The Ferris State University women's volleyball team opened its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) season on a winning note as the Bulldogs won a thrilling five-set decision against previously undefeated Wayne State, 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-13) Friday night (Sept. 11) in Big Rapids, Mich.
The Bulldogs improved to 8-3 overall and 1-0 in the GLIAC with the win while Wayne State suffers its first setback of the 2009 season and is now 8-1 overall with a 0-1 conference mark. Ferris State has now won six of its last seven outings to date and is midst a three-match winning streak as a result of the victory.
Five Ferris State players tallied double-digit kills with senior outside Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs) and junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) totaling 16 and 15 kills, respectively. The Bulldogs, who registered a .179 hitting percentage for the contest, also received 14 kills from senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) while picking up 10 each from sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) and senior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma). Huntey notched her third double-double of the season with 14 digs to go with the 10 kills.
Sophomore libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) led the defensive effort with a match-high 24 digs while junior libero Dana Ruttle (Reed City) chalked up 10 digs. At the net, Ferris State compiled 12 total team blocks with three players - Arielle Goodson, Sarah Lark, and Kristy Gilchrist all producing five block assists apiece. Redshirt freshman setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) generated a season-best 56 assists to go with nine digs and three block assists in solid performance.
Seven ties and four lead changes occurred in the opening set as Ferris State would break a 23-all deadlock with back-to-back kills by Kristy Gilchrist and Katie Edwards to claim a 1-0 lead.
Wayne State would even the match up in the second set as the Warriors hit at a .237 clip. The set was knotted up at 22 apiece before WSU would reeled off three straight points.
Ferris State took control in the third frame as the Bulldogs snapped a 10-10 tie by going on an 8-2 scoring spurt to claim an 18-12 advantage and never looked back as the hosts hit .250 to the opponent's .079 attack percentage.
The fourth set featured multiple ties, 16 to be exact with the last one coming with the score at 23 apiece. Wayne State was able to force a deciding fifth set as the Warriors secured a point on a Bulldog service error proceeded by a FSU attack error to seal the outcome.
The fifth set had the Ewigleben Sports Arena crowd on the edge of their seats in a nip-and-tuck set. A Katie Edwards' kill tied up the set at 10-all and Ashley Huntey would immediately follow Edwards with one of her own to give the Bulldogs a lead (11-10) they would never relinquish. Ferris netted four consecutive points (14-10) from there, but the Warriors fought back to close within 14-13 on a Candis Jenich kill. Following a timeout, FSU regrouped and earned the win on a kill by Katie Edwards.
The Bulldogs continue their current GLIAC homestand this Saturday (Sept. 12), hosting the Northwood Timberwolves in a 2 p.m. (EDT) encounter at the Ewigleben Sports Arena. The match will also serve as Parents' Day for the current 2009 FSU volleyball team members.