Ferris sweeps Truman in NCAA playoff opener

SPIKE: Ferris State’s Ayanna Buckley blasts the ball over the net during Thursday’s 3-0 win over Truman State University. (Pioneer photos/Justin McKee)

SPIKE: Ferris State’s Ayanna Buckley blasts the ball over the net during Thursday’s 3-0 win over Truman State University. (Pioneer photos/Justin McKee)

BIG RAPIDS — The Ferris State volleyball team defeated Truman State 25-19,25-22,25-19 in the quarterfinal round of NCAA Division II Regional action.

Ayanna Buckley led the team with 11 kills and Allyson Cappel had nine kills and Maria Kronner added eight.

Libero Lauren Reminga tallied 20 digs to lead the Bulldogs (29-5) while Katie Placek had 16 and Cappel 14.

Stephanie Sikorski, the 2016 GLIAC Player of The Year, totaled 34 assists, three kills and eight digs.

The Bulldogs countered every time Truman State built momentum. Trailing 20-22 in the second set, the Bulldogs reeled off five straight points to close the set.

“I thought Truman played really well,” Brandel-Wilhelm said. “They came out strong and were hitting the ball really well. I thought we had the hard time getting in a rhythm on defense.

“I thought Stephanie did a really good job of working the offense around and being able to generate kills and counteract their offense.”

Ferris entered Thursday’s game ranked no. 15 nationally in the AVCA Coaches Poll and no. 1 in the Midwest Regional Rankings.

They will face Saginaw Valley at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Division II Midwest Region Semifinals.

Sikorski and the her fellow teammates look to build on Thursday’s performance.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily about making improvements,” Sikorski said. “I think it’s juts doing things a little sharper, and taking care of things around the net and worrying about us.”

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