Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally 19th-ranked Ferris State University women's volleyball team appeared to have its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener in control, but was stunned by host Northwood in a 3-2 setback on Friday (Sept. 14) evening at the Bennett Sports Center in Midland.
The Bulldogs took the opening two sets by scores of 25-15 and 25-21, respectively. However, Northwood rallied back to earn the victory by taking the third frame 25-15 followed by a 25-21 triumph in the fourth set and a thrilling 19-17 finish in the deciding set.
The Timberwolves improved to 6-3 overall with the win despite posting only a .198 attack percentage compared to FSU's .279 effort. The Bulldogs fell to 6-3 as well with the setback.
FSU hit .400 or better in two of the five sets and also totaled 16 blocks versus only three for Northwood. NU's attack percentage was -.041 in the first frame, but gradually got better as the match went on until the final set.
NU took advantage of 14 service aces to only five for Ferris State and the Timberwolves also held a 66-51 advantage in total kills. The Bulldogs registered a slim 65-64 edge in digs.
Sophomore outside hitter Courtney Rehm had a team-high 13 kills for the Bulldogs to go with 13 digs while both senior middle hitter Anne Sutton and freshman outside hitter Megan Vander Meer netted 10 kills each.
The Bulldogs also received 25 digs by junior libero Brandie Merren with senior setter Samantha Fordyce contributing 45 assists and nine digs. Junior middle hitter Angi Kent totaled nine block assists with Vander Meer adding six at the net for the Bulldogs. Rehm had three of FSU's four solo blocks in the match.
On the Northwood side, the Timberwolves received a match-best 19 kills from Julia Pakhomenko. Both Zina Liubymova and Tatjana Rajic added 14 kills each. Liubymova led the Timberwolves in digs with 18 in the match while Jordan Dunn had 48 assists in directing the Northwood attack.
The Bulldogs will try to rebound on Saturday (Sept. 15) as FSU visits Hillsdale for a battle of the defending divisional champions in league play starting at 2 p.m. (ET).