Season over

Volleyball's impressive season ends in Regional Championship

The Bulldogs fell short in the NCAA tournament after a hard-fought loss in the Regional Championship match to the University of Missouri St. Louis in five sets.

The Bulldogs’ (26-10, 16-2 GLIAC) season ended in the Regional Championship in a five-set loss to the number one ranked University of Missouri St. Louis. This was the Bulldogs’ second straight appearance in the regional championship.

After winning the first two sets, the Bulldogs could not pull off the upset and dropped three straight sets to the University of Missouri St. Louis.

“We were incredibly disappointed,” head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm said. “We felt that was a match that if we played a tad bit tighter, we’d be walking away with a win.”

Olivia Henneman-Dallape led the team with 16 kills, Emma Bleecher had 12, Syann Fairfield added 10 and Chelsie Freeman and Claire Nowicki both finished with nine in the match.

Kaylee Maat led the team in assists with 45. Leah Bylut had a team-high of 33 digs, and Nowicki had 20. Alina Anderson finished with 14 in the match.

“It was a great match,” Bylut said. “It just came down to a couple of gutsy plays at the end, and we came up a little short.”

Fairfield and Maat led the Bulldogs in blocks with six apiece, Freeman had four and Nowicki and Henneman-Dallape both finished with three.

Ferris advanced to the Midwest Regional Championship after two tournament wins against Ashland University in the quarterfinals and Hillsdale College in the semifinal.

Olivia Henneman-Dallape attacks a ball during Ferris’ Regional Championship loss to Missouri St. Louis. She finished three tournament games with 49 kills for the Bulldogs. Photo by: Denny Sinnock | Quincy University

The Bulldogs beat Ashland University three sets to one on Thursday, Nov. 17.

Leading in kills for the Bulldogs was Henneman-Dallape with 19, Nowicki and Fairfield both had 12, Hannah Tecumseh had eight and Freeman added seven in the match.

Maat led the Bulldogs in assists with 49, and Bylut led the team with 22 digs.

Freeman and Fairfield led in total blocks with three, while Nowicki, Maat and Henneman-Dallape each added two.

After defeating Ashland University, the Bulldogs then defeated Hillsdale College three sets to one on Friday, Nov. 18, in the Regional Semifinal to advance to the Regional Championship.

In the match against Hillsdale College, the Bulldogs rallied, winning three straight sets after losing the first one.

Leading in kills for the Bulldogs was Nowicki with 17, Henneman-Dallape had 14, Fairfield had 12 and Freeman finished with 11.

Maat again led the team in assists with 53, while the rest of the team combined for four.

Bylut led the team with 24 digs, Anderson and Nowicki both had 15 and Maat had 14 in the match.

Freeman had seven blocks, Henneman- Dallape had six, Fairfield had four and Maat added three.

Despite starting the season 0-6, the Bulldogs ended the season with a 26-10 overall record and a 16-2 GLIAC record that gave the Bulldogs a GLIAC regular season championship. They also went on to win the GLIAC tournament championship during the season.

“It’s been a journey,” Henneman-Dallape said. “We’re getting one-percent better everyday. Watching everyone grow, not just as volleyball players but as humans, is incredible. We never stopped or thought we had a limit.”

With just two seniors on the roster, the Bulldogs will turn to next season, poised for another strong year.