Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's volleyball squad could not complete the season sweep over archrival Grand Valley State as the Bulldogs dropped a highly-competitive 3-0 decision in a battle of nationally-ranked teams on Tuesday (Nov. 5) night inside the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena at Allendale.
The 16th-ranked Lakers, who dropped a 3-2 decision to the 24th-ranked Bulldogs in this season's first matchup on Oct. 1 in Big Rapids, pulled out a 25-20 win in the first set. The second set went to the wire with the Lakers prevailing 25-22. GVSU then needed extra points to secure a 30-28 triumph in the third frame to clinch the win.
The win lifted the Lakers to a two-game lead over FSU in the GLIAC North Division race as Grand Valley State improved to 22-3 overall and 13-1 in league play. The Bulldogs dropped to 18-7 overall and 11-3 in conference action.
Three Bulldog players tallied nine kills apiece in the setback, including junior hitter Courtney Rehm along with middle blocker Caroline Heitzman and sophomore Alexis Huntey.
Senior libero Brandie Merren paced FSU in digs with 14 with both sophomore Megan Vander Meer and Huntey chipping in 12 each. Freshman setter Stephanie Sikorski compiled 38 assists and 10 digs while Heitzman also posted a solo block and four assisted blocks.
Ferris State was limited to a .163 attack figure although FSU improved throughout the evening and tallied a .204 figure in the third set. The Bulldogs finished with 43 kills, 62 digs, nine blocks and two service aces to go with three service errors.
Meanwhile, GVSU had 48 kills with 61 digs, eight blocks, six aces and four service miscues while hitting .213 for the night. The Lakers hit an impressive .370 in set one.
Abby Aiken led Grand Valley State with a match-high 14 kills while Kaitlyn Wolters totaled 39 assists. GVSU also received 13 digs each from Nicayla Joyce, Betsy Ronda and Christina Canepa.
Ferris State had won four of the previous five series' matchups entering the match. The two teams are presently the only two league member schools found in the nation's top 25 to date this year.
The Bulldogs return home this weekend to face Lake Superior State on Friday (Nov. 8) at 12 p.m. (ET) before hosting Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Nov. 9) at 3 p.m. (ET).
Friday's match will be an early noon start as part of grade school day in an effort to draw children and groups from area schools while Saturday's contest will mark the Bulldogs' annual Senior Day match as part of the regular-season home finale.