After starting its season 8-0 the Saginaw Valley State University volleyball team started its play in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference (GLIAC) matchups on Sept. 17 against Northwood University.
Head coach Will Stanton enjoys the success but want the players and fans to remain realistic.
“It is nice to be 8-0 to start our Conference Schedule, but we are realistic in knowing that the level of competition that we were facing in these Preseason Tournaments is not the level that we will be facing in the GLIAC,” Stanton said. “Our Conference opponents will have more weapons and more consistency than what we have faced so far. But it helps our confidence to know we can find ways to win in each of these 8 matches so far.”
In their Sept. 17 match, the Cardinals faced their first real struggles of the season.
SVSU was able to get out to an early 6-2 lead in the first set during the serving of sophomore middle hitter Olivia Waszak.
After extending their lead to 17-12, the Cardinals were unable to remain consistent to finish the set and fell 25-21.
During the second set it was a back-and-forth affair between the two sides.
Once Northwood took the 12-10 lead they did not look back as they were able to win the set 25-23.
In the final set SVSU fell behind early 14-9. Despite the efforts to come back, the Cardinals fell short and lost the set 25-22.
Northwood took the match by a score of 3-0, handing Saginaw Valley its first loss of the season.
SVSU continued GLIAC play with a match against Lake Superior State University on Sept. 18 at O’Neill arena in University Center, MI.
Freshman outside hitter Madison Thompson led the Cardinals with 13 kills in the match to help push them to victory.
Senior middle hitter Haley Clum added six kills while sophomore hitter Rylee Zimmer add- ed five more.
Neither team was able to build a substantial lead during the early portion of the first set with SVSU leading 11-10.
Waszak’s serving helped push the Cardinals to a 16-11 lead as they were able to finish the first set with a 25-19 win.
In the second set it was more of the same from both teams. Saginaw Valley was leading 9-8 be- fore they were able to step on the gas for a 17-10 lead.
Lake Superior State tried to fight its way back, but SVSU was able to win 25-22.
Throughout the whole third set neither side was able to build more than a two-point lead un- til Saginaw Valley was able to take a 19-16 lead.
Saginaw was able to hang onto the set and win 25-20, earning the three sets to zero sweep.
SVSU’s win pushed their record to 9-1 on the season and 1-1 in GLIAC play.
Coach Stanton hopes that the team’s success can continue.
“We would obviously like to continue the winning into the GLIAC matches, and the more success we have the more we build our confidence and gain the trust that will carry us through the really tough matches ahead,” Stanton said.
Saginaw Valley will continue its season on Sept. 24 in Indiana against Purdue Northwest followed by a Sept. 25 matchup with Parkside in Wisconsin.
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