Oct. 30, 2012
Big Rapids, Mich. - In arguably the team's biggest victory of the 2012 season, Grand Valley State went to Big Rapids, Mich. on Tuesday night (Oct. 30) and toppled #25 Ferris State, 3-0. After dropping a tough five-set match against the Bulldogs in late September, GVSU scored its revenge by winning in straight sets, 25-21, 27-25, 25-22.
Since falling to FSU on Sept. 25 in Allendale, Grand Valley State is 11-1 with nine of those victories coming in 3-0 sweeps. Overall, GVSU is now 20-5 on the year and 10-4 in conference play. Ferris State is 19-6 overall and the nationally-ranked Bulldogs drop just their second conference match of the season. FSU is 12-2 in league contests.
Grand Valley State was easily the aggressor on Tuesday night, totaling 53 kills in the three sets to just 27 for the Bulldogs. Four Lakers combined for 48 of the 53 putaways, led by sophomore Abby Aiken (match-best 15 kills) and freshman Betsy Ronda (14 kills). Junior Megan Schroeder notched 11 kills, while senior Eno Umoh added eight putaways.
The Lakers ended up with more assists (46-26) and digs (93-82), while holding FSU to a .100 hitting percentage. GVSU hit .139 for the match, but kept attacking the Bulldogs on the offensive end. Grand Valley State's kill totals in each set were 16, 19, and 18, while Ferris State only put away 5, 13, and 9.
That is not to say that the match was not closely contested. There were 21 tie scores and 11 lead changes in just three sets, with the second set going to extra points.
Trailing 14-13 in set one, GVSU notched the next four points on a kill from Umoh, an FSU error, an Aiken putaway, and a combined block from Umoh and sophomore setter Clair Ruhenkamp. That put the Lakers on top 17-14 and Ferris State would not get closer than a point the rest of the set. On top 24-21, Ruhenkamp found Ronda for a set-ending kill that gave GVSU a 1-0 lead.
It looked as if the Bulldogs would even the tally in the second set, jumping out to leads of 10-4 and 12-6. Grand Valley State scored four straight points to knot the score at 14-14. The set would again be tied at points 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, and 25. GVSU would get a kill from Ronda to have set point at 26-25. Sophomore libero Christina Canepa then aced the Bulldogs on her next serve to finish the set, 27-25.
FSU again started strong in the third set, leading 13-7 before the Lakers began to chip away at the deficit. A combined block from Umoh and Ruhenkamp got GVSU within a point at 18-17 and prompted a timeout by Ferris State's coaching staff. After a Laker attack error, Umoh, junior Abby Ebels, and Aiken notched three straight kills to take a 20-19 lead. Ahead 22-21, GVSU used a block from Ebels and Ronda, followed by a Schroeder kill to notch a 24-21 advantage. Two points later, Schroeder's 11th kill of the match ended the contest in GVSU's favor.
In addition to her 14 kills, Ronda collected a match-high 21 kills, though Canepa was close behind with 20 pick-ups. Juniors Lyndsey Holt (17 digs) and Sacha Gill (11) helped the Lakers record their highest dig total of the season with 93. Ruhenkamp handed out 40 assists offensively and picked up 15 digs on the defensive side.
Aiken's 15 kills came with a solid .256 hitting percentage, while Schroeder had just three hitting errors in 33 attempts. Umoh had three of GVSU's eight block assists.
The win gives Grand Valley State 20 victories for the 30th season in team history. GVSU head coach Deanne Scanlon has coached 14 of those 20-win seasons.
Grand Valley State stays on the road this weekend for the final time in the regular season. The Lakers take on Saginaw Valley State and Lake Superior State this weekend (Nov. 2-3).