Allendale, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's volleyball team notched its third consecutive win over archrival Grand Valley State as the 22nd-ranked Bulldogs won a thrilling 3-2 decision on the road over the Lakers on Tuesday (Sept. 25) night.
The Bulldogs claimed the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) rivalry match for their fourth consecutive victory of the campaign. FSU improved to 10-3 overall and 4-1 in league play with the triumph.
GVSU took the first set by a 25-21 count before the Bulldogs responded to win both the second and third frames by identical 25-20 scores. After the Lakers bounced back to win the fourth set 25-23, the Bulldogs finally ended the match with a narrow 15-13 victory in the deciding frame.
Both teams had entered the rivalry match with identical records, but Ferris State posted a .246 attack percentage for the night while limited GVSU to a .183 figure before a crowd of 1,006 fans inside the Grand Valley State Fieldhouse Arena, which included a large contengient of Bulldog faithful.
After being held to a .103 hitting figure in the opening frame, the Bulldgos hit .200 or better the rest of the way, including an impressive .379 percentage in the third set. GVSU posted a .333 figure in set one, but hit less than .200 in three of the other four sets.
Sophomore outside hitter Courtney Rehm tallied a match-high 19 kills and had nine digs for the Bulldogs in the victory, which was the Bulldogs' second-straight in Allendale. Meanwhile, senior middle hitter Anne Sutton also reached double-figure kills with 11 for the night.
FSU senior setter Samantha Fordyce recorded 49 assists and became only the fourth player in Bulldog history to notch 4,000 career assists. She also added 16 digs in leading the offensive attack.
The Bulldogs also received 26 digs from junior libero Brandie Merren while senior middle hitter Angi Kent notched nine kills, freshman outside hitter Megan Vander Meer totaled eight kills and senior outside hitter Aly Brecht contributed both seven kills and 18 digs.
Ferris State totaled 57 kills on 167 total attempts with only 16 errors, including none in the fourth set. The Bulldogs also had 84 digs, eight total blocks and seven service aces.
Meanwhile, the Lakers finished the match with 69 iills on 197 attacks and also had 33 errors. They recorded 87 digs, seven blocks and seven aces. The Lakers also had nine service errors to only seven for the Bulldogs.
Betsy Ronda led the Lakers with 18 kills while Abby Ebels and Megan Schroeder finished with 13 each and Eno Umoh totaled 11 for the night. Setter Clair Ruhenkamp posted 55 assists with Christina Canepa netting a match-high 28 digs. Ronda added 20 digs and Sacha Gill had 10 for GVSU.
Overall, the match featured 13 lead changes and the score was tied 27 times, which included 13 times in the fourth set alone. The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead in the deciding set and held on for the win despite the score being tied twice and the lead changing hands on two occassions.
With the loss, Grand Valley State fell to 9-4 overall and 2-3 in league play.
Ferris State continues a three-match road swing by traveling to Ohio this weekend. FSU visits Tiffin on Friday (Sept. 28) for a 7 p.m. (ET) league tilt before heading to Columbus to battle Ohio Dominican on Saturday (Sept. 29) at 1 p.m. (ET).