HILLSDALE, Mich. – First Team All-Region outside hitter Kristina Hefferan hit .382 with 15 kills, 11 digs and three blocks to lead No. 20 Indianapolis against No. 11 Ferris State, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-18), in the NCAA tournament Midwest Regional semifinal at Jesse Philips Arena. The Greyhounds will play No. 8 Hillsdale or No. 16 Northern Kentucky in Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET regional championship match.
“It feels awesome to be back in the final and the girls deserve this more than anything,” head coach Jody Rogers said. “They are just a bunch of fighters and I’m grateful to be a part of this time.”
Courtney Anglemyer added 12 kills and five blocks for the Greyhounds (24-7) against the Bulldogs (27-4), while Meghan Binkerd set the offense with 35 assists and four kills on .800 attacking. Amy Oldenburg led UIndy in the back row with 19 digs and Courtney Roach had 11.
“Amy was passing nails and digging balls everywhere and she was one of the key reasons we won the match,” Rogers said.
The Greyhounds hit .169 with 42 kills and limited Ferris State to .127 attacking with 32 kills. FSU was also sloppy with seven missed serves, five ball-handling errors and twice were called for being in the net.
Aly Brecht led FSU with nine kills and Anne Sutton had eight, while Lisa Tobiczyk led all players with 23 digs and Samantha Fordyce had 32 assists.
The match was all Ferris State to start as they scored the first four points of the match and eventually built an eight-point lead, 18-10, with another 5-0 run. The teams traded kills to keep UIndy down by eight, 19-11, when the Greyhounds woke up. They pulled within three, 20-17, after a Hefferan kill and three errors by FSU, but the Bulldogs were able to build the lead back to five, 22-17.
A kill by Hefferan put herself back at the service line to start a decisive 8-0 run that took the fight out of the Bulldogs. Anglemyer followed with a kill and Hefferan aced Brecht to cut the deficit to two, 22-20, and force a FSU timeout. The stoppage led to another error by Brecht and then UIndy scored the last four points. Anglemyer had a kill and then combined with Kristina Kerrigan to block First Team All-Region outside hitter Ashley Huntey twice before Hefferan aced Huntey to clinch the set, 25-22. Overall, UIndy held Huntey, FSU’s best player, to -.048 attacking with six kills and eight errors.
“I just told them to relax and start playing our game instead of letting Ferris dictate to us,” Rogers said. “Heff had a tough serve at the end and they didn’t have the ball control to respond to it and that got us the momentum to go into the rest of the match.”
Each team finished the set with seven attack errors and Ferris had one more kill, 13-12, and hit better (.150 – .122). Hefferan hit .556 with five kills and Anglemyer hit .571 with four kills and three blocks. Oldenburg had nine of her 19 digs in the comeback.
Ferris State looked to bounced back quick in the second set by taking a 6-2 lead, but UIndy quickly re-established the control it gained at the end of the first. Kerrigan had back-to-back kills to start a 7-1 run that put UIndy up four, 14-10. Anglemyer’s kill grew the lead to five, 20-15, but Ferris State was able to make it a two-point set, 22-20, after an ace. On the next point, Fordyce mis-handled a pass and Julia Watkins and Kourtney Crawford followed by blocking Brecht to put UIndy at set point, 24-20. The Bulldogs saved twice, but Watkins pounded a kill off the block on the third for the win, 25-22, and a 2-0 lead.
UIndy hit .156 with 15 kills, five by Kerrigan hitting .417, while FSU hit .125 with 10 kills.
The third set started close with six ties and two lead changes, but the Greyhounds broke open a tied set, 10-10, with a 9-1 run. Hefferan and Anglemyer each had a pair of kills during the run, while Oldenburg controlled the service line for six straight points. FSU never mounted another serious challenge and UIndy took the victory when Huntey air-mailed a ball long on the second match point, 25-18.
UIndy closed by hitting .237 with 15 kills, six each by Hefferan and Anglemyer, while limiting Ferris State to .105 attacking and nine kills.
The Greyhounds will be making their third consecutive appearance in the regional championship as they look for their second title after winning at Ruth Lilly Center in 2009.