CALIFORNIA, Pa. - The SVSU volleyball team competed on day two at the Vulcan Invitational on Saturday, squaring-off against the host California (Pa.) before taking on Truman State (Mo.) in the second match of the day and final of the tournament. The Cardinals posted two victories on the day, improving to 8-0 on the season after defeating the Vulcans 3-0 and the Bulldogs 3-1, respectively.
The eight straight wins to begin the season matches the season-opening streak of the 2008 team, which advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament and advanced to the Round of 16.
Game One | California (Pa.)
Meeting for the second time this season after a four-set victory for SVSU at the Ferris State Invitational on September 4th, the Cardinals claimed a straight-set victory over the Vulcans at their home tournament.
SVSU opened the match with a 25-17 win and closed it out with 25-18 and 25-15 victories, respectively.
The Cards posted a .281 hitting percentage as a team while holding the Vulcans to a .000 percentage, aided by 15 blocks on the defensive end.
Kaylee Schmitt led the way for SV, hitting at a .550 clip with 11 kills and adding four blocks. Tamara Heller added seven kills while posting a .316 hitting percentage. She added 15 digs defensively as well. Andrea Brigham posted nine kills and matched Schmitt's match-best four blocks. Brooke Tiller had a match-high 17 digs and Kelly Vellucci notched 31 assists in the three-set affair.
Schmitt earned Chili's "Player of the Match" honors for her performance in the contest.
Game Two | Truman State
The Cardinals again got out to a 2-0 lead in the match, posting 25-18 and 25-17 wins in the first and second sets. Truman bounced back with a 25-22 decision in the third frame to make the score 2-1. SVSU, however, responded in a big way with a 25-22 victory of its own in the fourth frame to close the match out.
Brigham had a huge match offensively for SV, notching a career-high 25 kills while adding 16 digs. She was named the Chili's "Player of the Match" for her efforts.
Vellucci also had a career-best with 52 assists, matching her total posted on October 18th of last year against Rockhurst. She chipped-in with 17 digs for the Cards. Tiller had a match-high 34 digs to anchor the defense while Heller posted a career-high 16 kills with 19 digs. Emily Nieman tallied 15 digs for SVSU as well.
Schmitt, Brigham and Heller were all selected to the All-Tournament Team for their performances over the weekend. Schmitt was third in the tourney with a .308 hitting percentage and fifth with 2.71 kills per set. Brigham was second with 4.14 kills per set and had the second-most kills with 58. Heller was ranked in the top-15 in digs (9th, 3.64), aces (15th, 0.21) and kills per set (15th, 2.36).
Saginaw Valley (8-0) takes its unblemished record into play next weekend, traveling to play #13 Ferris State University Friday (Sep. 18) at 7:00 p.m. before continuing to play #8 Grand Valley State University Saturday (Sep. 19) at 4:00 p.m.