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Volleyball falls in NCAA DII playoffs

Posted on 12.11.2013

The semifinal game of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Midwest Regional tournament on Dec. 6 went to the Ferris State University Bulldogs in a five set win, 3-2, over the University of Indianapolis volleyball team.
The Greyhounds stole the first set 25-21, but the Bulldogs responded with tough front line defense, taking the next two sets, 25-16 and 25-15, respectively. The Greyhounds rallied in the fourth set, 25-18, forcing a fifth set. The Greyhounds were not able to pull out a win in the final set, however, falling 15-10 to the Bulldogs.
The Greyhounds recorded 91 digs in the match, including 26 from junior defensive specialist Kimberly Trojan. Junior setter Meghan Binkerd put up 41 assists on the night and added seven kills to the Greyhounds’ total of 55. Sophomore outside hitter Hailey Brown and senior middle blocker Brittany Anglemyer each tallied 14 kills.
In the first round of the tournament, the Greyhounds drew the Northwood University Timberwolves. Head Volleyball Coach Jason Reed said the Greyhounds were going into the match with the game plan of “slowing down” the Timberwolves’ first team All-American sophomore outside hitter Juliia Pakhomenko. Pakhomenko tallied 26 kills in the game, but the Greyhounds prevailed in four sets.
The Greyhounds had five players finish with double-digit digs. Brown had 15 digs and 14 kills in the game, and Binkerd had 11 digs along with 46 assists and five kills.
The week before, serving and passing were the keys to the Greyhounds’ 3-1 victory over the Truman State University Bulldogs on Nov. 24 in Romeoville, Ill. The win gave the Greyhounds their second Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament championship in the past three years.
“It feels great,” Reed said. “I really feel like we’ve come together. We’ve been exercising our game plan really well. Our fight and effort have been phenomenal. There’s nothing negative that I can say. The girls are playing really well at the right time of year.”
The Greyhounds faced Truman State for the second time in the month of November with the first match ending in a hard-fought five set Greyhound victory. Binkerd knew that the Bulldogs would be tough opponents going in to the championship but was proud of the Greyhounds’ focus.
“Truman is a team that is very scrappy. They never go away. Even when you have a big lead, they keep fighting. Knowing we had a lead in the game, we still didn’t get content and that helped us to finish,” Binkerd said.
The Greyhounds tallied 84 digs and six aces against the Bulldogs. They also had four players with double-digit kills, including Brown, who tallied 22 kills in the match, and senior outside hitter Kenzie Bruggeman, who had 10 kills along with 20 digs.
In the semifinal match on Nov. 23, the Greyhounds defeated the Rockhurst University Hawks in four sets. The Hawks had taken down UIndy in the previous season in the 2012 GLVC Championship Tournament, and according to Binkerd, the team was not going to let that happen again.
“Everyone that played last year knew that we couldn’t overlook them this year and we needed to give them the respect they deserved, and we did. We took care of business,” Binkerd said.
Anglemyer finished the set with 12 kills on just 17 attempts, good for a .647 hitting percentage, while Bruggeman tacked on 12 kills and 16 digs.
The Greyhounds shut out the Missouri S&T Miners on Nov. 22, winning the match 3-0. UIndy suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of the Miners at the beginning of the season, and according to Binkerd, the team was eager to put that behind them.
Brown had 16 kills in the game on a .481 hitting percentage. Binkerd tallied 38 assists and seven digs in the three sets, and Bruggeman had nine digs and 11 kills.
The Greyhounds finished their 2013 season with an overall record of 25-10, while finishing 15-3 in the GLVC.


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