* Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team will begin a four-match homestand, starting with this Wednesday's (Sept. 9) non-conference match against Davenport Panthers at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Following that contest, the Bulldogs open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) this weekend (Sept. 11-12) with a pair of home encounters. FSU entertains the Wayne State Warriors this Friday (Sept. 11) in a 7 p.m. (EDT) matchup before facing the Northwood Timberwolves this Saturday (Sept. 12) at 2 p.m. (EDT). Wayne State is listed among teams receiving votes in this week's (Sept. 7) American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with a 19 points total.
* 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 are scheduled for this week's home matches -- vs. Davenport (9/9/09) - Student-Athlete Night, Snyder's Certificate, Tan Line's Free Tan Give-Aways; vs. Wayne State (9/11/09) - Tailgate, Cornhole Tournament sponsored by The Gate, Pep Band, Patterson's Bulldog Sweetheart, Snyder's Certificate, Tan Line's Free Tan Give-Aways; vs. Northwood (9/12/09) - Parents Day and Dawg Days, Snyder's Certificate, Tan Line's Free Tan Give-Aways.
* The 37th Season: The 2009 campaign
represents Ferris State's 37th season of women's volleyball.
The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 777-442 (.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 improved to 6-3 overall and is 0-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division to date after compiling a 3-1 mark at last weekend's (Sept. 4-5) St. Cloud (Minn.) State Tournament.
* The Coach: Ferris State - Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990), 14th season, 275-141 (.661); Career: 17th season, 393-161 (.709). Brandel-Wilhelm entered 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.
* This Week's Opposition:
First meeting between the two teams. The Panthers are
presently 2-2 overall after splitting a pair of non-league matches
at the Michigan Dearborn Early Bird Tournament (8/28-29) in
Dearborn, Mich. DU, which is coached by fourth-year head
coach Rick Rykse, dropped a 3-1 match to Bethel (Ind.) in its most
recent action (8/29). Tia Brandel-Wilhelm
vs. DU - 0-0.
Wayne State: Ferris State has a 43-27 lead over Wayne State in the all-time series. In the last meeting a season ago (9/13), Ferris claimed a 3-2 road win over the Warriors in Detroit, Mich. FSU, which has won the last 11 meetings to date, is 20-6 at home and 23-21 on the road in the series. The Warriors, under second-year head coach Phil Nickel, are 8-0 overall and 0-0 in GLIAC play to date following a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Missouri-St. Louis last Saturday (9/5) at the TownePlace Suites Classic in Findlay, Ohio. WSU is among other teams receiving votes in this week's (9/7) AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll. Wayne State was 17-12 overall and 9-7 (second place) in the GLIAC's South Division a season ago. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. WSU - 11-3.
Northwood: Ferris State sports a 27-21 mark in its all-time series versus Northwood although the Timberwolves have prevailed in 13 of the last 20 matchups between the two teams. NU posted a 3-1 home decision versus the Bulldogs last season (9/12) in Midland, Mich. Ferris State is 15-7 at home and 12-14 in road/neutral matches against Northwood. The Timberwolves are presently 2-6 overall and 0-0 in the GLIAC to date this season. NU, under sixth-year head coach Tim Koth, snapped a four-match losing streak with a 3-0 win against Midwestern State last Saturday (9/5) at the Hampton Inn & Suites Midwestern State Invitational in Wichita Falls, Texas. Northwood finished 16-14 overall with a first-place 10-6 conference ledger in the GLIAC's South Division as the Timberwolves earned a NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament berth. NU visits nationally-ranked Grand Valley State this Friday (9/11) prior to Saturday's tilt at Ferris State. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. NU - 12-17.
* 2009 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Poll: Ferris State is ranked fourth with 13 points in the 2009 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Women's 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 242-111 (.686) over the past 11 plus 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.
* 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.
* No Place Like Home: Ferris State is currently 274-75 (.785) overall in 27-plus seasons at the Ewigleben Sports Arena since 1981 and is 43-4 overall (.915) in non-league home outings during head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm's tenure. Overall, Ferris State is 127-35 (.784) in home matches under Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs have compiled six undefeated home seasons in the program's history. FSU notched a 7-5 mark last season in home outings and is currently 3-2 at home this campaign.
