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November 19, 2004

Eagles upend No. 16 Ferris State,
Face No. 21 Northwood in second round

USI 3, #16 Ferris State 2

ALLENDALE, Mich.óThe University of Southern Indiana volleyball team battled back from a one-game deficit on two occasions to upset the second-seeded, and No. 16-ranked team in the country, Ferris State University Bulldogs 22-30, 30-22, 24-30, 30-24, 15-10 in the first round of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament Friday afternoon at the Grand Valley State University Fieldhouse.

The seventh-seeded Screaming Eagles (24-6) will face No. 21-ranked Northwood University, the sixth seed in the regional tournament, Saturday at 4 p.m. (CST). Northwood advanced to the regional semifinals with a 3-1 victory over Ashland University earlier in the day.

Junior middle blocker Laura Ellerbusch (Newburgh, Indiana) rang up 16 kills and a .371 attacking percentage to go along with 15 digs as the Eagles won for the fifth straight time and the 18th time in their last 20 matches.

After attacking at a negative clip in the first set, USI came back in game two with 20 kills and a .395 attacking percentage to tie the match at 1-1. FSU (25-7), which won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament title, hit .371 in game three and held the Eagles to a .171 attacking clip as it took a 2-1 lead in the match.

USIís defense came to life in gameís four and five as hit held the Bulldogs to attacking percentages of .140 and .154, respectively. Offensively, the Eagles hit .256 in game four and .290 in game five as they improved to 2-1 all-time in the NCAA II Tournament.

Sophomore outside hitters Emily Ryan (Batesville, Indiana) and Chelse Doubler (Griffin, Indiana) recorded 14 and 13 kills, respectively, while senior middle blocker Leeanne Gross (Decatur, Indiana) recorded 12 kills to lead the Eagle offensive.

Freshman setter Stephanie Wilson (Terre Haute, Indiana) recorded 56 assists to go with eight kills, a .375 attacking percentage, and eight digs. Sophomore libero Amanda Probst (Wheeler, Illinois) had three service aces and 21 digs, while Gross and senior middle hitter Natalie Atzinger (Louisville, Kentucky) finished with 17 and 15 digs, respectively.

Karla Fairbanks led the Bulldogs with 25 kills and a .328 attacking percentage, while Brittny Godlewski had a match-high 22 digs.

Dan McDonnell,
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