacker of the Year and De Marchi the GLIAC Setter of the Year for the second straight season. Ghormley tallied 518 kills with an average of 4.58 per set to lead the GLIAC and rank sixth in the nation. De Marchi racked up 1,254 assists and averaged 11.72 per set to lead the league. 

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
• The Huskies return home next weekend on November 8-9 against Ferris State and Northwood for the final regular-season matches at the SDC Gym
• The regular season wraps up with a road trip to Lake Superior State and Saginaw Valley State on November 15 and 16.

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