#14 Bulldogs Drop Four-Set Rivalry Match To #18 GVSU For First GLIAC Setback

#14 Bulldogs Drop Four-Set Rivalry Match To #18 GVSU For First GLIAC Setback

Allendale, Mich. - The 14th-ranked Ferris State University women's volleyball squad suffered its first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) setback of the season on Tuesday (Sept. 23) evening as the Bulldogs dropped a 3-1 decision at 18th-ranked West Michigan rival Grand Valley State in league play on the road at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena.

The Bulldogs recorded a 25-23 win the opening frame of the match, but the host Lakers rallied to win the next three sets to secure the win. The matchup pitted a pair of teams that entered the contest with identical records and it was a rematch of last year's NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship match won by the Bulldogs on the same floor.

GVSU took both the second and third sets by identical 25-17 scores and then withstood a late Bulldog rally to pull out a 25-22 victory in the fourth set to claim the triumph.

Ferris State fell to 6-3 overall this year and 4-1 in the GLIAC as FSU's five-match win streak came to an end. Meanwhile, the Lakers moved to 7-2 overall and stayed unbeaten at 5-0 in GLIAC play.

The Bulldogs posted a .244 hitting figure en route to the opening-set win, but were not able to hit better than .070 in any set the rest of the way. GVSU hit .188 or better in all four frames, including an impressive .317 showing in the second set.

Junior middle hitter Caroline Heitzman tallied a team-high 15 kills in the setback while sophomore outside hitter Megan Vander Meer added 12 kills in the first of two meetings between the two archrivals this season.

FSU sophomore setter Stephanie Sikorski tallied 41 assists and added 10 digs in the losing effort while Ferris State also received 11 digs by Vander Meer and 10 from junior hitter Alexis Huntey, who also posted eight kills.

Bulldog junior libero Danielle Dowd registered a personal career-high 31 digs in the loss for the Bulldogs.

Overall, FSU hit .097 for the evening with 50 kills and 33 errors on 176 total attempts. The Bulldogs also had 79 digs, two aces and four service errors in the outing.

A balanced Laker attack was led by Betsy Ronda's team-best 11 kills. Setter Kaitlyn Wolters also tallied 11 kills to go with 34 assists and 12 digs. Both Kaleigh Lound and Carley Gross chipped in 10 kills apiece.

GVSU also had five players notched 10 digs or more with both libero Christina Canepa and Abby Aiken posting 19 each. Kourtney Wolters added 16 digs, Ronda had 15 and Wolters tallied 12 in the losing effort.

A crowd of 1,046 fans was in attendance for the annual West Michigan rivalry contest between the two longtime GLIAC powers. The matchup pitted the top two teams in the GLIAC North Division Preseason Coaches Poll as GVSU was chosen first and the Bulldogs second prior to the start of the year.

Ferris State returns to action this Friday (Sept. 26) for a 5 p.m. (ET) league tilt against the Tiffin Dragons in Tiffin, Ohio. FSU then visits Ohio Dominican on Saturday (Sept. 27) with first serve set for 2 p.m. (ET) in Columbus, Ohio.

Following this week's play, the Bulldogs will return home as part of homecoming weekend on Oct. 3-4 with matches against Ashland and Lake Erie on FSU's home court.