GLIAC -- Four volleyball programs will head to Ferris State University for the 2018 GLIAC Volleyball Tournament following quarterfinal victories on Wednesday (Nov. 7) night. The schedule will begin with a pair of semifinal matches with Ferris State taking on Saginaw Valley at 3 p.m. and Michigan Tech facing-off against Davenport at 5:30 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 9) followed by the title match on Saturday (Nov. 10) at 4 p.m.
The match of the night also provided the upset of the night when No. 6 Davenport made the trip to Ashland and knocked off the No. 3 Eagles in a thrilling five-set affair. AU took the first set 25-21 before DU bounced back with a 25-19 victory in the second. Ashland rebounded with a hard-fought 29-27 win in the third before the Panthers came-from-behind facing match point at 24-22 to win the fourth set 28-26 to force a deciding fifth set where Davenport never trailed ultimately prevailing by a 15-12 final tally.
Four Panthers reached double-figure kills paced by Ashley VanderHorst with 18 kills and four blocks hitting .292 on the night, while her teammate Hayley Kreiger recorded 17 kills and three blocks in the win. Jenn Kay Vander Meer tallied a double-double with 13 kills and 18 digs along with Kasey Stehouwer who posted a team-high 23 digs. Both Sami White (23 assists) and Sydney Tracer (37 assists) set up the DU offense all night to have success. AU's Shelby Woycik recorded a double-double of her own with 20 kills and 12 digs in the loss.
Top-seeded Ferris State swept Parkside to earn hosting duties for the upcoming weekend's semifinal and championship rounds. The Bulldogs earned a 3-0 victory over the Rangers by holding Parkside to a negative hitting percentage, while logging a .299 percentage themselves. FSU was guided by Katie O'Connell and Mekayla Carey who each registered 11 kills, while Maeve Grimes set up the offense with 26 assists in the victory.
Ferris State will battle No. 4 Saginaw Valley in the semifinals on Friday (Nov. 9) after the Cardinals dispatched of No. 5 Wayne State in three sets thanks to 20 blocks along with a .330 hitting performance for SVSU. Sarah Tabit paced the Cardinal offense with 14 kills hitting .312, while Emily Friesl posted nine kills and six blocks on the night. SVSU's Maria Vukaj finished with 10 kills, nine digs and three blocks in the win. Wayne State's Hailey Richardson notched 11 kills and 16 digs in the defeat.
No. 2 Michigan Tech held off a strong charge from No. 7 Grand Valley State to earn the sweep and advance to semifinal action at Ferris State. Tech's Olivia Ghormley recorded a game-high 17 kills to power the offense with the help of Laura DeMarchi's 39 assists and 12 digs. Anna Jonynas pitched in with eight kills and 19 digs in the victory for the Huskies. Staci Brower led the Lakers with 11 kills in the loss.