GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—(No. 23) Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University women's volleyball team (23-2, 14-0) was forced to go all five sets to pick up their 23rd victory of the season vs. Aquinas (Mich.) College (11-12, 8-6). Aquinas won the first two sets of the match and put the Blue Devils' backs against the wall, but the Blue Devils rallied back in the match to win three straight sets to remain perfect in the WHAC.
FIRST SET (19-25)
The Saints of Aquinas got our early and never looked back. LTU was just not able to find a rhythm, and struggled all set long. The Saints got ahead by a score of 5-11, and never let the Blue Devils back into the match. The largest lead by the Saints in the first set was 11, when they were ahead 22-11 after scoring five straight points.
SECOND SET (18-25)
In set two the Blue Devils and Saints were trading points at the start of the set until, the Saints scored four straight to get a 7-11 lead. This seemed to be the turning point in the match because the Blue Devils, once again, did not seem to have it. The Blue Devils kept it within five points until the Saints rallied off four straight points to get out in front of 15-24. The Blue Devils were able to fight off three set points, but in the end the Saints were able to get the final kill to win the set.
THIRD SET (25-18)
Needing to win to avoid losing in straight sets, the Blue Devils were back to playing like the No. 23 team in the country. The set was tied 6-6 early, but then the Blue Devils slowly start to build their lead. The Blue Devils never allowed the Saints to gain any momentum by keeping them from scoring more than two points in a row. The Blue Devil lead continue to grow, and never allowed the Saints to get back into the set.
FOURTH SET (25-21)
Set number four saw the Blue Devils come out swinging, getting the early edge by scoring 10 of the set's first 13 points. With the score 10-3, it appeared that the Blue Devils were going to put the Saints away early, but the Saints were able to get within three after scoring three straight to make the score 14-11. The Blue Devils responded with a three point run of their own to push the lead to 17-11. Fast forwarding to set point for the Blue Devils up 24-17, the Saints scored four straight to make the score 24-21 and it seemed as if they were going to have a chance. That was until Varvara Gromakova put the ball to the floor for the Blue Devils and forced a fifth set
FIFTH SET (15-12)
If the first four sets had taught any of the fans in attendance anything, it was that the fifth and final set was going to be a battle until the end. The Blue Devils had got out to an early 6-3 lead, but saw that lead erased when the Saints scored six of the next seven points and took a 7-9 lead. The Blue Devils showed how resilient of a team they are by responding with seven of the next eight points and were up 14-10. Zakia Hunt finished off the Saints with a kill of her own from her favorite setter, Kristi Doherty.
The Blue Devils had three different players collect double digit kills. Leading the attack was Hunt, who continued her dominance on the court with 18 kills. Isabella McDonald was second on the team with 13, and right behind her with 12 was Gromakova. Doherty was the go to player for assists; she picked 46 on the night. Doherty also led the team in digs with 25, and finishing the match with just two less was Shelby Rasch with 23.
The Blue Devils will be back in action on the morning of October 26th, vs. Cornerstone (Mich.) University at 11:00am.