August 25, 2009

Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 1-5)

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* This Week: The Ferris State University women's volleyball will open the 2009 season and its 37th year of intercollegiate competition this Thursday (Aug. 27), hosting St. Joseph's (Ind.) in a non-conference match.  The Bulldogs then will host the 10-team Ferris State Invitational this weekend (Aug. 28-29) on three courts at the Ewigleben Sports Arena and Jim Wink Arena on the FSU campus in Big Rapids, Mich.  Ferris State faces West Virginia State, Indianapolis, nationally-ranked California (Pa.), and Minnesota Crookston in the two-day event.

* Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2009 Ferris State women's volleyball regular-season home matches will be available at the door.  For more information, please contact the FSU Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.  Tickets are $7 adults or $5 students (K-12), senior citizens and FSU faculty/staff. Ferris students with ID will be admitted free as will children not yet of school age.

* Media Coverage:A live video and audio webcast will be available for all 2009 FSU women's volleyball home matches through B2 Networks for a charge of $7 on FSU's Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com (Click on B2 Networks icon).  Live internet statistics will also be available for all Bulldog home matches.

* Promotions: A number of promotions will take place during this Thursday's (Aug. 27) season-opening match.  The contest, which will be part of FSU Welcome Week activities, also includes in-game promotions such as Snyder's Certificates and Tan Line's Free Tan Give-Aways.

* "Back To School" Night:The fifth annual "Back To School" Night event will be held this Thursday (Aug. 27) in conjunction with the Bulldog women's volleyball team's season-opening contest against St. Joseph's (Ind.).  Those fans attending can earn free admission by providing a new school supply, which in turn will be distributed by the Bulldog Athletics Department for use in local elementary classrooms.  Items should be in new package condition and can include such materials as crayons, construction paper, markers, glue, notebooks and pencils.  All local students, parents and community members are invited and encouraged to attend the first home athletics event of the 2009-10 season. 

* The 37th Season: The 2009 campaign represents Ferris State's 37th season of women's volleyball.  The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 771-439 (.637) to date.  Since the program's inception in 1972, the Bulldogs have won nine GLIAC titles, made 14 NCAA-II Tournament appearances and registered 29 winning seasons.
 
* 2009 Record: Ferris State is currently 0-0 overall and 0-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division to date.

* The Coaches: Ferris State  - Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990), 14th season, 269-138 (.661); Career: 17th season, 387-158 (.710).  Brandel-Wilhelm enters the 2009 campaign ranking 19th in career best winning percentage (.710) among active NCAA Division II coaches while her 387 career victories prior to 2009 is tied for 21st-place honors on the NCAA-II active coaches wins list.  Brandel-Wilhelm is listed 21st by winning percentage for all-time winningest NCAA-II coaches who have a minimum of 10 years serving as a head coach in the Division II ranks since 1982.  The 2002 GLIAC Coach of the Year guided the Bulldogs to NCAA-II Tournament appearances in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2005.  She became the program's fifth head coach in June 1996.

* 2009 Ferris State Invitational: The 2009 Ferris State Invitational will be held this weekend (Aug. 28-29) on three courts.  Comprising the 10-team tournament besides Ferris State are Quincy, California (Pa.), Southern Indiana, Northwood, Indianapolis, Minnesota Crookston, Saginaw Valley State, St. Joseph's (Ind.), and West Virginia State. For more information and tournament pairings, visit the Bulldog Women's Volleyball Homepage on the FSU Athletics Website (http://www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com/sports/wvball/2009-10/releases/2009_Ferris_State_Invitational).  

* This Week's Opposition: 

   St. Joseph's (Ind.): Ferris State sports an 8-0 mark in the all-time series, which includes a 4-0 home ledger.  The Bulldogs recorded a 2006 season-opening 3-1 home triumph in the last meeting (8/24) between the two teams.  The Pumas were 14-16 overall and 7-11 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) a season ago.  SJC is under the direction of fourth-year head coach and former Bulldog player Jill (Behrns) Schopieray.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. SJC - 4-0.   

    West Virginia State: FSU has a 4-0 series advantage over the Yellow Jackets and sports a 4-0 home record. The Bulldogs captured a 3-0 decision at the 2007 Ferris State Invite in the most recent matchup (8/24).  WVSU won the 2008 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) a season ago en route to finishing 25-5 overall and 15-0 in the WVIAC.  The Yellow Jackets also made an appearance in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament.  Shannon Gerencir is presently in her eighth year at WVSU.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. WVSU - 4-0. 

  Indianapolis: The Bulldogs are 3-0 against Indianapolis in the series and posted a 3-2 decision over the Greyhounds in 2004 (9/10)at the Great Lakes Region Crossover Tourney in Wheeling, W.Va.  FSU is 1-0 at home and 2-0 on the road versus UI in the all-time series.  The Greyhounds, who registered a 29-10 overall record and were 14-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) last season, were 2008 NCAA-II Midwest Regional participants.  UI is listed among others receiving votes in the 2009 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll.  Jody Butera is the program's all-time winningest coach and will embark on her 13th year at the helm this fall.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UI - 3-0. 

  California (Pa.): Ferris State is 2-1 versus the Vulcans in the all-time series with all meetings being held on the Bulldogs' floor.  CUP claimed a 3-2 win in the last outing between the teams back in 2006 (8/25) at the Ferris State Invitational.  The Vulcans were 40-2 overall with a 12-0 ledger in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference's (PSAC) West Division.  CUP advanced to the 2008 NCAA-II Championship Tourney's quarterfinal round and finished ranked 12th in the final 2008 AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll.  The Vulcans, coached by second-year head coach Stephanie Burner, are currently ranked 14th in the 2009 AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. CUP - 1-1.
 
