Ferris volleyball wins Colorado Premier Challenge

CHAMPIONS: The Ferris State University volleyball team poses after winning the Colorado Premier Challenge on Saturday. (Ferris State Athletics photo)

CHAMPIONS: The Ferris State University volleyball team poses after winning the Colorado Premier Challenge on Saturday. (Ferris State Athletics photo)

DENVER — The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team made an early season statement as the Bulldogs beat No. 4 ranked Concordia-St. Paul University to claim the 2015 Colorado Premier Challenge championship on Saturday.

The Bulldogs won one of the nation’s most prestigious tournaments by taking out two of the country’s top four teams in the final day of action. FSU beat No. 2 ranked and defending national runner-up Southwest Minnesota State University in early afternoon action, before topping Concordia-St. Paul, which had beat No. 1 ranked and reigning national champion University of Tampa in the semifinal.

FSU dropped the opening set 25-21, but came back to win the next two games 29-27 and 25-23. Concordia-St. Paul won the fourth 25-22 to force the deciding set, but FSU sealed the upset with a 15-11 win.

The No. 13 ranked Bulldogs improved to 8-0.

Senior outside hitter Megan Vander Meer had 18 kills in the title match to lead the Bulldogs. She also had 21 digs. Sophomore middle Ayanna Buckley contributed 17 kills, with senior middle hitter Caroline Heitzman recording 15 kills.

FSU also received 16 digs each from senior Alexis Huntey and freshman Katie Placek. Senior libero Danielle Dowd had 22 digs. Junior setter Stephanie Sikorski had a team-high 53 assists.

The Bulldogs return home to host Saginaw Valley State University in their Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener on Friday.

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