HIILLSDALE, Mich. - The 2009 GLIAC Volleyball Tournament Championship match featured two teams that seemingly kept pace with each other all season. Saginaw Valley State University and Hillsdale College both finished their respective GLIAC regular seasons with 12-4 records and shared the regular season championship as well as winning their respective divisions outright. There was no suprise, then, when the two squads found themselves facing-off in today's championship match (Nov. 15) to lay ultimate claim to the top spot in the GLIAC. There was also no suprise in how the final match played-out. Saginaw Valley was defeated by Hillsdale in an absolute thrilling five-set match that went back-and-forth all afternoon.
SVSU jumped-out to take an early 1-0 lead with a 25-23 victory in the first set. Hillsdale would respond with a 25-18 win in the second. The advantage would shift back to the Cardinals, though, after a 25-15 score in the third. The Chargers would even things up in the fourth after a 25-20 victory. With things all-square at two sets apiece, Hillsdale took the fifth and final set of the afternoon by a score of 17-15.
Junior Jessica Treiber (Sebewaing, Mich./USA HS) led offensively in the match, tallying 16 kills while hitting .517 and adding three block assists and three digs. Sophomore Annie Buxton (Aurora, Ont.) had 17 kills and 12 digs and two blocks on the defensive end. Senior setter Kait Harris (Essexville, Mich./Garber HS) recorded 50 assists in the thriller while adding 11 digs and a block on the defensive side of the net. Sophomore libero Laura Ward (White Lake, Mich./Lakeland HS) had 27 digs for the Cardinals. Senior Allison Schlinkert (Marysville, Mich.) also had double-digit digs against Hillsdale, totaling 10.
Three Cardinals garnered individual honors for their performances in the tournament, as Harris, Treiber, and Buxton were all selected to the 2009 GLIAC Volleyball "All-Tournament Team".
The Cardinals now stand at 21-9 overall on the season while the Chargers improve to 23-7. Both teams will almost certainly gain berths into the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament and await their next opponents.