FSU Volleyball Records Impressive Conference Win At Hillsdale

Senior Kristy Gilchrist slams a career-high 21 kills in win at Hillsdale.
Senior Kristy Gilchrist slams a career-high 21 kills in win at Hillsdale.

The Ferris State University women's volleyball bounced back from a disappointing loss at Findlay as four Bulldogs recorded double-figure kill totals in leading the team to an impressive 3-1 conference road victory over the Hillsdale Chargers Saturday (Oct. 3) afternoon and helped their head coach reach a career milestone in the process.

Ferris State posted a four-set win (20-25, 25-18, 25-19, 27-25) on the Chargers' home floor at the Jesse Philips Arena in Hillsdale, Mich., and the key Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) decision represented the 400th career coaching victory for head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.  The Bulldogs, who have currently won eight of their last 11 matches, improved to 13-6 overall and 6-3 in the GLIAC's North Division with the decision. 

The Bulldogs received an outstanding performance from senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay), who racked up not only a match-high 21 kills but also a career match best while totaling a .486 hitting percentage.  Gilchrist also contributed eight digs and had two block assists in the winning effort.  Junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) and senior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) both added 13 kills apiece and were joined in double-figure kills by sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey's (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) 10-kills performance.  Goodson garnered seven blocks in the contest, which included five solos, while Lark produced a highly-productive .611 hitting percentage with her career match-high tying 13 kills in 18 attempts. 

Redshirt freshman setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) dished out a match-high 46 assists and added 11 digs to notch her second double-double of the 2009 campaign.

Ashley Huntey would tally her team-leading fourth double-double this season as she compiled a team-high tying 17 digs to go with her 10 kills.  Sophomore libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) matched Huntey's digs output.  

Ashlee Crowder tallied a team-high 16 kills to lead Hillsdale, which also received 37 assists from setter Apryl Schmucker and Sydney Dow compiled a match-best 18 digs.  The Chargers are now 14-3 overall with a 7-2 mark in the GLIAC's South Division.  HC entered the match listed among those teams receiving votes in this week's (Sept. 28) American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll.  

FSU held a commanding .293-.141 advantage in attack percentage, a 59-46 edge in kills and an 11-6 block lead. The Bulldogs hit .382 in the second set with 15 kills and two errors in 34 attempts before generating a .433 attack percentage in the following set by totaling 15 kills and two miscues in 30 attack chances.

Ferris State dropped the opening set, but would rally to prevail in the next two sets and take a 2-1 lead.  In the fourth set, the Bulldogs trailed 15-9 at one point before a 12-6 scoring run tied the set at 21-apiece.  Three more ties would follow before Ferris broke the deadlock once and for all on a Chargers' attack error proceeded by an Arielle Goodson kill to win the set and match. 

Brandel-Wilhelm reaches the milestone in her 14th season at Ferris State and now holds a 400-164 career coaching record.  She currently ranks as the second all-time winningest coach in FSU's history with a 282-144 bench mark to date after arriving in 1996.  The two-time (1998 and 2002) GLIAC Coach of the Year amassed a 118-20 coaching ledger in three seasons (1993-95) at West Virginia Wesleyan.  

The Bulldogs continue their conference play versus South Division teams this weekend (Oct. 9-10), beginning with a Friday (Oct. 9) evening match against the Tiffin Dragons.  First serve is slated for 6 p.m. (EDT) at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.