The Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball team started the fall season on the road, putting on a 3-1 aggregate record as they beat the University of Notre Dame (3-0), Mercyhurst University (3-0) , Malone University (3-1) and were eventually wiped out by Gannon University in a tough 0-3 loss.

Jason Johnson, the Lakers’ second-year head coach, believes the key to a successful season is to continue to take steps forward as a program rather than focusing on the shortcomings of any player. any previous season.

“We played very well against two teams on Friday,” Johnson said. “For our first game on Saturday, we played pretty well for ourselves again, but we were a bit distracted and that resulted in us losing the set.”

In the University of Notre Dame sweep, the Lakers were able to beat the Falcons in three sets with scores of 25-10, 25-23 and 25-19. Lower mid-level roadblocks Sarah Wight and Jaelianna Primus lead the charge with 8 kills each, with freshman Jordyn Gates following with 6 kills and 14 assists.

The second game of the evening included another sweep against Mercyhurst, as Primus (11) and Gates (8) once again led the team in kills with another standout contribution from the side’s senior player. other than Savannah Thompson (7). Sets ended with scores of 25-14, 25-13 and 25-14.

The Lakers continued to dominate for the second day against Malone University in a four-set battle, ending the game 25-17, 22-25, 25-15 and 25-7. Primus, Stover and freshman Meghan O’Sullivan all lead the Lakers with 11 knockdowns each. Gates and junior Rachel Jacquay controlled the pace of 25 fouls and 20 assists, respectively.

However, the success of the two-day games would come to an end when the Lakers couldn’t figure out how to stop Gannon. The Lakers fell 14-25 in the first set, 12-25 in the second, and showed little promise in a back-and-forth rally in the third set until the final Knights finished test day. match the score 26-24.

“We knew that Gannon was going to be the toughest game for us this weekend,” Johnson said. “They have been a very seasoned and successful program over the last five to 10 years. I think we were just trying to control it at the time. I’d like to see us a little more competitive from the start. Overall, I’m pleased with the results of everything we did this weekend.”

Primus led the Lakers with a total of 33 kills throughout the tournament. Gates had a total of 28 kills, 72 digs, and 67 assists during the tournament. Freshman outside Kendall Stover also featured 30 kills and 29 digs.

“Primus really led us through the whole weekend,” Johnson said. “Her tackles, offense and constant availability are all truly outstanding.”

With the defeat to Gannon still looming over them, Johnson pondered what he believes the Lakers need to do to maintain their ability to be the top team in the convention.

“The hope is that we can put ourselves in a position to host another NCAA tournament,” Johnson said. “To do that, we have to be consistent and succeed early. For us, always put ourselves in the best position to succeed. We hope that our program can always be one of our convention representative programs in the NCAA tournament.”

The Lakers will face Bentley University to begin a four-game series in the Uindy Invitational on Friday, September 2 in Indianapolis.

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