A pair of current Ferris State University women's volleyball student-athletes, Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) and Aly Brecht (Alma), recently received well-deserved acclaim as the two have been selected as nominees for the Lansing State Journal's (LSJ) All-Decade High School Girl's Volleyball Team.
The pair concluded their respective high school playing careers in the 2008 season.
Samantha Fordyce, who will enter her sophomore year at Ferris State this fall, was the 2007 Lansing State Journal Player of the Year at DeWitt High School and a two-time All-Dream Team pick by LSJ. She averaged 9.6 assists per set in her 2008 senior season to achieve Class B All-State Third-Team recognition.
Fordyce started in all 31 of the Bulldogs' matches this past season at setter as her 1,231 assists ranks as the 12th most among the program's all-time leaders. She served up 27 service aces while registering 199 digs and 45 total blocks for the 2009 campaign.
Aly Brecht earned 2008 Class B All-State First-Team plaudits as a senior in averaging 4.4 kills per set and helped guide Alma High School to their first-ever state tournament quarterfinal appearance.
Brecht, an outside hitter, accumulated 17 kills with seven service aces and six total blocks in 12 2009 season contests.
Both Fordyce and Brecht, who were redshirted for the 2008 season, were chosen as 2009 co-winners of Ferris State's Most Improved Player Award.
The two helped lead Ferris State to a 19-12 overall record for the 2009 season and an appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Former Bulldogs Karen Thompson (Holt) and Ashley Ollenburger (Charlotte) are also among the list of 28 nominees. The 2008 campaign marked Thompson's final prep season while Ollenburger was a high school senior in the 2004 season. Thompson played two seasons (2008-09) at Ferris State while Ollenburger spent one season (2004) with the Bulldogs.
The listing of nominees for the LSJ All-Decade Team in volleyball with a Ferris State association are as follows:
Setter Samantha Fordyce, DeWitt (2008): The 2007 LSJ Player of the Year and two-time LSJ Dream Team pick averaged 9.6 assists per game as a senior to make the Class B all-state third team and is now one of the GLIAC's top setters.
Outside hitter Karen Thompson, Holt (2008): Named LSJ Player of the Year as a junior and made the Dream Team again as a senior. One of the area's top servers as well as a regular for kill-dig double-doubles.
Outside hitter Aly Brecht, Alma (2008): Made the Class B all-state first team as a senior averaging 4.4 kills per game and after leading the Panthers to their first state quarterfinals.
Outside hitter Ashley Ollenburger, Charlotte (2004): Made the Class B all-state second team as a senior averaging four kills and nearly five digs per game.
The final All-Decade Teams will be published in January 2011.