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Cardinal Volleyball Split on Day One of Hyatt Sunshine Classic

Cardinal Volleyball Split on Day One of Hyatt Sunshine Classic

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Saginaw Valley State University women's volleyball squad went 1-1 on day one (Aug. 31) of the 2012 season at the Hyatt Place Sunshine Classic, hosted by Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Cardinals battled No. 18 Lewis in their first match but fell in straight sets. SVSU regrouped in their second match and came away with an impressive 3-1 victory.

Game 1: No. 18 Lewis 3, Saginaw Valley 0

The Cardinals stuck right with the 18th ranked Flyers for most of the first set as they faced a small 18-16 deficit before Lewis closed out the set 25-18 for the 1-0 advantage.

Saginaw Valley showed poise in the second set taking a 7-5 edge in the early goings. Lewis would battle back to knot the score at 12 all and ultimately go on a run to take the second set 25-15.

The Flyers closed out the match in the third set with a 25-12 decision for 3-0 victory over the Cardinals.

Saginaw Valley was led by Chili's 'Player of the Match' senior Sam Breault (Bad Axe, Mich.) who recorded a team-high four kills on seven attempts with 12 assists and three digs. Fellow senior Laurel Mattson (Lake Odessa, Mich. / Lakewood HS) tallied a team-high 13 digs as well a service ace, while starting freshman Brooke Tiller (Maumee, Ohio / Maumee HS) posted nine digs in her first collegiate match. Makenzie Frodle (Fraser, Mich. / Fraser HS) and Ashley Driscoll (Bellevue, Mich. / Kellogg CC) posted three kills each in the season opener.

Game 2: Saginaw Valley 3, Southern Indiana 1

Saginaw Valley jumped out to the early 12-9 lead over the Screaming Eagles after a Kelsey Ferla (Lincoln Park, Mich. / Gabriel Richard HS) service ace to give the Cardinals momentum midway through the first set. However, Southern Indiana responded quickly and capitalized on opportunities as they won the first set 25-17 for the early edge.

SVSU found their rhythm in the second game as they won 10 of 12 points at one point in the set. The Cardinals would maintain their lead and take their first set of the season (25-17) to tie up the match at 1-1.

Game three saw the Cardinals take control of the match as they raced to a 16-6 advantage. Saginaw Valley staved off a Southern Indiana comeback and was victorious by a score of 25-20 to take a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth game.

Momentum and confidence stuck with the Lady Cardinals in the fourth set as they grasped a 13-5 advantage. A kill by Makenzie Frodle gave the girls in red and white an 18-11 advantage on an assist from Sam Breault. The Cardinals closed out the Screaming Eagles by a 25-18 fourth set and the 3-1 match victory.

The victory avenges last year's meeting between the two programs as Southern Indiana defeated Saginaw Valley last season at the GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament. The Cardinals hit .361 in the contest committing just 14 errors while forcing 21 USI miscues.

SVSU was led by Chili's 'Player of the Match' sophomore Makenzie Frodle who posted 14 kills on 23 attempts for an error-free .609 hitting percentage, as well as defending on three blocks. Fellow sophomore Kelsey Ferla recorded a team-high 15 kills and a .300 hitting percentage including ten digs. Sam Breault effectively conducted the Cardinal offense to the tune of 52 assists, while senior Sarah Robb (Novi, Mich. / Novi HS) was successful on nine of her 13 attacks in the contest.

Laurel Mattson came up with 17 digs in the match, while Kate Czopek (Sterling Heights, Mich. / Sterling Heights HS) recorded eight kills along with 12 digs. Julia Thomas (Novi, Mich. / Novi HS) also had nine digs and three kills.

The Lady Cardinals will return to action for day two of the Sunshine Classic tomorrow (Sept. 1) starting at 10 AM when they battle No. 7 Washburn before a tilt with Northwest Missouri State at 2 PM.