The Bulldogs put an end to an 0-2 start in conference play and picked up two big wins over the weekend.
After a slow start to conference play, the Bulldogs evened their GLIAC record thanks to a pair of wins over the weekend against Grand Valley and Davenport. Ferris played a close game with Grand Valley, and then won handily against Davenport.
Ferris hosted the Lakers on Thursday, Sept. 23 and improved their record to 6-4 (1-2 GLIAC) with a 3-2 win. The Bulldogs lost the first set 27-25 before coming back and winning the second set 25-20.
Grand Valley came out on top 29-27 in a close back-and-forth third set. Ferris responded in the fourth set with a winning score 25-18 to force the crucial fifth set. The Bulldogs got out to an early advantage in the final set and won the match with a 15-10 victory in the final set.
Ferris head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm said her team adjusted very well to push through to win the game.
“I was pleased with how we played, and I thought we competed extremely hard, and our defense made an adjustment to slow them down after the first two sets,” Brandel-Wilhelm said. “With the help of our assistant coaches, they did a nice job running the defense and our team to get them out of their system with such a strong offense.”
Ferris got contributions from many players in the victory. Senior outside hitter Katie O’Connell and freshman outside hitter Keona Salesman led the team with 15 kills each. O’Connell also led the team with 24 digs. In addition, sophomore middle hitter Kira Merkle and freshman middle hitter Olivia Henneman-Dallape contributed 11 kills each, while freshman setter Kaylee Maat led the way with 49 assists. The Bulldogs also got 22 digs from senior libero Nina Gorgijevska.
O’Connell spoke on the energy the team added to this game.
“We had to keeping working for each other and having each other’s back,” O’Connell said. “With energy, our team is able to support itself, work hard and focus on the team. We know what we were capable of.”
Ferris followed its victory over Grand Valley with a 3-0 victory over Davenport on Sunday, Sept. 26. Maat led the team with 33 assists and 15 digs. With the win, Ferris improved to 7-4 (2-2 GLIAC).
The Bulldogs will play two more games at home this weekend. First, Purdue-Northwest comes to town Friday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. Wisconsin-Parkside will visit Sunday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.