FSU volleyball sweeps Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan

FSU volleyball goes 6-0 on weekend heading into

BIG RAPIDS — With a big match coming up against rival No. 13 Grand Valley State today, the No. 22 Ferris State volleyball team took care of business this weekend with 3-0 sweeps of Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play.

JUMP BALL: Ferris State sophomore Stephanie Sikorski (6) goes up for the ball against Northern Michigan University’s Jamie Maus (17) in GLIAC action on Saturday. (Pioneer photo/Brady Kenniston)

JUMP BALL: Ferris State sophomore Stephanie Sikorski (6) goes up for the ball against Northern Michigan University’s Jamie Maus (17) in GLIAC action on Saturday. (Pioneer photo/Brady Kenniston)

The Bulldogs (15-5, 12-1 GLIAC) cruised to victories of 25-12, 25-14 and 25-14 to break a tie for second with the Wildcats (10-12, 10-3 GLIAC) in the GLIAC North on Saturday after recording wins of 25-16, 25-18 and 25-13 against the Huskies (9-13, 6-7 GLIAC) on Friday.

Ferris State could move into first place in the conference with a win against the first-place Lakers (17-3, 13-0 GLIAC).

“I thought our team stayed focused throughout the match and (our players) executed some of the defensive things we wanted to do against Northern Michigan,” FSU coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm said following Saturday’s game. “Every game matters since it’s near the end of the year and every game matters because it seeds you for the regionals and the conference tournament. We’re just trying to do the best we can every day.”

Ferris State raced out to a 9-3 advantage to start the opening set after a service ace by senior outside hitter Courtney Rehm. The Bulldogs then used an 11-5 run to jump ahead, 20-8, after an attack error on the Wildcats before outscoring NMU 5-4  down the stretch to take the opening set. FSU senior middle hitter Claire Grawburg and sophomore setter Stephanie Sikorski both tallied a block for the match point.

Things got a little tighter to begin the second set as the teams battled to a 5-5 tie early on, but the Bulldogs capped off a 10-0 run with a kill by junior middle hitter Caroline Heitzman to open up a 15-5 lead. FSU went on to outscore the Wildcats 10-9 down the stretch to close out the set and take a 2-0 lead.

The third set began much like the second with the Bulldogs and Wildcats fighting to a 7-7 tie to start, but FSU once again opened things up with a 7-1 scoring assault to take a 14-8 lead after a kill by Grawburg.

That was all the Bulldogs needed as they used an 11-6 scoring streak to finish off the Wildcats and complete the 3-0 sweep.

Ferris State had a .297 hitting percentage in the contest while the Wildcats struggled to a minus-.013 hitting percentage.

Rehm paced the Bulldogs with four aces, eight digs and nine kills while junior outside hitter Alexis Huntey added six digs and four kills. Heitzman tallied five kills and Sikorski dished out 22 assists to go with her five digs.

Junior libero Danielle Dowd had seven digs and junior outside hitter Megan Vander Meer added four kills.

Against the Huskies on Friday, the two squads matched points to a 10-10 tie to begin the opening set.

With the score at 15-15, FSU ripped off an 8-0 scoring streak that was capped by blocks from Heitzman and Huntey for a 23-15 lead before the Bulldogs scored two of the next three points to close out the match for a 1-0 lead.

The Bulldogs doubled up the Huskies, 10-5, to open the second set before Michigan Tech used a 13-10 run to pull within two late in the game.

FSU went on to close out the set with a 5-0 run that was sparked by a Heitzman kill to win the set and give FSU a 2-0 lead.

In the third set, the Bulldogs opened up a 10-6 lead following a kill by Huntey that sparked a 10-1 scoring run that pushed FSU’s lead to 19-7 later in the set. FSU put the final bow on the victory by matching the Huskies point-for-point down the stretch to close out the set and clinch the 3-0 sweep.

Rehm had a game-high 10 kills to lead FSU, while junior outside hitter Megan Vander Meer tallied nine kills and Heitzman had eight kills.

Vander Meer also had 14 digs, Dowd had 15 digs and Sikorski distributed 32 assists.

Ferris State’s match today against Grand Valley State is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena.

The Lakers scored a 3-1 win in their first meeting with the Bulldogs on Sept. 23 in

“Obviously we’d like to perform better than we did our first time we played them,” Brandel-Wilhelm said. “Hopefully the work we’ve done will transpire into a better performance on the court (Tuesday).”

GVSU match

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