For the first time in six years, Ferris volleyball will not be taking home the GLIAC tournament crown.
Ferris volleyball saw their season come to an end with a whimper as no. 1 seed Michigan Tech beat the Bulldogs 3 – 0 in the semi-finals of the GLIAC tournament.
Michigan Tech handled the Bulldogs throughout the contest, winning the first set 25 – 17 before winning the final two sets 25 – 18.
Freshman outside hitter Keona Salesman led the team in points during the contest, scoring 10 points off of eight kills, a service ace, and two block assists. Senior outside hitter Katie O’Connell was second on the team with nine points off of nine kills. Katie O’Connell talked about her reactions to the results of the past weekend.
“Obviously this past weekend wasn’t the result we wanted, but the biggest takeaway was our growth over the past year.” O’Connell said. “There was a lot of uncertainty about playing this year so we were just grateful for the opportunity to compete and to work to get better everyday. I think this weekend showed us what we need to work on to compete again in the fall.”
Michigan Tech would score a kill percentage of 25.9%, meaning that over a quarter of their attacks resulted in a kill. Ferris tallied a kill percentage of 11.6%.
Before the loss to Michigan Tech, Ferris played against Northwood the day before in the GLIAC quarterfinals. They were able to score a tight victory 3 – 2.
They came back from being down two sets to one, and were in a close battle in the fourth set, only winning it 25 – 22.
Head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm talked about how impressive the comeback was after going down early.
“I was super pleased with that, I don’t know if early in the game we were playing our best, we made a lot of errors we don’t normally make.” Brandel-Wilhelm said. “I was really happy with how the team just stuck together. Especially in that adversity.”
The sets played out 20 – 25, 25 – 18, 19 – 25, 25 – 22, 15 – 10.
O’Connell led the team with 18 points including 17 kills. Junior middle hitter Samantha Hermann was second with 15 points on the evening, tallying 14 kills to go along with two block assists.
O’Connell explained some of the biggest things they are looking to improve over the course of the offseason and into the fall.
“A big part of our offseason will be just getting lots of reps to improve all our skills. Our focus over the summer heading into the fall season is to improve our skill and fitness so we can come into preseason practice ready to work on our systems play.”
With this quick season coming to a close, hopes are high for the next season. It is not nearly as far away as usual, with only four months separating seasons. O’Connell had high expectations going into the fall.
“Our goals for next season are to fight for the conference championship and we want to be one of the best teams in the nation. We want to compete towards the Elite Eight.”
The Bulldogs finished 11 – 5 overall on the season, With as eligibility rules allowing for this season to not count against players much of their roster expected for the fall.
There are no current details on what the schedule will look like for the Bulldogs next season, so stay tuned for updates at ferrisstatebulldogs.com.