This past weekend, the SVSU volleyball team competed in the 2018 Midwest Region Crossover event.
The team found a pair of losses against Rockhurst and Truman on Friday, Oct. 12, as well as a victory against Walsh on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The tournament’s purpose is to help determine the best teams between the three conferences that make up the NCAA Midwest Region.
“We play opponents based on our respective current standings in our conference play,” coach Will Stanton said. “That helps to get head-to-head results between the conferences when it comes time to decide who the top eight teams are for the NCAA tournament in November and December.”
Rockhurst started strong by scoring the first two points in their match Friday night.
The Lady Cards came back and scored a point due to a Rockhurst attack error. Rockhurst pulled ahead and had the Cardinals by a 6-2 lead.
The sister duo of Hannah and Sarah Tabit started to close the gap with two back-toback kills.
The team worked together to keep up with Rockhurst until the end of the first set. The teams went back and forth until the Lady Cards eventually fell, 25-17.
The second set carried on in similar fashion to the first set. Saginaw Valley stuck close to Rockhurst until they pulled ahead at a 10-7 split, but it was not enough as the team lost the set, 25-13.
The Lady Cards battled for the beginning of the third set, but still fell again to Rockhurst.
The team began to make errors and gave up points. The set ended 25-14, leaving the Cardinals with a 3-0 loss.
After their loss against Rockhurst, Saginaw Valley challenged Truman and lost 3-1.
The Lady Cards put in work to squeeze a tight 25-21 win against Truman. The team kept up until they fell behind, 9-5. They came back 10-10 and worked to stay in the lead for the remainder of the points.
In the second set SVSU fought hard, but still fell short 25-23.
The Lady Cards began to show lowered energy in the third set. They continued to fight for points but came out on the bottom 25-19.
In the fourth and final set, the Cardinals brought all of their effort to come back. Sophomore Emily Friesl, set up by Hannah Tabit, scored the first two points for Saginaw Valley. The team worked as a unit with multiple attacks to keep up with Truman, but finished the game with a 25-21 loss.
The team focused hard through the whole weekend to stay close to their competitors and not let their losses get them down.
“Our strength was the way we kept getting better as the weekend went on,” Stanton said. “We didn’t start well, but we didn’t just accept that and scrap the whole weekend. We kept at it and fixed some things and improved as the weekend wore on. We were playing pretty well by the last match.”
Saturday Oct. 13, Saginaw Valley faced Walsh and rounded off their weekend with a 3-0 win.
The teams battled back and forth for points until a kill from Friesl began the team’s two-point lead.
In a close point battle, the team maintained their two-point lead for a 25-23 victory over Walsh.
In the second set, the evenly matched teams fought for points in an intense set. SVSU held their lead in the end and pulled ahead for a 25-19 final score.
The third and final set of the weekend played out like the previous sets. Both teams fought hard for points, but the Cardinals rose victorious in a close 25-22 point win.
For their next games, the Lady Cards will travel to the Upper Peninsula to take on Northern Michigan on Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. and Michigan Tech on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m.
“We will need to prepare for playing Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan on the road,” Stanton said. “They play two very different styles of ball, so we will have to work on defending against NMU’s size and power, and then also against MTU’s speed and pressure.”