The Ferris State University women's volleyball picked up a significant victory at the St. Cloud State Tournament this Friday (Sept. 4) afternoon as the Bulldogs upset nationally fifth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney, 3-1, (14-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-12) in a non-conference contest at SCSU's Halenbeck Hall in St. Cloud, Minn.
Ferris State improved its overall record to 5-2 this season with the win as the Bulldogs went undefeated in its two opening St. Cloud State Tournament outings for today. Nebraska-Kearney was 5-0 coming into the matchup with the Bulldogs and were ranked fifth in this week's (Aug. 31) American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) national poll.
The Bulldogs knocked off its second straight opponent from the unbeaten ranks by recording a productive .275 hitting percentage. Ferris State compiled 53 kills for the match while Nebraska-Kearney hammered 50 kills and concluded the contest hitting at a .245 clip. A key statistic which Ferris State dominated in was its season-high 12 service aces as senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) and sophomore libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) served up four aces to lead the way.
Gilchrist turned in her best match effort of the young season to date with a squad-leading 14 kills in 25 attempts for a team-best .560 attack percentage. Gilchrist tallied her first double-doubles of this year as she added 11 digs to her 14 digs output. Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) continued her productive play with her second consecutive double-doubles to date - 13 digs, 10 kills, and three service aces.
Senior outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs) contributed to the win with 12 kills and a .308 hitting percentage. Senior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) supplied eight kills on .318 hitting. Setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt), a redshirt frosh, dished out a match-high 41 assists in directing the Bulldog offensive charge.
Defensively, Lisa Tobiczyk and Ashley Huntey shared top team honors with 13 digs apiece. Junior libero Dana Ruttle (Reed City) matched Gilchrist's digs total as FSU amassed 60 as a team.
The Lopers stormed out in the opening set by hitting a blistering .441 percentage, but the Bulldogs would proceed to win the next two sets. Ferris State hit .378 to UNK's .225 in the second set and then notched a .233 percentage in set three while the Lopers were held to a .200 attack percentage.
With the momentum on their side, the Bulldogs dashed any hopes of a potential UNK comeback in the fourth set. FSU broke open a 5-5 tie as a result of a 16-4 scoring spurt to claim a 21-9 points advantage. A pair of kills by junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) followed by a Kristy Gilchrist kill put the Bulldogs within a point (24-12) of securing the decision. Lisa Tobiczyk proceeded Gilchrist with a service ace for the clinching point.
Ferris State returns to the court this Saturday (Sept. 5) for its final two matches at the St. Cloud State Tournament. The Bulldogs take on Wayne State (Neb.) at 10 a.m. (EDT) before wrapping up play at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) versus Missouri Science & Technology.