* September Matches: Ferris State has compiled a 76-40 overall record (.655) in September matches dating back to the 2000 season. The Bulldogs are 21-7 at home and 55-33 in road/neutral site contests since that time. FSU was 5-6 in September matches last season -0-2 at home and 5-4 at road/neutral sites. The 2002 and 2006 Bulldog squads went 11-2 for the month while the 2003 squad posted an 11-3 ledger.
* Honor For Huntey: Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) was selected to the seven-member 2009 St. Cloud State All-Tournament Team. Huntey chalked up 40 total kills in the four matches while averaging 2.50 kills per set with a .259 attack percentage. She also had five service aces, 43 digs, and six block assists. Huntey netted double-figure kill totals in three of the four tourney matchups which represent her initial three of this season.
* Upsetting: The Bulldogs' 3-1 victory over fifth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney last Friday (9/4) at the St. Cloud State Tournament was the 2009 squad's first against a nationally-ranked team. The last time Ferris State bested a nationally-ranked top 10 opponent was in the 2007 season (10/12) as the Bulldogs prevailed 3-2 against 10th-ranked Hillsdale in a home conference match.
* Bulldog Bites: Senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) generated a .337 hitting percentage in four St. Cloud State Tournament matches with 41 kills on 92 attempts, which included a season-best 14 kills on a season-high .560 hitting in the upset win over nationally-ranked Nebraska-Kearney (9/4) . . . Sophomore libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) has compiled double-digit digs in all nine Bulldog contests this season to date. Tobiczyk accumulated 21 double-figure dig efforts in 29 matches last season . . . Ashley Huntey's 13 kills versus Upper Iowa (9/4) in the St. Cloud State Tourney's opening match represents a career match high. She has presently posted three double-digit kill outings in nine appearances this fall after garnering one such performance a season ago in 29 encounters . . . Ashley Huntey is the second Bulldog to attain all-tournament team recognition this campaign, joining senior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) who received Ferris State Invitational All-Tournament Team accolades . . . The Bulldogs have accumulated 414 total kills with a 12.5 average per set this season in their first nine contests compared to 393 total kills and a 11.9 per set average a season ago following the squad's initial nine outings . . . FSU has outblocked its opponent by 19 total blocks (34.0 to 15.0) in its five home matches to date this campaign.
* GLIAC Openers: Ferris State is 13-6 (.684) in GLIAC openers dating back to 1990, which includes an 8-3 home record during that span. The Bulldogs have been victorious in eight of their last 11 league-opening contests to date. FSU dropped a 3-1 decision at Northwood last season (9/12) in its conference opener. Ferris State claimed a 3-1 home triumph over Lake Superior State in its 2007 league-opening match (9/14).
* Better Than Before: Ashley Huntey and Kristy Gilchrist are already making the most of this season as Huntey has improved her kills output by 41 total while Gilchrist has hammered 33 more kills than a season ago following the team's first nine matches. Huntey has produced a team fourth-most 71 kills (2.15 avg.) this season compared to 30 kills (0.97 avg.) in 2008. Meanwhile, Gilchrist is third on the 2009 team with 79 total (2.39 avg.) after garnering 46 kills (1.84 avg.) a season ago at this time.
* Did You Know?: In Ferris State's upset win over Nebraska-Kearney, the Bulldogs served up a season-high tying 12 aces while hitting at a team season-best .275 clip. FSU also recorded 7.0 total team blocks in the match and registered a season-leading 60 digs versus the Lopers.
* Identical Records: Ferris State's 6-3 overall record this season equals his start from a season ago in which the Bulldogs would conclude the 2008 campaign at 16-13 overall.
* Sam I Am: Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt), a redshirt freshman setter, is averaging 41.5 assists per match (166 total) in her last four outings. She averaged 35.6 helpers an outing (178 total) in her first five encounters.
* All-Conference Performers Return: The Bulldogs return a pair of All-GLIAC performers from last season's squad in middle hitters Arielle Goodson and Kristy Gilchrist. 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.
* Bulldog Volleyball Twitbook: All Ferris State
Women's Volleyball fans now can have access to additional
information on the 2009 team via Twitter at twitter.com/ferrisvolleybal. A highlights
video from last weekend's Ferris State Invitational is presently
available for viewing on the FerrisVolleybal
* 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.