Ending Strong

Ferris women’s volleyball ends their season with their heads held high

Ferris State women’s volleyball ended an historic season against BYU-Hawaii at the NCAA-II National Quarterfinal in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Bulldogs ended their season with a conference record of 15-3 and an overall record of 25-9.

The Bulldogs pulled wins in the first and fourth sets against the Seasiders, but were unable to convert in sets two, three, and five, despite close scores throughout the match.

“This was a tremendous accomplishment, and I am proud of the way our kids played,” said head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. “BYU-Hawaii is a great program and it was an outstanding match that was close and came down to the end. It was such a fun season and certainly we gave it everything we had.”

A finish at the National Tournament in the Elite 8 helps propel the program into the spotlight going into the 2014-15 season.

“We had a very productive and successful season,” said senior middle hitter, Angi Kent. “I’m proud of how well our team worked together to actually achieve our goal to be one of the top eight teams in the country. We made history and the journey we had was what it took to accomplish that.”

Their final National ranking was No. 13 as of Dec. 16. BYU-Hawaii was ranked No. 3 in the same poll.

“Looking back at our season, I am proud of the fact that despite what people thought, we overcame everything and still remained close as a team,” said junior outside hitter, Courtney Rehm.

Ferris had a few obstacles they had to overcome throughout their season despite of injuries.

“We had a younger team this year and everyone was put into different positions than they were used to,” said assistant coach Jesse Ortiz. “I’m proud of how highly versatile our girls were this year and how efficient they were. All in all, we had a lot of good we can put onto the court day in and day out.”

The preseason bonding is one spot that Rehm pointed to as a contributing factor in their success.

“I could not just pick one moment from my season, but if I had to, I would have to say my favorite moment was the volleyball retreat we took during our pre-season. We were all just hanging out having a great time. That is when we established who we were as a team,” said Kent.

The Bulldogs made so many memories this past season that they will not only take with them after the season, but those moments had brought them together as a team and made them stronger.

“One of my favorite memories from the season would be winning game point against Indy because the last two years they had ended our season,” said Rehm. “It felt great moving father into competition.”

Ferris will graduate two seniors, Kent and, libero Brandie Merren, this year that have left some big holes for their younger teammates to fill.

Kent offered up advice to the team that she will leave behind.

“Trust each other,” said Kent. “Protect the team and stay focused on your goals. These are the things that got us to Nationals this year and it will help you in your upcoming seasons.”