Volleyball opens season undefeated

Women’s volleyball wins Saturday doubleheader in thrilling fashion

The volleyball team wrapped up the annual Ferris State Invitational undefeated with wins against Gannon and Seton Hill on Saturday.

The Bulldogs captured a combined four wins during the event from Thursday, Sept. 5, to Saturday, Sept. 7. Their final two wins came on Saturday with an exciting match against Gannon University to begin the day before beating Seton Hill in a three-set sweep in the evening.

A 10 a.m. five-set thriller against Gannon involved both teams trading sets until the very end. The Bulldogs faced a 10-5 de cit in the fifth set, which they fought back from with a 9-3 run. Gannon made it to match point first, but Ferris took the set and game with a 3-0 run. Fans were on edge for each set, with progressive final scores of 25-20, 22-25, 25-20, 21-25 and 17-15.

Junior outside hitter Katie O’Connell offered the Bulldogs a boost with 12 kills, 23 digs and an ace.

“Our energy just turned the game around, this was definitely a team win,” O’Connell said. “We do this every day in practice so we just kept reminding ourselves that we are prepared, and we know that we can come back from it. One of the fun things about volleyball is going back and forth. The momentum can change with every point, and we just knew we had to get momentum in the end.”

The Bulldogs came back later in the day to play Seton Hill at 6 p.m. in the second game of the doubleheader. This match saw Ferris win in straight sets 25-14, 25-23 and 25-14.

Senior outside hitter Courtney Brewer was a significant contributor with five kills, 11 digs and a block.

“We really go by the motto ‘Respect all and fear none,’ so we just play every point like it’s the last point and we just go from there,” Brewer said. “We work hard every point and every day in practice. I think everyone did very well coming off the bench, so that was awesome as well.”

With the win, the Bulldogs now stand 4-0 after a 3-0 win against Ohio Dominican on Thursday and a 3-1 win against McKendree on Friday. The team gave up only three sets in the entire invitational, setting them up well for next week’s Colorado Premier Tournament.

Head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm was happy with the team’s performance but noted they had work to do before next week.

“Next week is going to be tough in Colorado, [there] are really great teams and every point you are just going to have to battle for,” Brandel-Wilhelm said. “This weekend is good for us because we got to see ourselves in a competitive situation, we got to be tested a little bit and I think it will help us, but we definitely have some stuff to work on at practice.”

The volleyball team returns with another doubleheader starting 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, against No. 24 ranked West Florida University and again at 8 p.m. against No. 5 Concordia-St. Paul in Denver, Colorado.