Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's volleyball squad moved on to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals with a 3-2 triumph over Saginaw Valley State in quarterfinal-round action on Friday (Nov. 18) at Jesse Philips Arena in Hillsdale, Mich.
The second-seeded Bulldogs will now face number three seed Indianapolis in Saturday's first semifinal match at 5 p.m. (ET) with the winner moving on to Sunday's title match at 4 p.m. (ET).
The Cardinals scored a 26-24 victory over the Bulldogs in the opening set before FSU rallied back to take sets two and three by scores of 25-16 and 25-13, respectively. The nationally 11th-ranked Bulldogs dropped the fourth frame by a 25-21 score, but bounced back to win a close fifth set 15-12 to earn the win.
Ferris State had four players reach double-digit kills as the Bulldogs improved to 27-3 on the year. Senior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) tallied a match-best 18 kills while adding 13 digs to pace FSU.
The Bulldogs also received 14 kills from junior middle hitter Anne Sutton (Grand Rapids/Northview) along with 10 kills by both junior outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma) and sophomore hitter Angi Kent (Lansing/Waverly), who filled in admirably for injured middle hitter Courtney Rehm (Portage/Central), the GLIAC's Freshman of the Year who did not play due to injury.
Junior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) paced the FSU offensive attack with 47 asssists and added 12 digs defensively in the victory. Meanwhile, senior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) netted 18 digs while sophomore defensive specialist Brandie Merren (Hopkins) chipped in with 11 digs.
The Cardinals were paced by Katie Fitzgerald's team-high 16 kills and Annie Buxton added 12 kills with Becky Schroeder totaling 11 kills. Buxton tallied 14 digs as did Laura Ward for SVSU.
Overall, Ferris State hit .281 for the afternoon with 58 kills to 56 for the Cardinals, who saw their season come to an end with a 18-11 record. FSU also had seven service aces and five errors to go with 71 digs and 15 total blocks.
The Cardinals finished with 11 aces and 12 service errors in addition to 60 digs and 10 blocks in the outing.
The five-set victory was only FSU's second of the season as it was just the fourth time all year the Bulldogs had been stretched to five sets.
FSU is making its 16th all-time NCAA Division II Tournament appearance and the program's first since 2009.
Saturday's match will be broadcast live by Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network starting with the "Meijer Bulldog Prematch Show" at 4:30 p.m. (ET). First serve is set for 5 p.m. (ET) and the broadcast can be accessed online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com with Rob Bentley calling the play-by-play action.