Sept. 6, 2009

Courtesy of Grand Valley State

Lakeland, Fla. - For the first time in over two years, Grand Valley State's volleyball team lost consecutive matches, as the #6 Lakers fell to #14 Florida Southern, 3-1 (18-25, 25-14, 25-19, 26-24) on Saturday night (Sept. 5) in Lakeland, Fla. GVSU was topped by Nebraska-Omaha earlier in the day and is now 3-3 on the year.

Grand Valley State hadn't lost consecutive matches since Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2007, when the Lakers lost to Southwest Minnesota State and SIU-Edwardsville at the Regis Premier Tournament in Denver, Colo. Florida Southern improved to 6-2 on the year.

Things started out well for the Lakers, who took an early 7-0 lead in the opening set against Florida Southern. A pair of kills from senior Whitney Tremain, sandwiched by kills from junior Rebeccah Rapin and freshman Ashley Blaszczak scored the set's first four points. Two more kills from Tremain put the Lakers ahead, 9-1, and GVSU extended its lead to 15-5. Rapin then recorded three straight kills to push the score to 18-6 and although the Moccasins rallied, Grand Valley State was able to close out the set with a 25-18 win. GVSU hit .379 as a team in the opening set, totaling 12 kills and just one attack error.

Florida Southern jumped ahead to a 6-5 advantage in the second set and steadily pulled away from the Lakers. With the Mocs leading 19-9, the teams essentially traded points the rest of the set with FSC taking a 25-14 victory. While Grand Valley State hit -.050 in the second set, the Moccasins connected at a .316 attack clip with nine kills.

The third set saw the Mocs push out to a 9-3 lead, but GVSU closed the lead to 16-15, as it forced four straight FSC attack errors. Grand Valley State kept the score close at 20-19 before the Moccasins notched the final five points, jumping out to a 2-1 lead in the match. The Lakers held Florida Southern to a .195 hitting percentage in the third set, but the Mocs secured 18 kills.

Florida Southern and GVSU played a tight fourth set, with the Lakers leading 12-9 before the Mocs tied the score at 14-14. FSC was on top, 20-19, and extended the advantage to 24-20 before Grand Valley State scored the next four points to knot the score at 24-24. The Moccasins, however, closed the match by scoring the final two points for a 26-24 victory.

For the match, Grand Valley State hit .221 with 35 kills, while Florida Southern notched 56 kills and connected at a .226 attack clip. The Lakers tallied more blocks (5-4) than the Mocs, but FSC recorded more digs (51-41), service aces (8-5), and assists (50-27).

Tremain notched a team-high 16 kills, while adding four digs and a block. She hit .250 for the match and was named to the all-tournament team. Rapin added nine kills and hit a .421 attack clip. She racked up two blocks, including one of the Lakers' two solo rejections.

Junior Meghan Scanlon provided a team-best 18 assists and added six digs, while seniors Meredith Young (11 digs, three kills, one service ace) and Katey Crichton (12 digs) also played well. Junior Krysta Kornack suppled two of GVSU's five service aces.

Grand Valley State is back on the court on Sunday afternoon. The Lakers take on East Stroudsburg at 12:00 p.m. and Eckerd at 4:00 p.m. to complete the four-match trip.

No. 6 Grand Valley State Falls In Four Sets To Nebraska-Omaha

Lakeland, Fla. - In a match where all four sets were decided by three points or less, Nebraska-Omaha held off a late fourth-set rally from #6 Grand Valley State, defeating the Lakers, 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 27-25) on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 5). It was GVSU's first match of the weekend in a four-match trip to Florida, as the Lakers take on #14 Florida Southern at 6:00 p.m.

Grand Valley State falls to 3-2 on the year, while Nebraska-Omaha improves to 6-2 overall. Although unranked in the latest AVCA poll, UNO was in the "receiving votes" category and sits just outside the top-25. It was quite a meeting on Saturday between GVSU and the Mavericks, as the match saw 31 tie scores and 15 lead changes.

Nebraska-Omaha jumped ahead early 7-2 and pushed that lead to 14-9 before the Lakers slowly worked their way back in the opening set. Trailing 22-17, Grand Valley State used serving from senior Katey Crichton and a pair of kills from junior Krysta Kornack to cut the lead to 22-21. A combined block from Kornack and freshman Eno Umoh tied the score at 22 apiece. However, a Laker service error on the final point of the set gave the Mavericks an opening 25-23 victory.

Both teams had their best offensive set of the match, as GVSU hit .270 with 15 kills and Nebraska-Omaha connected at a .275 clip and also tallied 15 kills.

The Lakers rebounded to even the match at 1-1 by taking the second set. With the score tied 13-13, Grand Valley State used a kill from freshman Ashley Blaszczak and a service ace from fellow rookie Olivia Kohler to go ahead, 15-13. GVSU would not trail again in the set. On top, 18-17, consecutive kills from Kohler and Blaszczak to move the score to 20-18. Kohler finished the set with another kill, giving the Lakers a second set win. Grand Valley State outhit UNO in the second stanza by hitting at a .250 clip with 10 kills, while the Mavericks notched 15 kills and a .229 percentage.

Down 6-1 in the third set, the Lakers mounted a comeback and extended their lead to 15-10. Nebraska-Omaha quickly rallied to tie the score at 15-15 and the teams would be tied six more times in the set. After a 21-21 score, UNO scored four of the final six points for the 25-23 victory.

The fourth set saw GVSU jump ahead quickly, 6-1, using a pair of kills from senior Whitney Tremain to its advantage. A kill from junior Rebeccah Rapin put the Lakers on top, 12-6, which would be their largest lead for the rest of the match. Nebraska-Omaha tied the score at 15-15 before Grand Valley State used a Kornack kill, a kill from sophomore Nicole Whiddon, and a Kohler service ace to push ahead, 18-15. The Mavericks again tied the score at 18-18 and the teams would be tied again at points 19, 20, 22, and 24. A kill from Blaszczak put GVSU ahead 25-24 and serving for set point. UNO, however, notched a kill of its own to tie the score at 25-25 and received consecutive kills to put the set and match away with a 27-25 win.

Grand Valley State hit .156 for the match with 49 kills, while the Mavericks attacked at a .225 clip and totaled 57 putaways. The teams each had 8.0 total team blocks, while UNO held a slight lead in service aces (7-5) and assists (52-44), while GVSU tallied one more dig (65-64).

Tremain and Kornack each notched 11 kills for GVSU. Kornack added five block assists and the team's lone solo block, while Tremain supplied three block assists. Senior Meredith Young recorded 26 digs, seven kills, and a pair of service aces. Kohler led the team with 20 assists, while added six digs and a pair of kills in her only two attempts. Senior Meghan Scanlon provided 19 assists and six digs.