Ewigleben Sports Arena was electric when Michigan Technological University showed why they were undefeated in women’s volleyball conference play until Saturday afternoon.
MTU entered a hostile arena against the No. 16 nationally ranked Bulldogs but the 3-0 sweep by the Bulldogs doesn’t reflect the highly competitive back and forth play which took place on the court. A sweep usually sets the perception that one team dominated, which was not the case in this match. The sets went 25-21, 25-21, and 25-18 in the Bulldogs favor, but Ferris fought from behind the whole first set.
With a large crowd, the Huskies kept their composure and battled in all three games. Ferris couldn’t quite pull away from MTU as they stayed within a point or two in each set.
“Michigan Tech is such a nice team. They have some fantastic offense going on and their setter does a great job of mixing the ball up, so were obviously really excited to get a win against a quality team,” Ferris head volleyball coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm said.
The Bulldogs improve to 12-3 overall and 6-1 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play. Ferris posted a .297 hitting percentage with a team total 45 kills. Upperclassmen led the way on offense with senior outside hitter Allyson Cappel bringing in a team-high of 16 kills, senior outside hitter Courtney Brewer contributing nine kills and junior outside hitter Katie O’Connell adding eight kills.
“I thought we hit well on the outside, especially, and that was a good thing. We moved the ball around well. We were trying to keep their block off balance a little bit, and I think we did a really nice job with that,” Brandel-Wilhelm said.
Ferris held off Michigan Tech just enough on defense with a total 58 digs and seven blocks. Junior libero Nina Gorgijevska had a team high of 15 digs and freshman middle hitter Kira Merkle led the way with six total blocks.
The Bulldogs had the help of a large home crowd and veteran leadership to pave their way to victory.
“I think it’s because we are all best friends and we are super comfortable with each other so we just look to each other and stay focused. Being leaders on the court together means a lot for us in big games like that,” Brewer said.
The Bulldogs will continue GLIAC play next weekend against rival Grand Valley State University on Friday, Oct. 11 and against Davenport Saturday, Oct. 12.