Two’s a streak!

Bulldogs fight off Wayne State, dominate Wisconsin-Parkside

Ferris State volleyball picked up their winning ways with wins against the Wayne State Warriors on Sept. 14 and the Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers on Sept. 16.

The Bulldogs (7-3, 2-0 in conference) gritted out a close 3-2 win over the Warriors (3-7, 0-2 in conference) on the road to begin their weekend. The Bulldogs then added another win in a 3-0 sweep of the Rangers at home.

Their first match started rough for the Bulldogs, going down 2-1 against Wayne State. However, the Bulldogs ended up taking the match with two straight wins. The team earned themselves their first in-conference win of the season.

Junior libero Leah Bylut preached the team’s readiness when going into a game.

“We do a lot of scouting before the game,” Bylut said. “We come to the game very prepared, and we set our defense and offense up based on what we have seen them do.”

The victory on the road marks a small bit of vengeance as their last game against Wayne State ended in a 3-2 loss for the Bulldogs.

Head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, now in her 28th year with the Bulldogs, knew what the team was up against when playing Wayne State on the road.

“They’re young and have some really powerful players,” Brandel-Wilhelm said. “They are a great defensive team, so we had to watch film to find opportunities to either serve or hit the ball a certain way. Whether we are at home or traveling, we do okay. We love to be at home with our fans and the crowd but being on the road is fantastic too.”

The Ferris State volleyball team compete against the Wisconsin Parkside Rangers during an intense match. Photo by: Maddie Epps |Torch Photographer

In their match against Wisconsin-Parkside (6-4, 1-1 in conference), both teams were coming off previous conference victories. However, the Bulldogs continued their all-time dominance of the Rangers and cleanly swept the team for a 3-0 victory. The Bulldogs have never lost a match to the Rangers and have only lost a single set to them since they joined the GLIAC in 2018. The Bulldogs won each set in the match by double digits, winning by 14, 11 and then 10.

Brandel-Wilhelm and the team’s focus has never been on the undefeated streak against Wisconsin-Parkside.

“I wouldn’t even know that we were undefeated,” Brandel-Wilhelm said. “We take it one game at a time and just want to get a little better each day. That’s all we are ever thinking about.”

Brandel-Wilhelm believed her team “played hard” in their matchup against Wisconsin-Parkside. The long-time stalwart of Ferris volleyball added on saying that “when people went into the game, they really made an impact.”

The Bulldogs played an offensive game against Wisconsin Parkside.

Junior middle-hitter Olivia Henneman-Dallape stole the show with 15 kills on 29 attacks, three digs, two aces and three blocks. 

Alongside her, junior setter Kaylee Maat added 38 assists and 11 digs. 

The Bulldogs started strong in the first set, Henneman-Dallape added eight of the 25 points. In the second set, the Bulldogs did even better with a hitting percentage of .436.

Henneman-Dallape had a great performance against Wisconsin-Parkside. However, to her, it’s mostly trust.

“Most of what I do is just trusting Kaylee and everyone around me,” Henneman-Dallape said. “We also watch a lot of film on our opponents for the next game. I’m very excited for our next one.”

The Bulldogs will continue their march through GLIAC play with a five game road-trip. First on the docket for the team is the Saginaw Valley Cardinals on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs will not return home until their tilt with the Davenport Panthers on Oct. 6.