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PREVIEW: Lakers Set to Open Season at Michigan Tech Tournament


SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.—The Lake Superior State volleyball team will open the 2019 season at the Michigan Tech Tournament in Houghton, Mich. The Lakers will play four games total in the tournament including two matches on Friday, Sept. 6 and two matches on Saturday, Sept. 7. 

2019 Season Preview: 

The Lakers look to continue improving as Dave Schmidlin begins his third year as head coach. LSSU posted a 5-22 (2-14 GLIAC) record in 2018 and went to a decisive fifth set in 13 times. Lake State was ranked sixth in the 2019 GLIAC Preseason Coaches Poll. 

Lakers Schedule - Michigan Tech Tournament: 


     Game 1: vs Southwest Minnesota State @ 11:00AM

     Game 2: vs Upper Iowa @ 3:00PM


     Game 1: vs Mary @ 9:00AM

     Game 2: vs Minnesota-Crookston @ 1:00PM

Roster Breakdown:

The Lakers have a young roster with only four upperclassmen. Below is a breakdown of the Laker Volleyball team by class: 

Seniors: Caitlyn Kane (Middle Blocker), Amanda Reid (Outside Hitter)

Juniors: Sarah Bailey (Outside Hitter), Kyra Vezina (Defensive Specialist)

Sophomores: Abby Beachnau (Libero/Defensive Specialist), Rylee Eisenga (Outside Hitter), Halle Grulke (Setter), Camdyn Odykirk (Middle Hitter), Kelly Walter (Middle Hitter), Bethany Wilson (Middle Hitter)

Freshmen: Rachel Beelen (Outside Hitter), Kaitlyn Bishop (Outside Hitter), Sydney Briney (Libero/Defensive Specialist), Taylor Fleming (Outside Hitter), Malia Howe (Outside Hitter), Emily Kalinowski (Setter), Joan Ogemaw (Middle Hitter), Avery Strohmeyer (Middle Hitter),  *Nina White (Middle White), *Katja Wilhelms (Libero/Defensive Specialist), Kayla Wilhelms(Defensive Specialist)

*Denotes Redshirt Freshman.

Leading the Lakers: 

Senior outside hitter Amanda Reid started all 27 matches for the Lakers in 2018. Reid set career season highs in kills (310), kills per set (2.87), digs (357), digs per set (3.31) and points (354).

Senior middle blocker Caitlyn Kane competed in 24 matches in 2018 while starting 11 times. Kane set career match highs in kills (14), attempts (38), assists (1) and block assists (4) during the 2018 season.

Sophomore setter Halle Grulke appeared in all but one match during her freshman season and ranked second on the team last year with 345 assists.

Sophomore defensive specialist Abby Beachnau appeared in all 27 matches for the Lakers in her freshman year and tallied 191 digs. 

Sophomore Kelly Walter is the third returning Laker who appeared in all 27 matches last season, along with Reid and Beachnau. The middle blocker led the team in hitting percentage in 2018 with a .151 percentage and ranked second in kills (189).

Sophomore middle hitter Camdyn Odykirk started in 20 of the 26 matches she appeared in as a freshman. Her 139 total kills ranked third on the team and her .127 hitting percentage was good for second on the team. 

Up Next:

Following the Michigan Tech Tournament, the Lakers will have a week to regroup before heading to St. Cloud Minnesota to take part in the GLIAC/NSIC Crossover Tournament on Sept. 13-14. LSSU will play tournament host, St. Cloud State, on Friday, Sept. 13 at 10:00am. The Lakers will complete the weekend with games against Minnesota-Crookston on Friday at 2:30pm, Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday at 10:00am, and South Dakota Mines on Saturday at 2:00pm. 

For more information on the 2019 schedule, please click here.

For more information, follow LSSU volleyball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.