Hillsdale Defeats Ferris State, 3-0, to Claim Third Straight GLIAC Women's Volleyball Tournament Crown
BAY CITY, Mich. - Hillsdale College defeated Ferris State University, 3-0, in the finals of the 2011 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) women's volleyball tournament Sunday (Nov. 13). The Chargers became the first team to claim three-straight tournament titles.
(Release courtesy of the Hillsdale College Sports Information Department) [Click here for HC-FSU Box Score]
The Hillsdale College volleyball team became the first program
in GLIAC history to win three straight conference tournament
championships, defeating Ferris State University 3-0 before a
standing-room-only crowd in Big Rapids Sunday afternoon.
Hillsdale, now 27-2 on the season, is very likely to host the 2011 NCAA Division II regional tournament, which begins Friday afternoon at Jesse Philips Arena.
The Chargers earned this unprecedented achievement with a brilliantly executed game plan, one that put the team’s mental and physical strength on full display. Ferris State was the only team to beat Hillsdale during the regular season, but on the Bulldogs’ home court, the Chargers reversed that result, on a day where they set a new standard in GLIAC volleyball.
Hillsdale won the sets by scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-19. The Chargers led from start to finish in the first set, but were tested by a talented Bulldogs squad repeatedly in the second and third sets. There were eight ties in the second set, and Ferris State led as late as 17-16 in the third set.
But Hillsdale embraced the pressure and upped its game as the championship came within sight. The Chargers ended the match with six consecutive points, putting the ultimate exclamation point on a brilliant performance in the tournament.
Senior Ashlee Crowder, who was crowned GLIAC Player of the Year Saturday, was named the tournament’s most outstanding player after a dominating performance in the championship final. Crowder finished with 21 kills, just one error, on 37 attempts, which was good for a .541 hitting percentage. She received some spot-on sets from setter Apryl Schmucker, and attacked with purpose and execution the entire match.
Schmucker finished with 44 assists, and was named to the All-Tournament Team. She was aggressive with her passing and set up an offense that hit .363 against a team that was among the top in the conference in opponents’ hitting percentage all season.
Also named to the All-Tournament team from Hillsdale was sophomore Caitlin Kopmeyer, who capped a tremendous weekend with 11 kills and five digs for the Chargers. Kopmeyer was quick on defense and did a good job of hitting the ball deep into the Ferris State defense.
Junior Kaleigh Shuster played the best match of her career, matching her career-high with seven kills. All of her kills seemed to come at crucial points in the match for Hillsdale. Shuster was able to hit the ball accurately around the Ferris State block and found open floor time after time.
Senior libero Morgan Podkul led a terrific team passing effort for Hillsdale, digging up many hard-hit attacks by the Bulldogs. She led the Chargers with 17 digs, and was invaluable at preventing Ferris State from stringing together any long scoring runs.
The NCAA Division II postseason volleyball selection show will be webcast on NCAA.com at 10 p.m. Sunday.
This was the first time since 2006 that a school other than the host won a conference tournament. Hillsdale won the 2011 championship in the one gym it’s traditionally had trouble in. The Chargers have never swept the Bulldogs in Big Rapids, and hadn’t won on Ferris State’s home court since 2006. Not only was a long negative streak broken, a positive streak, unlike any ever seen in GLIAC volleyball history, continued.
2011 GLIAC Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Ashley Crowder - Hilldsale College (M.V.P.)
Ashley Huntey - Ferris State University
Apryl Schmucker - Hillsdale College
Anne Sutton - Ferris State University
Caitlin Kopmeyer - Hillsdale College
Becky Schroeder - Saginaw Valley State University
Alyx Crislip - Ashland University