Volleyball Claims Five-Set Triumph At Northern Michigan

Samantha Fordyce totaled a match-high 43 assists with seven digs Saturday against the Wildcats.
Samantha Fordyce totaled a match-high 43 assists with seven digs Saturday against the Wildcats.

The Ferris State University women's volleyball team were forced to go the distance but for the third time came this season came out victorious with a 3-2 decision (18-25, 25-21, 25-18, 12-25, 15-6) over Northern Michigan this Saturday (Sept. 19) afternoon in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action at NMU's Vandament Arena in Marquette, Mich.

The victory improved Ferris State's overall record to 11-4 and 4-1 in the GLIAC to date.  The Bulldogs have presently won nine of their last 11 contests, which includes prevailing in six of their last seven encounters.  Northern Michigan, which is now 6-7 overall and 2-3 in the conference, had won the previous five meetings between the two teams.  Prior to today's results, the last time FSU had defeated the Wildcats was in the 2006 season with a 3-1 home decision (10/22).

Middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) and outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs), a pair of seniors, each produced a team-high tying 12 kills as did junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central).  Senior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) contributed seven kills while sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) added six kills to go with a match-best tying 16 digs.  Sophomore libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) matched Huntey's digs total as she notched her fifth straight match with a double-figure digs output.  Tobiczyk has presently racked up double digits in digs on 14 occasions this fall. 

Mandie Meyer led Northern Michigan with a double-double (13 kills and 12 digs) and was among three Wildcat players to notch double-figure digs.  Cassie Osiecki dug up 14 balls and Maddie Ogden compiled 11 digs.

Ferris State hit .203 for the match while Northern Michigan posted a .118 hitting percentage.  The Bulldogs ended up with 50 kills and the Wildcats chalked up a 45-team total.

Directing the offense for the Crimson and Gold was redshirt freshman setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt), who dished out a match-leading 43 assists, garnered seven digs, and had three block assists.

At the net, Arielle Goodson led the way with six total blocks (five block assists).  Sarah Lark accumulated four blocks (three block assists) as Ferris State finished with a 9.0-to-4.0 blocks advantage.

Ferris State rallied to overcome a 1-0 deficit by winning the second and third sets before the Cats' clawed back to claim the fourth set.  In the deciding fifth set, the Bulldogs hit .538 with eight kills in 13 attempts while holding NMU to a -.111 hitting percentage and just three kills.  FSU tallied the set's first three points and proceeded to increase its lead to seven points (10-3) on Ashley Huntey's kill.  The Wildcats would get no closer than six points at 11-5 as a service error sealed their fate.  Kristy Gilchrist contributed to the fifth set triumph by registering three kills of the set's final five points. 

The Bulldogs are back on the floor next Friday, Sept. 25, hosting Saginaw Valley State in conference match play.  Opening serve is 7 p.m. (EDT) inside FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.