Ferris State Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 13-15)

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THIS WEEK:
vs. Grand Valley State Lakers
Tuesday, Sept. 15 - 7 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Sports Arena - Big Rapids, Mich.

at Michigan Tech Huskies
Friday, Sept. 18 - 7 p.m. (EDT)
Student Development Complex Gymnasium - Houghton, Mich.

at Northern Michigan Wildcats
Saturday, Sept. 19 - 3 p.m. (EDT)
Vandament Arena - Marquette, Mich.

* The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team, which has won seven of its last eight matches to date, will put its current four-match winning string on the line this week against three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opponents.  For the first time this season, Ferris State is listed among teams receiving votes in the latest (Sept. 14) American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll.  The Bulldogs received 17 points while Grand Valley State (30 points) is also listed amongst the 10-team group.

* 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: The promotion scheduled for this Tuesday's home match against Grand Valley State (9/15/09) are Pep Band, 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 780-442 (.638) 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 9-3 overall and is 2-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division to date after winning all three of its matches at home last week.  The Bulldogs swept Davenport in a 3-0 non-conference triumph last Wednesday (Sept. 9) before opening up GLIAC action with a 3-2 decision over previously undefeated Wayne State last Friday (Sept. 11).  Ferris State closed out the week's action by registering a 3-0 decision over Northwood last Saturday (Sept. 12).

* The Coach: Ferris State  - Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990), 14th season, 278-141 (.663); Career: 17th season, 396-161 (.711).  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: 

 Grand Valley State: Ferris State and Grand Valley State will square off for the 95th time with the Lakers having a 54-40 series lead.  GVSU went 3-0 against Ferris State last season, winning 3-0 at home (9/16) and 3-2 on the road (10/24) during the regular season.  The Lakers then claimed a 3-1 home triumph over the Bulldogs in a GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal-Round match (11/12).  FSU is 19-15 in home encounters versus Grand Valley State.  GVSU, which is directed by 15th-year head coach Deanne Scanlon, evened its record to 5-5 overall and 1-1 in the GLIAC this season after suffering a 3-1 league home loss to Wayne State last Saturday (9/12) at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale, Mich.  A season ago, the Lakers made their 10th appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament and advanced to the Final Four before suffering a season-ending loss to Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.).  GVSU, which made its fifth Final Four appearance in the program's history, concluded the 2008 campaign at 33-4 overall with a first-place 15-1 conference mark in the GLIAC's North Division.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. GVSU - 8-22.   

  Michigan Tech: Ferris State has a 48-13 all-time series advantage over Michigan Tech, which includes a 23-6 home ledger.  Michigan Tech swept last season's two-match series as the Huskies claimed a 3-2 on the Bulldogs' home court (9/20) in Big Rapids and then registered a 3-0 regular-season finale win (11/8) in Houghton, Mich.  MTU, under first-year head coach Orlando Gonzalez, won its second straight match with a 3-0 league decision over Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (9/12) at University Center, Mich.  The win improved the Huskies' record to 4-6 overall and 2-0 in the GLIAC this season to date.  Michigan Tech visits Northern Michigan this Tuesday (9/15) before hosting the Bulldogs this Friday (Sept. 18) at the SDC Gymnasium in Houghton, Mich.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. MTU - 22-6. 

  Northern Michigan: Ferris State is 38-42 in its all-time series against Northern Michigan and is midst a five-match series winning streak versus the Bulldogs.  NMU posted a 3-2 road triumph (9/19) in Big Rapids and a 3-0 home decision (11/7) in Marquette, Mich.  Ferris State has won six of the last 18 meetings and has compiled a 19-16 all-time home mark versus the Wildcats.  NMU, which is led by third-year head coach and former Bulldog assistant Dominic Yoder, is currently 5-5 overall and 1-1 in the GLIAC.  The Cats' snapped their four-match losing skid with a 3-1 conference road victory over Lake Superior State last Saturday (9/12) in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.  Northern Michigan begins a four-match conference homestand this Tuesday (9/15) against Michigan Tech and then entertains Grand Valley State this Friday (9/18) prior to taking on Ferris State this Saturday (9/19).  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. NMU - 9-21. 
 
* 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 245-111 (.688) 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.

* Home and Away: Ferris State is averaging 12.7 kills per set (356 kills) in its eight home matches this season while recording 13.3 digs per set (373 digs), 2.0 blocks a set (57 total blocks), and 2.0 services aces per set (55 total).  In away/neutral site matches this campaign, the Bulldogs are averaging 12.6 kills per set (202 kills), 13.6 digs per set (217 digs), 2.2 blocks a set (36 total blocks), and 2.4 service aces per set (39 total). 

* September Matches: Ferris State has compiled a 79-40 overall record (.664) in September matches dating back to the 2000 season.  The Bulldogs are 24-7 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.

* Twice As Nice: Senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) has been tabbed this week's (9/14) GLIAC North Division Player of the Week for the second consecutive week as announced by the conference office.  Gilchrist posted a .303 hitting percentage with an average of 3.09 kills per set while producing eight total blocks (seven block assists), three service aces, and 10 digs in the team's three matches  She recorded a season-high tying 14 kills against Wayne State (9/11) to go with a season-best tying five total blocks (all block assists) in the contest.  Gilchrist then hammered 12 kills on 19 attempts for a season-best .579 attack percentage in the win over Northwood.  Gilchrist has now claimed the weekly honor three times in her Bulldog career, twice this season (9/9 & 9/14) and once in 2007 (10/15).

* Bulldog Bites: Ferris State's top three kills leaders this season - junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central), senior outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs), and Kristy Gilchrist have combined to account for 63.1% (352-558) of the squad's output this campaign.  Goodson has totaled a team-leading 125 kills in 12 matches while Edwards has 114 kills in 12 outings and Gilchrist with 113 kills in 12 appearances this fall . . . Kristy Gilchrist's .579 hitting percentage on 12 kills with one error in 19 attempts versus Northwood last Saturday (9/12) marked a single-season high, eclipsing her .560 attack percentage (14-0-25) versus nationally-ranked Nebraska-Kearney (9/4) . . . Sophomore libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) equalled a career match high in digs with 24 total against Wayne State last Friday (9/11).  Tobiczyk initially posted 24 digs versus Drury (Mo.) at the 2008 Asics GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament (10/17) in Indianapolis, Ind. . . Kristy Gilchrist, who has 308 total blocks in 101 career matches, is one block away from moving into a 16th-place with Sheri (Maus) Harris (1987-88, 96, 98; 309 career blocks) on FSU's all-time total blocks leaders list.

* Winning Spell: Ferris State has won seven of its last eight matches to date, which includes a current four-match winning streak.  In its past eight outings, FSU is averaging 12.8 kills per set to the opposition's 11.3 average while the Bulldogs are hitting at a .215 clip compared to the opponent's .180 hitting percentage.

* Triple Double-Double: Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) recorded her third double-double of this season with 10 kills and 14 digs in the Bulldogs' triumph over Northwood last Saturday (9/12).  Huntey chalked up 13 kills and had 14 digs against Upper Iowa (9/4) at the St. Cloud (Minn.) State Tournament and then generated 10 kills to go with 13 digs versus nationally-ranked Nebraska-Kearney (9/4) in another St. Cloud State Tourney match.

* Good Start: FSU's 9-3 start this season represents the program's best the 2007 campaign when the Bulldogs also went 9-3 in their first 12 outings en route to a 20-10 overall record and a 12-6 conference mark.

* 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 site.    
 
* 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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