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Cardinals fall in GLIAC opening round in five sets

Cardinals fall in GLIAC opening round in five sets

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University volleyball team opened the 2021 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament against the University of Wisconsin Parkside Friday morning at the James E. O'Neill Jr. Arena.

The No. 8 seed Cardinals traded the first four sets with the No. 9 seed Rangers to send the match to a fifth set. Parkside took control in the final frame, winning the final eight points of the match to earn the victory and advance in the winner's bracket.

The set scores were 18-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-23, 15-9. The loss drops SVSU to 4-11 overall this season and the Cardinals will move to the consolation bracket and resume play on Saturday.

Maria Vukaj, who was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team on Thursday, led the offense with 13 kills, adding 17 digs. Rylee Zimmer finished with 12 kills, 19 digs, and four total blocks.

All-GLIAC Honorable Mention Haley Clum recorded a team-high seven total blocks for SVSU, while Kelsey Vittitow added 14 digs. Peyton Gerstacker and Juliana Dunning split duties at the setter position and finished with 18 and 17 assists, respectively.

Hallie McGuire and Rachel Hedman each finished with 13 kills to lead the Rangers, who fell to No. 1 seed Michigan Tech in the quarterfinal round later in the day.

SVSU takes on No. 11 seed Purdue University Northwest in the consolation bracket of the tournament at 1 pm Saturday at O'Neill Arena.

NOTE: SVSU is serving as the host for the 2021 GLIAC Volleyball Tournament April 9-11.