Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's volleyball team came out on the short end of a 3-0 setback to the nationally eighth-ranked Hillsdale Chargers on Sunday (Nov. 13) afternoon in the 2011 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Championship Match held at the Ewigleben Sports Arena.
The second-seeded Chargers snapped the 12th-ranked and top-seeded Bulldogs' 10-match winning streak to receive the league's automatic bid into the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament slated for Nov. 17-20 at a campus site. Hillsdale entered the week ranked first in the Midwest Region with FSU second, which means the Chargers will likely host the regional when the official NCAA Tournament pairings are announced later tonight at 10 p.m. (ET) via www.ncaa.com.
Although the 3-0 score (25-19, 25-21, 25-19) was not in the Bulldogs' favor, Ferris State will likely receive an at-large bid into the tournament. The Bulldogs, who dropped to 26-3 overall as a result of the setback, suffered their first home loss of the season (15-1) before a capacity crowd of 600 inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena.
Hillsdale led throughout the first set in posting a 25-19 win and came out on top 25-21 and 25-19 in the second and third sets, respectively, despite eight lead changes and 23 ties between the two frames.
Three Bulldogs tallied double-digit kills. Junior middle hitter Anne Sutton (Grand Rapids/Northview) and senior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Standwood/Morley-Stanwood) led the way with 11 apiece. Junior outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma) totaled 10 kills.
Ferris State, who compiled a .216 attack percentage to Hillsdale's .363 attack percentage in the three-set contest, received 31 assists and six digs from junior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt). Defensively, Brecht totaled 13 digs and Huntey tallied 11 digs while senior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysvile) accumulated 12 digs.
The Bulldogs were able to block three of Hillsdale's attempted attacks as reshman Courtney Rehm (Portage/Central) had two block assists. HC posted six blocks.
Hillsdale was led by GLIAC Player of the Year Ashlee Crowder's match-high 21 kills. Caitlin Kopmeyer totaled 11 kills while Apryl Schmucker netted 44 assists and 12 digs. The Chargers also received 17 digs from Morgan Podkul and 11 by Brogan Wells.
The Chargers managed to compiled 55 kills to FSU's 37 and had 57 total digs to Ferris State's 50 digs. FSU had three aces to only one for Hillsdale and the Chargers totaled eight service aces with the Bulldogs having five on the day.
Ferris State, which was making its 14th consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance, advanced to the championship match by beating fourth-seeded Ashland 3-0 on Saturday while Hillsdale topped Saginaw Valley State by a 3-1 count in the semifinals also held in Big Rapids.
FSU had previously defeated the Chargers by a 3-0 score in Big Rapids earlier this season (Sept. 24). Both teams posted 18-1 league regular-season records this campaign en route to being named co-champions and winning the GLIAC North and South Divisions, respectively.
The Bulldogs will await their NCAA postseason fate with the official NCAA selections slated to be announced this evening (Nov. 13) via www.NCAA.com starting at 10 p.m. (ET).
The GLIAC All-Tournament Team selections included FSU's Huntey and Sutton along with Schmucker, Kopmeyer and Crowder of Hillsdale in addition to Ashland's Alyx Crislip and Saginaw Valley State's Becky Schroeder. Crowder earned MVP accolades.