- As the defending NCAA Division II national champion, Grand Valley
State knows a thing or two about winning volleyball matches.
The Lakers demonstrated
that fact against Northern Kentucky University on Saturday during
a 30-18, 30-19, 31-29 victory at the Ashland Tournament. Grand Valley
State coasted to wins during the opening two games, and then the
top-ranked Lakers rallied from a 29-27 deficit to notch the sweep
over the Norse.
NKU hit .472
during the third game and built a 29-27 lead. Grand Valley State
sophomore setter Jamie Ashmore, however, provided the late-game
heroics to give the Lakers the win.
19 of 36 attacks in the third game with just two errors to stay
in contention, and the Norse appeared on the verge of sending the
match to a fourth game after building a 29-27 lead on consecutive
kills by Liz Holmes and Andrea Lanham.
converted two consecutive attacks to tie the score at 29-all, and
Alyson Riley gave Grand Valley State a 30-29 lead by serving an
ace. Ashmore then ended the match by dumping a perfect attack onto
the NKU side of the court for a 31-29 win.
and Tristen Dye each recorded eight kills to lead NKU, while Holmes
added seven kills and a .429 hitting percentage. Lanham dished out
26 assists for the Norse.
State (6-1) used a strong serving game to record 14 aces, and the
Lakers hit .309 for the match. Megan Helsen led Grand Valley State
with 11 kills. Ashmore finished with five kills - three during the
final four points for the Lakers - and 29 assists.
the two-day tournament later Saturday by dropping a 23-30, 30-25,
30-15, 30-19 decision to No. 9 North Alabama. Kasie Spencer led
the Lions with 18 kills and attacked at a .500 clip.
setter Laura Bellinger added 11 kills, 44 assists and hit .476.
The Lions hit .441 during each of the final two games to roll past
led the Norse (3-6) with 21 kills, while Holmes collected 13 kills
and hit .524. Lanham ran the offense and finished with 49 assists,
14 digs and three kills.
Holmes, a junior
middle hitter from Mercy High School in Cincinnati, now has 957
career kills at NKU. Holmes was later named to the all-tournament
NKU begins Great
Lakes Valley Conference play Tuesday with a road match against Kentucky
Wesleyan. Five of the Norse’s six losses during the first
two weeks of the season have come against nationally ranked teams
in the NCAA Division II poll.