BIG RAPIDS, Mich. -- Ferris State has advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship match as the Bulldogs pulled out a 3-2 victory against Indianapolis on Friday (Dec. 6) night in the regional semifinals at the Grand Valley State Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale, Mich.
Ferris State captured a 15-10 victory in the fifth and final frame to pull out the win.
The second-seeded Bulldogs dropped the first set 25-21, but rallied back to capture the second and third frames by scores of 25-16 and 25-15, respectively. However, the sixth-seeded Greyhounds battled from behind to post a 25-18 triumph in the fourth set to force the deciding frame.
In the fifth set, the Bulldogs bolted out to a 5-1 lead and withstood a late Indianapolis rally to move to 24-8 on the year. The Greyhounds had ended FSU's season in the regional semifinals each of the last two seasons as the two squads met in the Midwest Regional second round for the third-consecutive year.
Junior outside hitter Courtney Rehm tallied a match-high 16 kills for the Bulldogs while sophomore Alexis Huntey, senior Angi Kent and middle blockerCaroline Heitzman all netted 10 each as four FSU players reached double-digits.
Ferris State hit only .028 in the opening set, but posted a .300 or better attack percentage in three of the final four sets, including an impressive .360 figure in the deciding frame.
Freshman setter Stephanie Sikorski tallied 49 assists for FSU and added 11 digs in a double-double showing. FSU also received a team-high 24 digs from senior libero Brandie Merren along with 12 by Huntey and 10 from sophomore Megan Vander Meer.
Heitzman paced FSU at the net with four solo blocks and four assists with Kent netted four helpers and Sikorski totaling five on the night. Rehm also had a strong presence up front with three solo efforts and three assisted blocks.
Ferris State, ranked 23rd in the nation, finished with 55 kills, 67 digs, 16.5 blocks and six service aces to go with eight service errors.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis totaled 55 kills, 91 digs, five blocks and three aces with four miscues from the service line.
The Greyhounds were led by both Brittany Anglemyer and Hailey Brown as they each netted 14 kills. Kimberly Trojan tallied a match-high 26 digs while Meghan Binkerd had 18, Kenzie Bruggeman totaled 17, Brown had 13 and Arielle Knafel recorded 12 on the night.
Indianapolis closed the year with a 25-10 overall record with the setback. FSU avenged an earlier 3-0 loss to UIndy at the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover this season by virtue of the win.
FSU, which is midst its 18th all-time NCAA tournament appearance, advances to the regional final for the eighth time in school history and the first time since 1992. Ferris State previously won regional crowns in both 1987 and 1989.