BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – No. 24 Michigan Tech was swept for the first time all season in a 3-0 defeat (21-25, 12-25, 17-25) to eighth-ranked Ferris State on Friday inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena. The loss snaps Michigan Tech's streak of nine straight wins over GLIAC opponents, and puts their record at 21-5 overall and 13-2 in the GLIAC.
"Of course we're disappointed that we lost, but maybe more so because we know that tonight's loss didn't reflect the kind of team we are and have been all year," said head coach Matt Jennings after his team's defeat. "We have no choice but to pick it back up tomorrow and finish the regular seasons strong, especially if we want another shot at Ferris and a title."
The Huskies kept with the Bulldogs (22-5, 15-1 GLIAC) for most of the first set, tying the score several times in the early portions of the action. The Huskies were able to battle back from deficits and were down 19-18 late in the frame when the Bulldogs scored three-straight points to lead 21-18. Tech fought and played hard, but they were unable to close the gap and dropped the set, 25-21.
Tech fell behind 5-1 early in the second set, allowing four straight points before calling timeout. The Huskies scored three straight points coming out of the timeout and were able to tie the score twice before giving up a six-point run to trail 15-8. Tech would only score four more points in the set and fell 25-12.
The Huskies led early in the third set, jumping out to a 6-4 lead over the Bulldogs, but fell behind after a four-point run by Ferris State. Trailing 11-8, the Black and Gold scored four of the next five points to tie the match at 12-12. Unfortunately, Ferris State scored the next four points to jump ahead and the Huskies couldn't make up the difference. The Huskies trailed late 19-16, but the Bulldogs scored six of the next seven points to take the set 25-17 and win their fifth-straight GLIAC regular season title.
"Hats off to Ferris for playing a great match," Jennings said. "Their defense was outstanding and extended rallies and pressured out attackers into making too many unforced errors."
Sophomore Olivia Ghormley led the team with nine kills, while junior Rachel Ping hit a team-leading .250 in the match. Sophomore Laura DeMarchi dished out 27 assists and recorded 13 digs to give her 14 double-doubles on the season. Freshman Grace Novotny recorded a personal-best 18 digs in the loss, joining DeMarchi and junior Kristine Fink (11 digs) with double-digit digs.
The Huskies committed 21 attacking errors in the loss while forcing Ferris State into 12 errors. They were also hit a season-low .062 as a team against the Bulldogs and recorded 30 kills to Ferris State's .245 team hitting percentage and 46 total kills. The Huskies also recorded fewer digs, digging out just 69 attacks to the Bulldogs' 80.
Michigan Tech will return to action on Saturday (Nov. 3) when they close out the regular season against Northwood at 5 p.m. The Timberwolves (10-17, 4-11 GLIAC), who were swept by the Huskies inside the SDC Gym in September, were defeated 3-1 by Northern Michigan Friday night to eliminate them from competing in the 2018 GLIAC Tournament.