Ferris State Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 16-17)

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THIS WEEK:
vs. Saginaw Valley State Cardinals
Friday, Sept. 25 - 7 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Sports Arena - Big Rapids, Mich.

vs. Lake Superior State Lakers
Saturday, Sept. 26 - 2 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Sports Arena - Big Rapids, Mich.

* The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team will wrap up the month of September with a pair of home Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches this weekend (Sept. 25-26) in Big Rapids, Mich.  The Bulldogs, who have won six of their last seven outings to date, will put their current two-match winning streak on the line this Friday (Sept. 25) evening versus the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals before concluding the weekend on Saturday (Sept. 26) against the Lake Superior State Lakers.  Saginaw Valley State is currently listed among other teams receiving votes in the most recent (Sept. 21) American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with eight points.

* 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 $5 for both adults and FSU faculty/staff and $3 for both students (K-12) and senior citizens. Ferris students with ID will be admitted free.

* 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 Ferris State Athletics Department will feature promotions for this Friday evening's home match against Saginaw Valley State (9/25/09) are Canadian Lakes Group Night, Snyder's Certificate, Tan Line's Free Tan Give-Aways.  This Saturday's home contest versus Lake Superior State (9/26/09) will highlight Campers Day and Dawg Days while Snyder's Certificate and Tan Line's Free Tan Give-Aways will be awarded.

* The 37th Season: The 2009 campaign represents Ferris State's 37th season of women's volleyball.  The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 782-443 (.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 is currently 11-4 overall and is 4-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division as a result of posting a 2-1 mark in conference match play this past week.  The Bulldogs started out the week with a 3-2 home loss to archrival Grand Valley State last Tuesday (Sept. 15) at FSU's Ewigleben Sport Arena in Big Rapids.  Ferris State then won a pair of  Upper Peninsula encounters as the Bulldogs bested Michigan Tech, 3-1, last Friday (9/18) evening in Houghton, Mich., and then notched a 3-2 fifth-set victory over Northern Michigan last Saturday (9/19) in Marquette, Mich., to snap a five-match series losing string to the Wildcats.

* The Coach: Ferris State  - Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990), 14th season, 280-142 (.664); Career: 17th season, 398-162 (.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: 

   Saginaw Valley State: Ferris State has a 48-10 advantage over Saginaw Valley State in the all-time series, which includes a 25-4 home record.  The two teams split last season's series with Ferris State posting a 3-2 win in the first meeting (9/27) at University Center, Mich., before the Cardinals avenged the setback with a 3-0 decision over the Bulldogs (11/1) in Big Rapids.  Saginaw Valley State presently sports a 9-4 overall record with a 4-1 mark in the GLIAC's North Division after tallying a 3-0 conference win at Ashland last Saturday (9/19) to extend is current winning streak to three.  The Cardinals are 4-1 this fall in road matches.  SVSU is listed among others receiving votes in this week's (9/21) AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with eight points.The Cardinals are coached by seventh-year head coach Will Stanton, who was chosen as the 2008 AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year after guiding SVSU to a 25-8 record and a NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament finals appearance a season ago.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. SVSU - 21-5. 

  Lake Superior State: Ferris State owns a 61-17 lead in its all-time series against Lake Superior State and has won 41 of the last 42 meetings between the two teams.  The Bulldogs were victorious in both matchups last season, prevailing 3-0 over the Lakers (9/26) in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and then claiming a 3-1 decision in the rematch (10/31) at Big Rapids.  Lake Superior State is presently 1-12 overall and 1-4 in the GLIAC's North Division after winning a 3-2 conference contest at Tiffin last Saturday (9/19) to snap a season-opening 12-match losing skid.  The Lakers, under 15th-year head coach Mark Engle, are currently 1-1 in away encounters this season.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. LSSU - 27-1. 
 
* 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. 

* Home Court Advantage: Ferris State is averaging 12.9 kills per set (426 kills) and hitting at a .179 clip (426-222-1,141) in nine home contests this season.  The Bulldogs have averaged 1.8 service aces (58 aces), 1.9 blocks per set (63.0 blocks), and 13.7 digs per set (453 digs) at home this season.  Conversely, the opposition is averaging 10.5 kills a set (347 kills) to go with a .162 attack percentage (347-178-1,046) at Ferris State.  Ferris' opponents are also averaging 1.3 aces (42 aces), 1.3 blocks (42.0 blocks), and 13.2 digs per set (437 digs) on FSU's home court. 