  Minnesota, Crookston: First meeting between the two teams.  The Golden Eagles generated a 6-23 overall record with a 6-14 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) mark in 2008.  Lee Anderson, who served as an assistant coach at Ferris State from 2003-05, begins his second season at UMC this campaign.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UMC - 0-0.

  * 2009 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Poll: Ferris State is ranked fourth with 13 points in the 2009 GLIAC Volleyball North Division Coaches Preseason Poll with 13 points.  The Bulldogs received four more points than fifth-place Michigan Tech (nine pts.) and trailed third-place Saginaw Valley State (19 pts.) by six points.  Grand Valley State earned top billing in the GLIAC's North Division with 24 points and four first-place votes while Northern Michigan had 20 points to go with the remaining two first-place votes.  In the South Division, Hilldale and Wayne State were tabbed the favorites with 22 points apiece. Hillsdale also received three first-place votes while Wayne State had two and third-place Ashland (17 pts.) one.  Ferris State garnered a third-place tying 16 points in the 2008 preseason poll.

* 2009 Team Captains: Serving as 2009 team captains will be senior middle hitter Sarah Lark(Alma) and junior libero Dana Ruttle (Reed City).  Ruttle was a co-recipient of the program's Coaches Award a season ago. 

* The 2009 FSU Roster: Ferris State's 2009 active roster includes four seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen.  Eight of the 19 players are middle hitters, six are outside hitters, and the five others fill the squad's setter, defensive specialist and libero roles.  All but one of the team's 19 student-athletes hail from the state of Michigan. 

* What Returns For 2009: Below is a look at the 2008 statistical totals of the returnees and what percentage of the team totals they accounted for:
                       2008 Total          2009 Returning             % Returning
 Kills                   1,295                      1,107                                 85.5
 Aces                     193                        138                                  71.5
 Digs                  1,557                      1,088                                  69.9
 Blocks               212.5                         316                                  83.4
 

* Great Stretch: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches nine times under 14th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 236-108 (.686) over the past 11 years and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament five times in that span.  FSU has advanced to the GLIAC Tournament 11 consecutive years to date.

* No Place Like Home: The Bulldogs have posted a 40-2 cumulative record in non-conference home outings during head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm's tenure.  Overall, Ferris State has compiled a 124-33 (.789) ledger in home matches under Brandel-Wilhelm.

* Ewigleben Sports Arena:  The Bulldogs have compiled a 271-73 (.788) record to date in 28 seasons of competition at the Ewigleben Sports Arena since moving from the Health and Physical Education (HPE) Building in 1981.  Ferris, which accumulated six undefeated home seasons in the facility, registered a 7-5 home ledger in 2008.  Overall, Ferris is 124-33 (.789)in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

* Season Openers: Ferris State is 30-6 (.833) all-time in season-opening encounters, which includes a 12-1 mark under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.  FSU is 12-0 (home), 6-2 (road) and 12-4 (neutral) all-time in its first match of the season.  The Bulldogs have prevailed in 17 of their 19 season openers to date with the most recent being a 3-0 non-league triumph over Aquinas last season (8/28) in Big Rapids.

* 2008 Record: Ferris State registered a 16-13 overall record in 2008, which included a fifth-place 8-8 mark in the GLIAC's North Division.  The winning record represented the program's 11th consecutive winning season and the 28th consecutive time in which the Bulldogs have amassed a double-figure wins total.  FSU also made its 11th GLIAC Tournament appearance in a row last season.

* 2008 Ferris State Invitational Recap: Ferris State turned in a 3-1 record at the 2008 FSU Invite as the Bulldogs posted victories over Indiana, Pa. (3-1), Wheeling Jesuit, W.Va. (3-0), and Urbana, Ohio (3-0).  FSU dropped a 3-1 decision to nationally-ranked Minnesota Duluth.  Katie Edwards, Sarah Lark, and Andrea Rich were named to the 12-member all-tournament team.

 * Ferris State Invitational History: The Bulldogs have experienced recent success in the Ferris State Invitational.  From 1998-2001, the Bulldogs opened each of their four campaigns with a 4-0 record after winning consecutive matches in the home event.  FSU went 3-1 in the 2006 Ferris State Invite as the Bulldogs suffered a 3-2 tourney-opening loss to California, Pa. (8/25) before posting a pair of 3-0 decisions over Lees-McRae, N.C. (8/25) and West Virginia State (8/26).  FSU wrapped up the tournament with a 3-1 victory against Augustana, S.D. (8/26).  The Bulldogs compiled a 4-0 invite mark in three seasons (2004, 2005, and 2007).  

* All-Conference Performers Return: The Bulldogs return a pair of All-GLIAC performers from last season's squad in middle hitters Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) and Kristy Gilchrist(Macomb/Anchor Bay).  Goodson received second-team accolades while Gilchrist earned all-league plaudits for the second straight season, garnering honorable mention kudos in 2008 after attaining second-team recognition for the 2007 campaign.   
 
* Yearbook Available Online:The 2009 Ferris State University Women's Yearbook is available to view online in a PDF format. The 28-page publication features such information as 2009 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2008 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc.  Visit the FSU athletics website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com to find the publication online.

* Follow The Bulldogs:Bulldog fans now have the ability to catch Ferris State in action even when they can't be at the volleyball arena.  A live video and audio webcast is slated to be offered for all 2009 Bulldog home women's volleyball matches via an agreement with B2 Networks.  In addition, selected road contests at B2 partner schools will also be available.  For more information, visit the FSU Athletics Website (www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com) and click on the B2 broadcast icon.

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