Courtesy of Michigan Tech Huskies
HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech volleyball coach Matt Jennings presented team awards last weekend with four Huskies being honored. Anna Jonynas was named the Most Valuable Player, Megan Utlak received the Digger and Scholastic Achievement Awards, Janie Grindland was honored with the Most Improved Player Award, and Carissa Beyer received the Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award.
Anna Jonynas was on the All-GLIAC First Team, was named to the GLIAC All-Tournament Team, AVCA National Player of the Week on April 8, and GLIAC North Division Player of the Week on April 5. The senior outside hitter led the GLIAC in points per set (4.5) and kills per set (4.14), ranked seventh in hitting percentage (.277), 12th in service aces (16), and 17th in digs per set (3.88). Jonynas ranks sixth in program history with 1,338 digs. The Orland Park, Illinois native had 13 double-doubles in 2021, four matches with 20 kills, and tied a career-high with 27 digs on March 27. She also led the team with 16 service aces while adding 20 total blocks and 18 assists. As one of the team’s primary passers, she led all players in passing attempts by over 200 balls and had the team’s highest passer average. Jonynas was also named team MVP in 2018. After graduating this spring with a degree in chemical engineering, Jonynas will compete for the Huskies this fall while earning her master of business administration degree.
Megan Utlak was honored with the Digger Award for the third straight season and the Scholastic Achievement Award for the second year in a row. She was an All-GLIAC Second Team selection after finishing fifth in the conference in digs per set (4.89). Her 4.89 digs per set for the season was the third-best mark in program history and the most she’s averaged in a single season to date. The senior libero from Parma, Ohio is third in program history with 1,575 digs, only two back of second. She tallied double-digit digs in all 15 matches and hit the 20-dig mark six times this season while tying a career-high with 32 digs on March 27.
Utlak graduated in May with a 4.0 cumulative GPA as a student in business administration and psychology. It has been well over a decade since a Husky volleyball player has finished her undergraduate degree with all As. Utlak will intern for Stryker this summer and will compete this fall while pursuing her MBA.
Janie Grindland was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team after she ranked third in the league in blocks per set (1.04) and fourth in hitting percentage (.321). The junior middle blocker from Woodbury, Minnesota is 11th in career hitting percentage at Tech after three seasons. She averaged 1.93 kills per set and hit double figures in kills four times. She tallied 11 total blocks on March 12 and added 33 digs on the season with 10 service aces.
Carissa Beyer transferred to Tech from Dayton last summer and due to NCAA transfer rules, didn’t compete in 2021. She is a defensive specialist/libero from Appleton, Wisconsin that is slated to complete for the Huskies starting in the fall. Beyer was a major presence in the practice gym, locker room, and on the sidelines this season and consistently brought a skill level and maturity to the program.