UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich - The Saginaw Valley State University volleyball team wins in a five set match against #21 Michigan Tech to close out regular season play. With the win the Cardinals improve to 20-7 overall and 12-4 in the GLIAC.
The Cardinals and Huskies went point-for-point through the first half of the match with the score knotted 12 all. SVSU took the first major lead as Sarah Tabit extended the Cardinals lead to four recording four kills in-a-row giving SVSU a, 16-13, advantage. The Cardinals dug in deep and forced the Huskies to make offensive errors and found their own groove offensively as Maria Vukaj added three kills, giving SVSU a, 22-16, lead. The final two points were set up by Hannah Tabit to close out set one, 25-20, and give the Cardinals a, 1-0, advantage in the match.
Saginaw Valley opened set two with an early three point advantage, 8-5, as their defense stepped up and forced three Husky errors. The Huskies quickly closed that three point gap and knotted the set, 11-11. The Cardinals went on to score four unanswered giving them a, 15-11, lead over MTU. Again, Michigan Tech fought back to tie the second set, 19-19. The Cardinals and Huskies exchanged points through to a score of, 23-23, when SVSU's defense forced three errors giving them the, 26-24, win over MTU.
The Cardinals opened set three with a, 2-0, advantage in the match. The Huskies found an early grove and took a, 9-5, lead which was quickly made up as the Cardinals scored four unanswered to knot the set, 9-9. Michigan Tech pushed hard offensively and regained the lead, 18-15, a deficit that the Cardinals were unable to recover from late in the set as the Huskies closed the final three points to win, 25-21.
Set four was an all-out battle. The Huskies took an early lead scoring nine to the Cardinals three taking a, 12-7, advantage. The Cardinals responded by scoring five in-a-row to knot the Huskies, 12-12. Scoring went back-and-forth as the Cards and Huskies were tied, 21-21. The Huskies went on to score two points and take a, 23-21, lead that was quickly overcome by the Cardinals taking a, 24-23, advantage. The fourth set ultimately fell to the Huskies after scoring the final three points ending the set, 26-24.
With the match knotted, 2-2, a fifth and final set would be the deciding factor. The Cardinals took an early lead, 6-1, led by Emily Friesl and Sarah Tabit who added a combined four kills and a block. The Huskies fought back to within three, 9-6, the set still in favor of the Cardinals. SVSU extended their lead taking a, 13-9, advantage which was too big of a gap for the Huskies to recover as SVSU closed the fifth set, 15-11.
Inside the Box Score
- Senior Sarah Tabit led the Cardinals with a match high and career best 30 kills. Tabit had a hitting percentage of .229 and 13 digs in the win and her performance garnered her 'Player of the Match' honors.
- Maria Vukaj had 14 kills and led the team with a .297 hitting percentage in the win. Vukaj added four assists, 14 digs, and a block.
- Hannah Tabit recorded 53 assists for the Cardinals, her sixth time over 50 assists in a match this season. Tabit added two service aces, six digs, and four blocks.
- Abbie Toland led the team in digs with 15 and had four assists in the win over MTU.
The Cardinals are back in action Wednesday (Nov. 20) as they open GLIAC Tournament play by hosting Wayne State at 7:00 p.m. The teams will square-off in SVSU's Hamilton Gymnasium. Saginaw Valley claimed the earlier meeting between the teams this season, which was a 3-2 win on October 4.