* Great Stretch: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches nine times under 14th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 247-112 (.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.

* Bulldog Bites: Ferris State has registered a .193 hitting percentage (735 total kills) in its initial 15 matches this season while sporting an 11-4 overall record.  The Bulldogs registered a .151 attack percentage (665 kills) a season ago following their first 15 contests and posted an 8-7 overall ledger . . . Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey's (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) 121 kills in 15 matches this season surpasses her 118 total kills in 29 contests a season ago.  Huntey, who averaged 1.05 kills per set and hit -.030 last season, is currently averaging 2.09 kills a set while hitting for a .162 percentage . . . The Bulldogs are 6-3 in four-sets or more matches this campaign.  A year ago, FSU went 10-9 in such outings.  Four of Ferris State's last five matches to date this season have been at least four-set encounters . . . Senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) is seven kills away from tying Karla White (2003-06; 942 career kills) for 16th place on FSU's all-time kills leader list.  Gilchrist has presently registered 935 career kills (2.45 kills per set) in 104 matches, which includes a team third-most 146 kills (2.52 kills per set) in 15 outings this season . . . Redshirt freshman setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) dished out a season-high 63 assists against Grand Valley State last Tuesday (9/15) in five sets to surpass her 56 helpers versus Wayne State a week earlier (9/11).  Fordyce's 63 assists is the most in a match since Oct. 12, 2007, when Andrea Rich tallied 65 assists in a five-set contest against Hillsdale . . . Junior libero Whitney Rupp's (West Bloomfield/Mercy) five service aces in 14 matches this season equals her 2008 season output in 20 contests . . . The Bulldogs have served 10 more aces at home (58 total) than in away/neutral site matches (48 total) this season.  Senior outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs) and Samantha Fordyce have 11 aces apiece in nine home appearances to date this fall . . . Kristy Gilchrist's 59 digs total in 15 matches this fall is a career season best, bettering her 51 digs in 29 contests for the 2008 campaign..

* GOOD-News: Junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) extended her current double-digit kills match streak to five with a match-high tying 12 kills at Northern Michigan last Saturday (9/19).  Goodson, who posted a season-high 16 kills against Grand Valley State last Tuesday (9/15), is averaging 3.09 kills a set (68 total kills) with a .271 hitting percentage during the five-match span.  She has chalked up 10 outings with double-figure kill totals this season to date after accumulating 10 such contests in 29 matches for the 2008 campaign.

* The Century Mark: Kristy Gilchrist is one serve away from notching her 100th career service ace.  Gilchrist has produced 15 aces in 15 matches this season and is eight away from matching her 23 aces set in 29 outings last fall.  She served up a career season-best 48 aces in 30 contests during the 2007 campaign.  Gilchrist is tied with Lisa Haan (1988-91) for 27th place on FSU's all-time list.

* September Matches: Ferris State has compiled an 81-41 overall record (.664) in September matches dating back to the 2000 season.  The Bulldogs are 24-8 at home and 57-33 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.

* Ready To Serve: Katie Edwards has established a career single-season high this campaign with a squad-best 20 service aces in 15 matches.  She has served up a team-high tying 11 aces in nine home encounters this fall.  Edwards, who's averaging 0.35 service aces per set this campaign, totaled a combined 12 aces in 75 career outings prior to the 2009 season.

* Intimidation: Arielle Goodson's six block solos at Michigan Tech last Friday (9/18) represents a career match high, eclipsing her previous best three block solos against West Virginia State last season (8/24) at the Ferris State Invitational.  Goodson's 53 career block solos in 74 appearances to date currently ties her for 15th place among the program's all-time block solo leaders with Kris Johnson (1982-85; 53 career block solos).

* Nationally Speaking: Ferris State presently ranks 44th place among this week's NCAA-II national statistical leaders in assists per set (11.84 avg.) through matches of Sept. 20.  The Bulldogs are also listed 50th in kills per set (12.67 avg.), 52nd in win-loss pct. (.733), 61st in blocks per set (2.02 avg.), 78th in service aces per set (1.83 avg.), 117th in hitting pct. (.193), and 168th in digs per set (13.48 avg.).  Individually, Samantha Fordyce ranks 24th in assists per set (10.47 avg.).

* 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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