Cardinals Fall to No. 19 Bulldogs in GLIAC Tournament Semifinals, 3-1

Emily Nieman had a match-high 21 digs for the Cardinals in the GLIAC Semifinal match...(Photo courtesy of Kelly Cooney)
Emily Nieman had a match-high 21 digs for the Cardinals in the GLIAC Semifinal match...(Photo courtesy of Kelly Cooney)

The Basics
Score: No. 19 Ferris State 3, Saginaw Valley 1 | GLIAC Tournament Semifinals
Records: FSU (27-5) | SVSU (19-11)
Location: Ewigleben Arena - Big Rapids, Mich.

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. - The SVSU volleyball team competed on Saturday (Nov. 19) in the 2016 GLIAC Tournament Semifinals, taking on the No. 19 ranked Ferris State University Bulldogs in Big Rapids. In the matchup between two of the top five regional teams, the Bulldogs came out ahead and posted a 3-1 win over the Cardinals.

Ferris State claimed the opening set by a score of 25-15 to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Cards bounced-back from a small deficit to tie the first set at 6-6 after kills from Tamara Heller and Kaylee Schmitt and a Ferris attack error. The Bulldogs worked the lead out to 18-11 and would continue to claim the set by the 10-point margin.

SVSU responded with a 25-18 win in the second frame, using a strong .317 hitting percentage to tie the match at 1-1. A kill by McKenzie Schuster knotted the score at 8-8 and a pair of attack errors by Ferris gave the Cardinals a 10-8 edge. Saginaw Valley would push the lead out to as many as six points, using back-to-back kills from Kennedy Marker and Schmitt for the 22-16 lead. Consecutive kills from Schmitt and Kelly Vellucci finished the set with the 25-18 count in SV's favor. 

The Bulldogs had a strong third set, hitting .424 while claiming a 25-13 win to take a 2-1 edge in the contest.  They would close-out for the 3-1 win with a 25-18 win in the fourth and final set. In the fourth, after Ferris broke a 3-3 tie, Saginaw Valley brought it back to within three points trailing 10-7 on a Ferris attack error and again later with the score 18-15 after another kill from Marker. It would not be enough, however, as FSU would eventually outlast the Cardinals and post the victory. 

Inside the Boxscore

  • Schmitt registered a team-high 12 kills. She had a team-best three blocks in the match as well. 
  • Andrea Brigham added eight kills and 14 digs, posting the other two blocks for Saginaw Valley as well.
  • Emily Nieman posted a match-high with 21 digs for SV, earning Chili's Player of the Match honors.
  • Heller had 13 digs and eight kills.
  • Abbie Toland added 14 digs defensively for the Cards.
  • Vellucci added 37 assists, 12 digs and three kills in the contest.

From Head Coach Will Stanton

"We weren't able to execute our offense as well as we needed to in order to keep the pressure on. Ferris served well and we struggled to get our first swing as consistently as you need to against a team this strong. Our defense was solid, and we served well. We were able to get one game from them, and I believe that will help us learn what it takes, in the event we are able to see them again as we hopefully get into the NCAA Tournament."

Up Next...

The Cardinals, who were ranked No. 5 in the most recent NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Rankings, should be positioned well to qualify for their second straight NCAA postseason appearance. The annual selection show airs on at 7:30 p.m. Click here to watch the show.

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