A 6-3 start in the deciding fifth set proved to be the key as the Ferris State University women's volleyball team was able to come away with a 3-2 win (25-18, 26-28, 25-21, 22-25, 15-12) over the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals this Sunday (Oct. 3) afternoon in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division contest at SVSU's Cardinal Gymnasium in University Center, Mich.
The Bulldogs, who produced a .241 hitting percentage in the five-set encounter, are now 8-6 overall this season with a 5-5 conference ledger. The loss suffered by SVSU drops the Cardinals to 6-7 overall and 4-5 in conference play to date.
Sophomore setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) directed the Ferris State offense with a season-high 48 assists while three individuals - junior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Morley/Morley-Stanwood), senior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central), and sophomore outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma) all attained double-digits in kills. Huntey turned in a huge day as she recorded 17 kills on 40 attempts for a .225 attacking percentage. Goodson, a candidate for All-America honors, turned in yet another solid performance as she put down 16 kills on 42 opportunities for a .167 percentage. Brecht racked up 11 kills on 37 attack chances for a .243 hitting clip.
Defensively, junior libero Lisa Tobiczyk's (Marysville) 23 digs led all players while Huntey produced her fourth double-double of this season by digging up 14 opposition attacks to go with her 17 kills output. Senior libero Dana Ruttle (Reed City) supplied nine digs in the Bulldog victory. Ferris State was active at the net as the team rolled up eight total team blocks, led by Arielle Goodson's six block assists to go with a block solo.
Saginaw Valley State's Annie Buxton posted match-high honors in kills with 18 and was among three Cardinals to accumulate double-digit kills. Setter Sam Breault directed SVSU's offense to a .221 team attack percentage.
The opening set was dominated by Ferris State as the Bulldogs never trailed en route to a match set-best .429 hitting percentage. Saginaw Valley State would even things up in set two as the hosts snap a 26-all tie as a result of a FSU attack error followed by Annie Buxton's set-winning kill.
In the third set, the two teams battled each other early to gain an advantage before Ferris State went on a 7-3 run to take a 10-6 lead. The Bulldogs were able to maintain their lead although the Cardinals came flying back to narrow the margin to 23-21. However, a Ashley Huntey kill off a Samantha Fordyce set followed by senior middle hitter Danielle Hamilton's (Galesburg/Galesburg-Augusta) kill erased any hopes of a SVSU rally.
The next set consisted of 20 ties and eight lead changes as the Bulldogs compiled a .154 hitting percentage to the Cardinals' .192 success attack rate. Saginaw Valley State was able to claim five of the set's final seven points to send the GLIAC match into the decisive set.
In the fifth and final set, Ferris State jumped out to a 6-3 advantage and stayed ahead of the Cardinals who closed to within three points (13-10) on an Annie Buxton kill. Back-to-back attack errors by Saginaw Valley State represented the final two points and the win for the Bulldogs, who generated a .273 hitting percentage in the set with nine kills on 22 attempts. SVSU concluded the set hitting for .150 with seven kills in 20 attacks.
Ferris State returns to home this upcoming weekend (Oct. 8-9) for a pair of matches against two GLIAC South Division teams in Ashland and Lake Erie. The Bulldogs take on the Ashland Eagles this Friday (Oct. 8) in a 7 p.m. (EDT) contest before wrapping up the two-match homestand Saturday (Oct. 9) with a 12 p.m. (EDT) match versus the Lake Erie Storm.