College Roundup: Hope volleyball makes 14th NCAA tournament run

Tribune Staff • Nov 8, 2016 at 12:03 AM

The 10th-ranked Hope College volleyball team is headed back to Whitewater, Wisconsin for the NCAA Division III Tournament this week.

Hope is making its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and ninth in a row. The Flying Dutch were national champions in 2014. They lost in the first round last season to Bethel (Minnesota) at Whitewater, Wisconsin.

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament champion Flying Dutch are seeded fourth in this week’s Whitewater regional and will open postseason play against fifth-seeded Elmhurst, Illinois on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Hope enters the tournament with a 25-5 overall record, while No. 18 Elmhurst is 22-12 overall.

This will be the second time the Flying Dutch and Blue Jays have met this season. Elmhurst won in four sets during the Midwest Invitational on Oct. 15 at DeVos Fieldhouse.

Thursday’s winner will face the winner of No. 11 Whitewater (27-6) and Greenville, Illinois (25-7), in the second round on Friday at 8 p.m.

The regional title match is Saturday at 8 p.m. The winner moves to the Nov. 17 national quarterfinals in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Hope Women’s Soccer prepares for postseason

The Hope College women’s soccer team is traveling to the Cincinnati area this weekend to open the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The Flying Dutch are making their fifth NCAA Division III Tournament appearance and second in three years. In 2014, the Flying Dutch upset nationally ranked Wheaton (Illinois) in the first round before losing to Illinois Wesleyan in the second round.

Hope, which also won a share of the regular-season MIAA championships, enters with a 15-3-2 overall record.

Lynchburg is 14-2-3. The Hornets received an at-large berth to the national tournament.

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament champion Flying Dutch will kick off a first-round match against Lynchburg, Virginia on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

The winner faces the winner of fourth-ranked Thomas More or Penn State-Behrend in Saturday’s 1 p.m. second-round match. Thomas More (20-0-1) plays Penn State-Behrend (16-4) at 11 a.m. Friday.

GVSU volleyball sweeps Lake Superior State

The Grand Valley State volleyball team used its most efficient offensive performance in a GLIAC match this season, defeating Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday afternoon.

GVSU notched a .324 team hitting percentage in a 3-0 sweep (25-14, 25-17, 25-15) over the home Lakers to snap a winless three-match skid.

With the victory, Grand Valley State improves to 14-12 on the year and moves above .500 with an 8-7 GLIAC record. It was GVSU's seventh 3-0 sweep of the season. Lake Superior State falls to 3-24 on the season and 0-15 in conference action.

While GVSU owned a large 45-23 advantage in kills over Lake Superior State, a pair of Lakers — sophomore Staci Brower and freshman Jayci Suseland — tallied more kills than LSSU as an entire team. Brower provided a match-best 13 kills, committed only one error, hit .480, and added four block assists. Suseland put down 12 kills with a .381 hitting percentage and the newcomer tabbed a pair of block assists.

Grand Valley State hit .324 in the match, including marks of .344 in set one and .444 in the second stanza. Sophomore Jillian Butsavich recorded eight kills and only one error in 14 attempts for a .500 hitting clip, while totaling three blocks. Fellow sophomore Shannon Winicki added seven kills and two blocks, as well.

Junior setter Katie Olson handed out 34 assists and notched seven digs, three block assists, a pair of kills, and a service ace. Freshman Kendall Yerkes tied sophomore Taylor Stewart for a team-high 11 digs, while Yerkes added three kills and a pair of aces. Both liberos Sydney Benchley and Amanda Glaza picked up eight digs and Benchley served up three of GVSU's six aces.

Statistically, Grand Valley State held LSSU to a .049 hitting percentage and GVSU owned advantages in assists (38-20), aces (6-4), digs (50-41), and blocks (7-4).

Grand Valley State will close out the regular season next weekend back home in Allendale. GVSU will face Northwood on Friday night before taking on Hillsdale on Saturday afternoon.

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