Cards top Huskies in opening round
November 16, 2009 —
“SV – SU, SV – SU, SV – SU,” chanted the crowd, whose feet were pounding on the bleachers in perfect rhythm in the Wednesday night girls’ volleyball victory over Michigan Tech. The game marked SVSU’s win in the opening round of the GLIAC tournament.
Tensions were high when head coach Will Stanton called a time out in the first game after a series of blocking and attacking errors that left the Cardinals with a score of 19 and the Huskies with 23.
“It took us awhile to get the team into the game,” Stanton said.
Though the Cardinals boosted their defense in attempts to close the gap, the final score left the Cardinals behind 22 – 25.
With a new blocking strategy in the second game, the Cardinals pulled themselves together.
“We tried to take away as much as we could (blocking in the first game), and it wasn’t working,” sophomore middle hitter Katie Fitzpatrick said. “In the other games we just tried to touch as many balls as we could.”
With a tough back and forth scoring pattern in the second game, the Cardinals pulled ahead in the very end of the game, winning 26 – 24.
“We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but we picked it up in the end,” senior setter Kait Harris said.
With the victory for the Cardinals in the second game, the defense of the Huskies seemed to fade away in the third game. Initial tensions were reversed when Michigan Tech head coach Orlando Gonzalez called a time out with a score of 16 – 11, in attempts to bring his players together.
These attempts were not enough to stop the Cardinals, who won the match 25 – 14. The increased defense around strong opposition players created the base for the SVSU triumph.
“We targeted key players from Michigan Tech,” Fitzgerald said.
The Cardinals broke the Huskies defense once again in the fourth and final match. With the last point that concluded the game at 25 – 14, the crowd applauded the Cardinals with a standing ovation.
“It was intense and we kicked some tushie,” sophomore and eternal fan of the SVSU Girls’ Volleyball Team, Josh Balabuch said.
The victory was the first game in the GLIAC tournament, which will send the Cardinals on to the next round. Though it is still undecided which team the Cardinals will meet in the next round of play, both Stanton and his players seem confident in their abilities.
“If we continue to play tough with defense like that, we’ll be in good shape” Stanton said.
“We’ve got a good feeling this year,” said Harris, “hopefully we will go all the way.”