September 1, 2012

Bulldogs Close Out Home Invitational By Beating Clarion

Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally 14th-ranked Ferris State University women's volleyball squad wrapped up its opening weekend on a winning note as the Bulldogs topped Clarion (Pa.) by a 3-1 score on Saturday (Sept. 1) evening at the Ewigleben Sports Arena.

The Golden Eagles took game one by a 25-17 margin, but FSU responded by winning three-straight sets to pull out the victory.  Ferris State took the second frame by a 27-25 score and then earned identical 25-19 triumphs in both the third and fourth set.

With the win, the Bulldogs concluded their annual Ferris State Invitational with a 3-1 overall record.  Clarion dropped to 2-2 with the setback.

As was the case in Saturday's opening match win over West Virginia State, the Bulldogs utilized a balanced attack.  Senior outside hitter Aly Brecht recorded 11 kills, but was the lone Bulldog player to reach double-figures in the category.

Meanwhile, FSU also received 29 digs from junior libero Brandie Merren along with 32 assists and 17 digs by senior setter Samantha Fordyce.  Brecht added 16 digs and senior Brianna Grover managed to dig up 11 balls for the Bulldogs.

On the opposite side, Hannah Heeter tallied a match-best 17 kills for Clarion with Amber Litwiler adding 12 kills and Carlie Bieranowski recording 11 kills.  Rebecca Ferragonio registered 28 digs, Laura Subject had 18 digs, Bieranowski totaled 15 digs, Litwiler posted 12 digs and Heeter added 11 digs for the visitors.

The Bulldogs racked up 45 kills and had 89 digs in addition to 12 service aces and 11 total blocks.  Seniors Anne Sutton and Angi Kent both finished with five total blocks each and added eight and six kills, respectively.  Meanwhile, sophomore Courtney Rehm netted seven kills and had nine digs.  Freshman Megan Vander Meer came on strong late in the match and tallied nine kills for FSU.

Clarion posted a .169 attack percentage compared to FSU's .172 figure and also had 55 kills, 91 digs and five blocks with eight aces.  They committed 10 errors at the service line along with 12 reception miscues.  FSU had seven errors off the serve and eight reception mistakes.

Saturday's victory came in the first-ever series' matchup against Clarion, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year a season ago.

The 3-1 mark posted by the Bulldogs in this year's Ferris State Invitational represented the eighth time in which FSU has won three of its first four opening matches in the event since 2004.  Additionally, Ferris State has now won 18 of its last 20 encounters inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena.

A total of nine teams took part in the two-day event with 18 different matches contested on Friday and Saturday in Big Rapids.

Ferris State hits the road next weekend as the Bulldogs take part in the Minnesota-Duluth Classic on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8, in Duluth, Minn.  The Bulldogs will square off against Minnesota-Crookston in their opening match on Friday afternoon and also face Bemidji State (Minn.), host Minnesota-Duluth and Erskine (S.C.) in the event.

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