Nov. 12: Michigan Tech 3, SVSU 0
Nov. 13: SVSU 3, Northern Michigan 1
SVSU went 1-1 this week against two opponents from the Upper Peninsula.
On Saturday, the Cardinals posted a 3-1 win over Northern Michigan. Then, on Friday, Michigan Tech defeated the Cardinals 3-0.
Will Stanton, head coach of the volleyball team, knew it would be tough to face a strong GLIAC opponent.
“We were a little overwhelmed coming into our first matches of GLIAC play following our success in pre-season against non-conference teams,” Stanton said. “Those first few losses really set us back mentally, we lost a lot of momentum and it was hard for us to develop our conference momentum which has led to a really up-and-down season.”
Michigan Tech proved why they are the top team in the conference, never letting SVSU take the lead and eventually winning the match 3-0 after sweeping the Cardinals 25-18, 25-14, 25-17.
Saginaw Valley struggled to gain any momentum as they were out-attacked by the Huskies during the match.
Sophomore hitter Rylee Zimmer led the Cardinals with seven kills while also leading the team in digs with 13.
Stanton verbalized the importance of his team staying focused coming into their match with Northern Michigan.
“The first time we played Northern I thought we were the better team,” Stanton said. “We just lost our focus toward the end
and we couldn’t overcome their momentum.”
Less than 24-hours after the loss to Michigan Tech, Saginaw Valley hosted its final home game which was also Senior Day.
After suffering the tough loss the night before, SVSU started slow and dropped the first match by a score of 25-23.
In the second set the Cardinals again fell behind until its blocking got back on track.
Stanton praised the team’s blocking prior to the match.
“If you look at the conference stats we have the top three,” Stanton said. “That is what has been keeping us in matches.”
Once the Cardinals blocking began to find success, the team was able to pull out a 28-26 win in the second set.
Saginaw Valley won the final two sets 25-14 and 25-21 while holding the Wildcats to 14 kills total in those final two sets after allowing 32 in the first two.
Senior outside hitter Maria Vukaj ended the match with 14 kills and seven digs for the Cardinals.
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