Riding the wave

BIG RAPIDS — In a game of momentum, it was the start that lifted the Ferris State volleyball team to a three-set sweep of Hillsdale on Friday.

The Bulldogs won 25-13, 25-21, 25-22 at the Ferris State Sports Complex.

Ferris State jumped on the Chargers from the opening serve, grabbing a quick 7-1 lead capitalizing on many Hillsdale errors. The Bulldogs would see their lead get cut down to 9-6 before scoring 12 of the next 13 points for a 21-7 advantage.

PRIMAL SCREAM: Ferris State’s Anne Sutton (7) yells in excitement after one of her eight kills in the Bulldogs victory over Hillsdale on Friday. (Pioneer photo/Bob Allan)

“We were coming off a bad week and I think we were probably trying too hard and making unforced errors,” Hillsdale coach Chris Gravel said.

FSU’s Megan VanderMeer, who tallied eight kills and three blocks, was instrumental in the Bulldogs grabbing the quick lead. She said the quick start was key in gaining the victory.

“We came out intense and ready to play,” VanderMeer said. “They were coming off a tough loss and they were trying to beat us. Their serve receive was just off and Samantha (Fordyce’s) serve paid off to get us that lead.”

The Bulldogs were led offensively by Courtney Rehm and Aly Brecht with nine kills each. Brecht also tallied 10 digs, while Rehm finished with eight digs.

Fordyce handed out 36 assists and Anne Sutton recorded eight kills and four blocks. Brandie Merren led the defensive effort with 13 digs.

As easy as the first game victory was for the Bulldogs, FSU coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm knew the next two games wouldn’t be the same way.

Both sets came down to the very end, with both games tied late and Ferris State pulling ahead to take the win.

“I thought Hillsdale played well,” Brandel-Wilhelm said. “They made some changes in the match that kept them close and in it.”

Even though the Chargers played better than in game one, Gravel said the Bulldogs were just too good on Friday night.

Hillsdale was led by Emily Wolfert with seven kills.

“We’re used to playing like we did in games two and three,” he said. “But Ferris played well and they made it tough for us to win.”

The Bulldogs have only one match remaining in the regular season, Saturday at home against Northwood. Then it will be off to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament which Ferris State will host a quarterfinal match.

Its opponent is unknown at this time.

For Brandel-Wilhelm, Saturday’s match is about getting a victory and making sure the team is peaking at the right time of the season.

“We aren’t going to make dramatic changes, just a couple of tweaks,” she said. “We haven’t quite peaked yet, but our players have a good idea where they are and how they can make things better.”

View more photos from this game at our photo gallery!

Leave a Reply