HOUGHTON – The Michigan Tech volleyball team split a pair of matches on day two of the Keweenaw Classic Volleyball Tournament sponsored by Joey’s Seafood and Grill. The Huskies defeated Bemidji State 3-1 to pick up their first win of the season in the 1:30 p.m. match and dropped a five set thriller to Upper Iowa in the evening contest.
“We were much more confident today compared to yesterday,” Tech coach Matt Jennings said. “We were assertive and aggressive and came out with a ton of energy. Credit goes to our veterans for making sure we were ready to play.”
“Both teams we played today are very experienced and come from great conferences. We played little smarter in the first match and our defense carried us to the fifth set in the late match.”
Tech defeated Bemidji State 25-22, 20-25, 25-23 and 25-22. The Huskies jumped out to an early lead after Lauren Emmert buried five kills from the middle hitting position to give Tech the 1-0 lead. Aubrey Ficek, Noelle Eveland and Sylvie Rokosh found their groove in the second set but Bemidji tied it up. The home team went back to Ficek in the third as she tallied six kills and Rokosh gave the Huskies the win in set four with five kills, including the clinching spike.
Four Huskies had double digit kills with Ficek leading the way with 16. Rokosh finished with 14 while Eveland had 11 and Emmert 10. Rosie Aumann set up the Tech attack with 48 assists and Jacqueline Aird led the defense with 19 digs.
Amanda Tronick had a match-high 17 kills to lead the Beavers. Courtney Volkmann had 47 assists and Kayla DeJong led the team with 14 digs.
Tech outhit BSU .292 to .277. The two teams combined for only seven blocks.
In the nightcap, the Huskies took two of the first three sets before falling in the final two in front of a rowdy SDC Gym crowd. The Peacocks won the final match of Friday’s tournament schedule 19-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17 and 15-11.
Ficek and Emmert each tallied 13 kills in the match. Ficek had five in the first set alone, while Emmert had four kills in the third and fourth sets. Emmert also added four black assists and a solo block. Aumann tallied 40 assists while Aird racked up 33 digs, including 11 in the fifth set.
Jennifer Mundt had a match-high 20 kills to lead UI while also adding 20 digs. Hailey Brown (38) and Jenna Hermsen (20) split the setter duties with 20 assists each. Amanda Weiss led the Peacocks with 30 digs.
The Huskies had an attack percentage of .110 compared to UI’s .163.
Tech is now 1-2 on the season and plays two matches Saturday to wrap up the tournament. The Huskies first face Winona State at 1 p.m. and then No. 3-ranked Minnesota Duluth in the 7 p.m. finale.
“Tomorrow we need to hold our ground, do our jobs, be task oriented, play tough, and play just a little smarter,” added Jennings. “Both teams we play tomorrow are really tough. We’re going to give it all we got.”
The final day of the tournament starts at 9 a.m. with UW-Parkside vs. Bemidji State. There are eight matches slated for Saturday.
(Information Courtesy of MTU Athletics)