HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech Huskies swept the Tiffin Dragons (25-22, 25-18, 25-16) in the quarterfinal round of the 2017 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Wednesday (Nov. 15) at the SDC Gym. The third-seeded Huskies now advance to the GLIAC Semifinals at top-seed Ferris State Saturday (Nov. 18) and will face No. 2 seed Northern Michigan for the third time this season.
"I'm happy with the three-set win," said Tech head coach Matt Jennings. "To advance into the playoffs was our goal, and we did it here tonight. Tiffin is a good team and they have been winning a bunch of games. For us to stop their run here at home in the quarterfinals is a good thing. We're happy with it."
Tech gave Tiffin some leverage in set one, matching up evenly early on. Tied 8-8, Halie Hart rallied on for five serves while Lauren Emmert and Olivia Ghormley stepped in to set the tone at the net. Tech took control leading 13-8 and continued to carry the lead throughout the rest of the set. Ghormley flourished with six kills and MacAulay Petersen pounded four kills, including the set point to secure the 25-22 win.
Petersen added another four kills and Mariah Sherman captured the set two winner, carrying the Huskies' momentum into the break. The Black and Gold dominated and held the Dragons to just 18 points (25-18) in the second frame.
Tiffin fought back matching the Huskies point for point in set three and climbed back on the scoreboard to tie up the set seven times. Tech caught fire to lead 16-10, where senior Lauren Emmert knocked down six of her 13 kills in set three alone. Emmert topped the set off with two aces for the match win 25-16.
"We started serving well and took them out of system, and I feel like Tiffin started to slow down in that third set," Jennings said.
Offensively, Emmert had zero errors on her 13 kills, hitting .684. The middle blocker recorded three digs and a pair of blocks.
"When she [Emmert] gets going and the ball is in system at the speed that she likes, she is really hard to stop," said Jennings. "We saw a mismatch there at the net, and we just tried to take advantage of it. It worked out well for us."
Outside hitters, Ghormley and Petersen also had double figures offensively. Ghormley tallied 11 kills and Petersen had 10 kills.
Laura DeMarchi notched her 19th double-double on the season setting the Huskies offense with 41 assists, 10 digs, four aces, and two kills.
"The back court in volleyball is maybe like the offensive line in football," Jennings said. "The part of the game that doesn't get a ton attention. It's not as glamorous, it's not as shiny, but they put in a lot of hard work. It is not easy to do what they do, especially in serve receive."
Saturday's first serve versus NMU is at 5:30 p.m. inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena.
"For us each to have won at the other's venue, on the other's home court is interesting and a lot of fun," said Jennings. "I think there is something ironic or serendipitous about us playing each other again next weekend on a neutral site. We'll see what happens, two really good teams that love playing each other and that love beating each other even more."
Wayne State and Ferris State will meet in the first semifinal at 3 p.m. The winners of the two semifinal matches will meet in the 2017 GLIAC Championship match on Sunday (Nov. 19) at 3 p.m.