Nov. 20, 2010

Courtesy of GVSU

Hillsdale, Mich. - With a terrific defensive performance on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 20) in Hillsdale, #12 Grand Valley State toppled #11 Lewis by a 3-1 count (25-20, 14-25, 25-17, 25-15) in the Midwest Regional semifinals. The Lakers recorded 14 total blocks and forced 28 Lewis attack errors in winning their 25th match and advancing to the Midwest Regional championship on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 21) at 4:00 p.m. against either Hillsdale or Indianapolis.

These two teams played a tremendous match back on Oct. 16 at the GLVC-GLIAC Crossover Tournament, with GVSU winning by a 3-2 score with a 15-13 final tally in the pivotal fifth set. On Saturday, the Lakers dominated the Flyers, forcing Lewis into a .104 hitting percentage, which was only that high due to a strong hitting performance in the second set (.361, 15 kills). In sets one, three, and four, Lewis never hit higher than .049 and recorded a .000 attack clip in the third set.

The victory is Grand Valley State's 19th in its past 20 matches, as the Lakers improve to 25-6 this season. Lewis ends its season with a record of 27-5. Coming into the tournament, GVSU was the #2 seed and Lewis was seeded third in the region.

In the opening set, Grand Valley State pushed out to a 12-6 lead after a double block from senior Leslie Curtis and sophomore Eno Umoh, followed up by a kill from Curtis to give the Lakers a six-point advantage. Lewis rallied to tie the score at 13-13 with a 6-0 run that featured three Laker attack errors and a Flyer ace. Senior Rebeccah Rapin responded with three kills in the next four points and after she combined with freshman Stacey Catalano on a combined block, the Lakers led by an 18-14 count. Lewis would get back to within two points at 18-16, but GVSU would not allow the Flyers to get any closer, finishing the set at 25-20 with a Lewis hitting error.

Things got interesting in the second set, as the Flyers played very well with their strong .361 hitting mark, while Grand Valley State had its worst offensive set (.095 attack mark, six errors). The set was tied at 5-5 before a 7-0 Lewis run opened up the score at 12-5, with the Flyers on top. GVSU would only get as close as six points the rest of the way, with Lewis tying the match at 1-1 with its 25-14 victory.

Grand Valley State would rebound nicely and lead 11-10 midway through the third stanza. From there, the Lakers used an 8-1 run to really open up the set with a 19-11 score. Curtis and Rapin tallied back-to-back kills and Catalano added a putaway, which was followed by a Lewis error, a Curtis service ace, and another Rapin kill. The Flyers cut the deficit to 19-14 after three straight GVSU hitting errors, but a Rapin kill, a solo block by Catalano, a bad set by Lewis, and a kill from senior Krysta Kornack moved the lead back out to nine points at 23-14 in the Lakers' favor. Catalano would record kills on two of the final three points in the set, pushing out to a 25-17 third set win.

GVSU built upon the momentum from winning the third set by leading 6-3 after a Catalano ace and pushed out to a 14-6 lead behind two kills from Rapin and a double block from Rapin and Catalano. Lewis responded with four straight points to make the score 14-10, but the Lakers answered right back with a 6-3 run on kills rom Rapin, Umoh, and another ace from Catalano that made the score 20-13. Leading 22-15 late in the set, Catalano notched another kill, the Flyers committed a hitting error, and Rapin and Curtis combined for the Lakers' 14th block of the match, ending the set at 25-15.

For the match, Grand Valley State hit .146 with 44 kills, while Lewis connected at a .104 attack clip with 45 kills. Both teams had 41 assists, while the Lakers led in total blocks (14-8) and aces (7-5). Lewis totaled 80 digs to GVSU's total of 78 digs.

Rapin continued her terrific season by tying for a match-high best 14 kills, while hitting .379 with five block assists and three digs. The middle blocker has 511 total blocks in her four-year career and is just five blocks away from setting the school's all-time blocking record. Wendy Lesch totaled 515 blocks from 1987-91 and has owned the program record ever since that point.

Catalano led all players with 20 digs and seven blocks (three solo), while adding nine kills and two service aces. Kornack added nine kills, five digs, three block assists, and a pair of aces, while Curtis tallied 19 digs, eight kills, three block assists, and an ace. Umoh notched a match-high six block assists, while adding three kills. Controlling the Laker offense were senior Meghan Scanlon (24 assists, eight digs) and sophomore Olivia Kohler (14 assists, six digs, two aces).