November 11, 2010

Women's Volleyball Advances To GLIAC Tournament Semifinals

The Ferris State University women's volleyball team will continue its quest for the 2010 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC Tournament Championships as the Bulldogs won their seventh consecutive match in a 3-1 decision (25-22, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23) over the Wayne State Warriors this Thursday (Nov. 11) evening in tourney quarterfinal-round play at WSU's Matthaei Center in Detroit, Mich.

With the victory, fifth-seeded Ferris State will now face number-one seed Hillsdale this Saturday (Nov. 13) in GLIAC Tournament Semifinal-Round action.  Opening serve is scheduled for 5 p.m. (EST) at HC's Jesse Philips Arena in Hillsdale, Mich.  The other semifinal-round matchup pits second-seed Northern Michigan taking on third-seed Grand Valley State at 7:30 p.m. (EST).  The championship match will be held this Sunday (Nov. 14) starting at 4 p.m. (EST).  

Ferris State, which improved its overall record to 18-9 this season, featured a balanced offensive attack as three Bulldogs tallied double figures in kills.  Junior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) led the way with a match-high tying 13 kills and hit for a .249 clip.  Senior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) notched 12 kills while producing a .370 attack percentage for Ferris State, which compiled a .256 hitting percentage in the four-set match.  Sophomore outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma) contributed 11 kills and sophomore middle hitter Anne Sutton (Grand Rapids/Northview) added nine kills on 15 attempts for a squad-best .600 hitting efficiency.

Sophomore setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) directed the offense for Ferris State as she supplied a match-leading 42 assists while garnering six digs, two service aces and three block assists.  In the backrow, junior libero Lisa Tobiczyk's (Marysville) 20-digs performance lead all players.  Senior libero Dana Ruttle (Reed City) turned in a productive match with nine digs and served up a match-best tying three aces.  Ashley Huntey and Aly Brecht also contributed on the defensive side with eight and seven digs, respectively. 

Ferris State, which limited Wayne State to a .186 hitting percentage, recorded 51 team kills, seven service aces, 52 digs, and 10 total team blocks.  Arielle Goodson wreaked havoc at the net with two block solos to go with four block assists.  Ashley Huntey made an impact as well with one block solo coupled with two block assists. 

For Wayne State, Katarzyna Sak's 13 kills equalled a match high as the fourth-seed Warriors end their season at 15-12 overall.

In the opening set, Ferris State prevailed 25-22 despite being outhit percentage wise as the Warriors finished .222 compared to the Bulldogs' .200 percentage.  Four straight points by FSU snapped a 14-all tie as the Bulldogs would hold the lead the rest of the way.  An Anne Sutton kill on a Samantha Fordyce set represented the set's winning point.

Wayne State evened the match up at 1-1 in the second set by hitting at a .226 clip and limited Ferris to a .138 success rate.  The Warriors led 16-15 at one point before reeling off four unanswered points to claim a 20-15 advantage.  A late surge by the Bulldogs came up just short at 24-22 as WSU was able to register the winning set point following a timeout.

The third set featured domination by Ferris State as evidenced by a match-best .538 hitting proficiency with 16 kills in 26 opportunities.  The set was evenly played in the early going before the Bulldogs' offense clicked into high gear by outscoring the hosts 8-3 in a span to claim a 22-13 lead.  FSU would go on to win the set as an Arielle Goodson kill represented the final play. 

Ferris State compiled a .194 attack percentage in the fourth set, but more importantly held Wayne State to only .088 in the hitting department.  WSU appeared well on its way to evening the match up by leading 16-10 at one point.  However, FSU gradually chipped away at the Warriors' lead before tying the set up at 20-all on an Aly Brecht kill.  A WSU attack error and an Arielle Goodson kill followed to put Ferris ahead 22-20.  But, Wayne State would net three of the next four points to tie the set at 23 apiece prompting a Bulldog timeout.  The stoppage paid dividends as Ashley Huntey's kill snapped the tie and an attack error by Wayne State sealed their fate. 

The last time Ferris State reached the semifinals in conference tournament action was in 2006 when the Bulldogs swept Michigan Tech by a 3-0 count (Oct. 31) before falling by the same score to Grand Valley State (Nov. 3) at Hillsdale, Mich.

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