Cardinals Complete Weekend Sweep at 2016 Midwest Region Crossover Tournament

The Cards went 3-0 at the Crossover Tournament in Aurora, Illinois over the weekend...
The Cards went 3-0 at the Crossover Tournament in Aurora, Illinois over the weekend...

AURORA, Ill. - The SVSU volleyball team continued play at the 2016 Midwest Region Crossover Tournament, taking-on Cedarville and McKendree on Saturday (Oct. 15) in a pair of regional tilts at the Great Lakes Center just outside of Chicago. The Cardinals had a stellar performance in the two matches, not dropping a single set in completing the weekend sweep with 3-0 wins over the Yellow Jackets and Bearcats. 

It marks the third time that the Cardinals have swept through the mathches at the annual event (2010, 2013). 

Cedarville (W, 3-0)

The Cardinals were well in control through the opening two frames against the top team from the GMAC, hitting .379 and .400 in the first and second, respectively, to take the 2-0 edge by scores of 25-14 and 25-15. In the second, the Cards went for seven points in a row after the score was knotted at 9-9 to get a solid lead. SVSU then closed-out for the 3-0 sweep after a narrow 25-23 victory in the third and final set. 

Inside the Boxscore

  • McKenzie Schuster hit at a .300 clip in the contest against the Yellow Jackets. She posted nine kills with four blocks as well. Schuster was selected as the Chili's Player of the Match. 
  • Kaylee Schmitt added eight kills with a .471 hitting percentage, adding a match-high six blocks.
  • Tamara Heller notched 11 kills with 16 digs, marking a match-best in the digs category.
  • Emily Nieman, Abbie Toland and Andrea Brigham all chipped-in with 10 digs, with Brigham adding eight kills to her credit. 
  • Kelly Vellucci had 37 assists in the match while setting her teammates up for a stellar .302 hitting percentage with the victory. In the process, she became the program's all-time leader in career assists with 3,472. 

From Head Coach Will Stanton

"We served well and put Cedarville in some rough spots and then we did a very good job of taking advantage of those situations. Our blocking really did a good job of touching a lot of hits and slowing their attack. That made our defensive job much easier."

McKendree (W, 3-0)

Taking on the no. 2-seeded Bearcats from the GLVC, Saginaw Valley continued their fine play and finished the sweep on the day. The Cardinals took the 2-0 advantage with 25-18 and 25-19 wins in the first and second sets, respectively. They then closed-out the win with a 25-20 victory in the third frame. 

SVSU continued the solid offensive play, hitting for .306, .324 and .286 in the respective sets against McKendree in the second match. 

Inside the Boxscore

  • Heller earned Chili's Player of the Match plaudits for the second contest of the day, hitting .450 with nine kills, adding eight digs and three blocks. 
  • Schuster and Schmitt each chipped-in with nine kills as well for the Cardinal offense. 
  • Vellucci tacked-on to her already record assist tally, adding 31 in the match with 11 digs and eight kills in 11 attack tries. 
  • Nieman had a match-high 13 digs while Toland added 10. 
  • The wins give head coach Will Stanton 204 for his career, as he recently notched his 200th career victory in the team's 3-2 win at Ohio Dominican on Friday, October 7.

From Head Coach Will Stanton

"We passed and blocked very well against McKendree, and because of that we were able to control a lot of the tempo in the match. That gave us many more offensive opportunities, and our hitters did a very good job with those opportunities. Kelly Vellucci had a a great weekend and really led the way with our offense. Her decision-making and execution was the difference in every match this weekend." 

Up Next

SVSU returns home for a match on Saturday (Oct. 22) against the Walsh University Cavaliers. First serve is set for 2:00 p.m. at the Hamilton Gymnasium on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University.

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