HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech volleyball team wrapped up the Country Inn & Suites Keweenaw Classic with a 3-2 loss to Upper Iowa Saturday (Sept. 7) at the SDC Gym. The Huskies won the first and third sets before falling 15-13 in the fifth.
"We're obviously disappointed with the loss, but it was a hard-fought game," Tech coach Matt Jennings said. "I'm happy we played so hard at the end to come back in that fifth set.
"I think it was the second set that got away from us. We had an opportunity to go up 2-0, and we let that one get away. They got into a groove and made some adjustments that we weren't able to counter."
In the second, the two teams were tied at 21 before back-to-back service aces by the Peacocks Haley Weepie gave the visitors the advantage. A pair of kills by Jonynas and an ace by Megan Utlak got the Huskies back into it. Upper Iowa then scored the final two points on a kill and ace to tie up the match with a 26-24 win.
Tech responded with a 25-23 win in set three, building a 14-10 lead and then holding on late with kills by Jonynas, Ping, Olivia Ghormley, and the winning one from MacAulay Petersen. Jonynas piled up six kills in the frame as Tech hit .318 as a team.
Upper Iowa again knotted it up with a 25-16 win in the fourth, forcing the Huskies into 12 hitting errors.
In the fifth, the visitors scored four straight points to take a 7-3 lead. Jonynas and Ghormley each had a pair of kills down the stretch, and Tech got back into it at 14-13, before Maggie Steightiff won the match for the Peacocks with a kill.
"We seem to battle with them every time we play, and tonight was no different," Jennings said. "They're well-coached."
Jonynas finished with 23 kills, 17 digs, and three blocks. Ghormley (20) and Emilia Widen (10) also hit double-digit kills, while Laura De Marchi racked up 60 assists. Utlak had a team-high 23 digs. De Marchi (13), Kristine Fink (13), and Grace Novotny (11) also had double-digit digs. Ping had four blocks.
Tech finished the opening weekend with a 3-1 record after sweeping No. 9 Southwest Minnesota State on Thursday and Mary and Minnesota Crookston on Saturday.
"It was two and a half really long days," added Jennings. "We got great support from our staff, the fans, and the band. That means a lot to our team.
"I'm happy with a 3-1 record. We played really good ball for most of the tournament. We were challenged tonight for the first time, and I would've liked a better response, but we have a lot to be proud of on the weekend."
The Huskies return to the court next weekend at the St. Cloud State Invite. Tech will play No. 6 Minnesota Duluth, Bemidji State, St. Cloud State, and Minnesota Crookston.