Cardinals take two to open play at Malone

Cardinals take two to open play at Malone

CANTON, Ohio – The Saginaw Valley State University volleyball team traveled to Malone University for the Hall of Fame City Tournament, opening with the host Pioneers and taking on Fairmont State University on Friday.

The Cardinals controlled the action in the opener, cruising to wins in the first two sets and holding off a Malone rally in the third to earn a three-set win for the first time this season. SVSU made it two straight sweeps with a three-set win over Fairmont State University in the final match of the day.

The pair of wins push SVSU to 6-0 overall to start the season.

Against Malone, the Cardinals took advantage of 26 attacking errors and five service errors by the Pioneers. Madison Thompson led the SVSU offense with eight kills, while Rylee Zimmer added seven to go along with four block assists.

Setter Peyton Gerstacker finished with 31 assists and nine digs. Addison Bouza finished with a team-high 13 digs for SVSU in the win.

"We played well and our defense and blocking were solid," SVSU Head Coach Will Stanton said. "We put pressure on Malone to get kills and forced them into some errors. It is a good start to the tournament to get a victory against the home team."

Three Cardinals finished with double-digit kills against Fairmont, led by 14 from Maria Vukaj, while Zimmer and Thompson added 11 and 10, respectively. Gerstacker added 33 assists and 17 digs Vukaj added 14 digs for a double-double.

Caitlinn Pistro led the defense for the Cardinals with a team-high 18 digs, while Olivia Waszak finished with five block assists.

"We started the match well, and our offense was solid and consistent," Stanton said. "Fairfield made an adjustment to their offense in set two and it took a little too long to catch up with it. We finally figured it out and won that crucial set. The third set was close till mid-game, then we made a couple of solid defensive plays that allowed us to pull away."

The Cardinals continue play at Malone with two matches starting against Seton Hill at 1:30 pm on Saturday. SVSU will close the tournament against Slippery Rock at 6 pm.