UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University volleyball team is gearing up for the start of the 2021 spring season, opening against rival Northwood University on Feb. 19 at home.
SVSU, led by Head Coach Will Stanton, will rely on a core of returning student-athletes in key positions to lead a group of younger Cardinals through a unique spring campaign. In 2019, the last full season for SVSU, the volleyball team went 20-9 overall and 12-4 in the Great Lakes Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Cardinals have been picked to finish fourth in the North Division of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference by the league's coaches. Michigan Tech was picked to win the North, while Ashland University if forecasted to take the South. To view the full release from the GLIAC CLICK HERE.
The Cardinals finished fourth overall and third in the North Division of the GLIAC in 2019, earning a bid to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional, where the team fell in the quarterfinals.
With several key contributors gone from the 2019 squad, Stanton will turn to several returners to guide a young team in 2021. Senior Emily Friesl returns after being named the GLIAC Blocker of the Year in 2019. The Byron Center, Mich., native was second on the team in kills per set in her junior season.
Maria Vukaj also figures to play a key role on the front line for the Cardinals. The junior from Davison, Mich., was second on the team in total kills in 2019. Peyton Gerstacker, from Midland, Mich., is ready to switch to the setter position for the Cardinals as a junior. She recorded 209 digs in 29 matches for SVSU in 2019.
SVSU opens the 2021 spring season against rival Northwood University at 7 pm Friday, Feb. 19 at Hamilton Gymnasium.
Season Preview Video: