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Lakers Respond with Back-to-Back Wins at Michigan Tech Tournament


HOUGHTON, Mich.-- The Lake Superior State volleyball team posted a 2-2 record at the Michigan Tech Tournament to kick off the 2019 season. Following an 0-2 start after the first two matches on Friday, the Lakers responded by posting back-to-back five sets wins on Saturday to bring their record to 2-2 after their first weekend of play.

On the first day of the tournament, the Lakers dropped their first match against Southwest Minnesota State in three sets (25-20, 25-20, 25-21) as well as their second match against Upper Iowa (25-20, 25-6, 25-21). The Lakers responded on the second day of the tournament with back-to-wins with a five set victory over Mary (25-23, 12-25, 19-25, 25-23, 13-15) and closed out the tournament with a win over Minnesota-Crookston (25-21, 25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 10-15). 

Game 1 - LSSU vs. Southwest Minnesota State: 

Lake State senior Amanda Reid led the team with 13 kills, and a .355 hitting percentage. Sophomore Bethany Wilson's nine kills was second on the team behind Reid. Wilson posted a .200 hitting percentage in the match.

Reid also led the team defensively as her 10 digs was the most on the team. Sophomore Abby Beachnau's seven digs was good for second on the team.

Sophomore Halle Grulke's 25 assists was the highest out of any player on the Lakers or the Mustangs.

Southwest Minnesota State was led offensively by the duo of Meg Schmidt who registered 12 kills and a .318 hitting percentage, and Lydia Sussner who had 10 kills and a .600 hitting percentage. Defensively, Payton Hjerleid led the team with 11 digs.

Lake Superior's .242 hitting percentage trailed the Mustangs .287 percentage in the match. 

Game 2 - LSSU vs Upper Iowa:

In the second match of the day, Reid continued to lead the Lakers offensively with 10 kills in 38 total attempts and a .211 hitting percentage. 

Defensively, Beachnau led the team with 15 kills while freshman Sydney Briney and Reid tied for next-best with 9 kills. 

Grulke's 12 assists were first on the team while freshman Emily Kalinowski's nine were second.

Anna Winter led the Peacocks offensively with 17 kills in the match and a .472 hitting percentage. Upper Iowa had three players with 11 or more digs to contribute to the team's defensive effort in the win. 

Lake State had a .062 hitting percentage in the game, while Upper Iowa's was .333%.

Game 3 - LSSU vs University of Mary:

The Lakers began day two of the tournament with a five set win over the University of Mary Marauders to record their first victory of the 2019 season. Despite losing the first set, the Lakers responded with back-to-back wins in sets two and three before eventually winning the match in the decisive fifth set of the match. 

The Lakers offensive and defensive contributions in the win were spread out with four players notching seven or more kills in the game and five players tallying at least 13 digs.

Reid once again was the leader for Lake State with 30 kills in the match and a .253 hitting percentage as well as 14 digs through five sets.

Junior Sarah Bailey's 12 kills ranked second on the Lakers while sophomores Kelly Water and Bethany Wilson each had seven kills. Walter registered a .438 hitting percentage while Bailey recorded a .243 percentage. 

Grulke set a new career high with 51 assists in the match, notching all but four of the Lakers total 55 assists in the match. Grulke also had 13 digs against the Marauders.

Beachnau led the team in digs (23) but Briney and junior Kyra Vezina also had strong games defensively with 18 and 14 digs. 

The Mary Marauders Morgan Schnabel led her team in kills with 15 while also recorded the second-highest number of digs in the game on her team with 21. Natalia Cruz led Mary in digs with 23. 

Lake Superior's had a .184 hitting percentage in the match compared to Mary's .103%. 

Game 4 - LSSU vs Minnesota-Crookston: 

The Lakers capped off the tournament with their second win of the day, with a five set victory over Minnesota-Crookston. Lake State trailed after the first set as well as the third set but showed resilience in coming back each time to earn the win. 

Sophomore Camdyn Odykirk had a strong game for the Lakers with a team-leading 15 kills in the match as well as .324 hitting percentage. Reid also had 15 kills in the game as she finished her solid play over the weekend leading the team in digs (24) in the match. Bailey's 12 kills in the game were good for second-highest on the team. 

Grulke continued to add assists with 21 against the Golden Eagles but trailed freshman Emily Kalinowski's 34 assists for the Lakers in the game. 

Defensively, Briney led the Lakers with 28 digs. Vezina tallied 20 digs while Beachnau had 12. 

Deaira Gresham led Minnesota-Crookston in the offensive categories with 17 kills and a .286 hitting percentage while Katie Lienemann's 23 digs ranked first for the Golden Eagles defensively.

Lake State had a .190 hitting percentage in the game, while Minnesota-Crookston's was .179%.

Up Next:

The Lakers will head to St. Cloud, Minn. next weekend Sept. 13-14 to take part in the GLIAC/NSIC Crossover Tournament. LSSU will open with a game against the host, St. Cloud State Huskies at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 13. The remainder of the tournament will feature matches against Minnesota-Crookston, Minnesota-Duluth, and South Dakota. 

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