Following a tough loss in its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener this past Friday, the Ferris State University women's volleyball team was able to get back in the win column as the Bulldogs claimed a 3-1 (16-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23) win over the Michigan Tech Huskies in conference match play this Sunday (Sept. 12) afternoon at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
Ferris State, which posted a .184 hitting percentage in the four-set match, was led offensively by senior middle hitter and All-America candidate Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central), junior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood), and senior middle hitter Danielle Hamilton (Galesburg/Galesburg-Augusta). Goodson led all players with her 20 kills on 47 attempts while Huntey hammered 13 kills and Hamilton produced a .615 attack percentage as a result of nine kills in 13 hitting opportunities.
Sophomore setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) was tops in assists with a match-leading 32 total. Junior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) dug up a match-high 14 balls while Ashley Huntey and Samantha Fordyce contributed seven and six digs apiece.
In the opening set, Michigan Tech came out on fire as the Huskies hit at a .320 efficiency clip while limiting the Bulldogs to a .032 attack proficiency. The set was tied up at 13-all on a MTU service error, but the Huskies would post the next four straight points to go ahead 17-13 en route to taking a 1-0 lead.
Ferris State proceeded to even the contest at 1-1 in the second set, hitting .206 in a frame which consisted of four lead changes. FSU snapped the fifth tied score of the set on a kill by Ashley Huntey following a Bulldog timeout. Arielle Goodson dashed any hopes of the Huskies coming away victorious with a kill to end the second set.
The pivotal third set would result in favor of Ferris State as the Bulldogs held Michigan Tech to .083 hitting efficiency while the host team generated a match set-best .297 percentage with 17 kills in 37 attack opportunities. FSU accounted for the first six points in the set and built up a seven-point advantage (21-14) on a Arielle Goodson kill. The Huskies would narrow the margin to just a point (23-22) before a pair of block assists by Danielle Hamilton and sophomore outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma) on a MTU attack followed up by senior libero Dana Ruttle's (Reed City) service ace clinched the win.
Neither team hit particularly well in the fourth set as Ferris was at .176 compared to Michigan Tech's .138 hitting proficiency. The score remained close throughout the stanza as the Bulldogs never led by more than five points but were able to hang on to come away victorious in the match-clinching set.
The Bulldogs, who are presently 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the GLIAC's North Division this season, will play their next six conference matches all on the road. The initial away match will take place this Wednesday (Sept. 15) when Ferris State squares off against the Grand Valley State Lakers at the GVSU Fieldhouse in Allendale, Mich. Opening serve will be held at 7 p.m. (EDT).