Crazy eight

Bulldogs drill Lake Erie for eighth consecutive win

Sent Right Back: Senior outside hitter Aly Brecht returns the ball toward the Ashland team as the Lady Bulldogs would handle the Eagles 25-20, 25-12, 26-24. Photo By: Brock Copus | Photographer
In a match where the nationally 21st-ranked Ferris volleyball team outhit Lake Erie 35 percent to one percent, an eighth straight win was never in doubt.

Ferris also hit seven aces to Lake Erie’s two and avoided Lake Erie’s hands up front, as the Bulldogs were not blocked once.

Ferris left Lake Erie behind to be swept from the floors of the Ewigleben Sports Arena after the Bulldogs defeated the Storm 3-0 on Oct. 6. The only time the two teams met equally was at the beginning when each matched-up 0-0.

A 25-8 opening set squandered the storm of Lake Erie, who went on throughout the match without a response to the Bulldog offense. Senior setter Samantha Fordyce thought the match was a good win, though she feels there is still room for improvement.

“We don’t think we’ve reached our peak yet,” Fordyce said.

The Bulldogs would be hard pressed to tell that to Lake Erie, who they outscored 75-36 overall.

The Bulldogs’ eight game winning streak is their longest of the season and stems from a major upset at unranked Northwood dating back to Sept. 14 of this season. The win to begin the Bulldogs’ streak was done in a 3-0 blowout on the road at Hillsdale, coming less than 24 hours later.

Since the Bulldogs’ 6-3 start to the season, Ferris has improved to 14-3 overall. The Bulldogs’ initial scramble to a 6-3 start rose concerns of unforced errors and losses to lesser teams.

After the Bulldogs free fell outside the top 15 of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II Top 25 poll after two losses to unranked teams in their first nine games, the problem has corrected itself.

“We are still growing as a team,” Fordyce said. “I think we have figured maybe a couple of things out in terms of playing as a team and what makes us click.”

Regardless of where the Bulldogs are at as a unit, Ferris has momentum behind them as they head into the middle of the schedule. The Bulldogs stand 12 games away from the GLIAC Tournament. Last season, Ferris’ hope to win the Great Lakes Intercollgiate Athletic Conference tournament ended in a 3-0 loss to Hillsdale.

Looming ahead is another matchup with GLIAC leader and rival Northwood which is scheduled for the final day of the season, Nov. 10. The Bulldogs will also face Grand Valley State Oct. 30, who Ferris defeated in a close 3-2 win over the Lakers.

The Bulldogs head to Aurora, Ill. Oct. 12-13 for the fifth annual Mizuno GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament, where Ferris will compete with its GLIAC counterparts to best the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Sixteen teams from each conference will compete against each other to see which conference deserves this year’s crown in the nation’s largest volleyball tournament.

The GLVC’s top seeded team will be the nationally ninth-ranked (AVCA) University of Indianapolis, while the GLIAC will have Northwood University seeded first. Last year the GLVC defeated the GLIAC 29-19 in the 48 matches played between teams.