Wayne State volleyball defeated Grand Valley State University 3–1 (25–10, 25–18, 19–25, 25–23) in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams at the Matthaei on Sept. 7.
After the Lakers closed their deficit to 6–3 in the first set, the Warriors would outscore GVSU 19–7 to pull away with a 25–10 victory for the first set.
Senior captain Hailey Richardson said the team focused on playing well against GVSU.
“We came out ready to go,” Richardson said. “That was our main focus tonight and that first set, we were focused on what we needed to do.”
In the second set, after the Lakers took a 12–11 lead, WSU scored five points in a row to take a 16–12 lead, as they went on to win the second set 25–18.
After GVSU won the third set 25–19 and held leads of 5–1 and 7–3 in the fourth set, WSU bounced back to tie GVSU at 7–7. The final set consisted of four ties and GVSU took the lead twice before a kill by freshman Kamryn Duffield gave the Warriors a lead that they would not relinquish.
After the Lakers cut the lead to 24–23, a kill by redshirt freshman Taylor Wagner gave WSU the match victory.
After the match, Koth and Richardson acknowledged Duffield’s contributions to the team early in the season.
“She comes in as a very accomplished high school player (so) she has been in big match play before,” Koth said. “But every opportunity for her to play in conference matches (is) something for her to absorb and understand how she can apply the experiences she already has to help us.”
“She always wants to learn more, she always asks every hitter if she’s setting the ball right, and she has great communication out there,” Richardson said.
Richardson posted her fifth double-double of the season with 21 kills and 13 digs. Duffield led the team with 34 assists and senior captain Ellie Rodriguez set a team high of 19 digs.
The win improved WSU’s record to 6–3 on the season with a 1–0 record in the GLIAC.
WSU will continue its nine-game homestand on Sept. 8 as they host Davenport University at 2 p.m.
“This is their second year in the conference, so they have a year under their belt and they will present a big challenge for us,” Koth said.
Richardson said the team needs to match the way they started against Grand Valley to come away with a win.
“We have to come out with the same mentality (that) we did tonight of starting off the first set strong,” Richardson said. “It’s a quick turnaround, but we’ll be ready.”
Cover photo courtesy of WSU Athletics.