Ferris State Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 18-19)

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THIS WEEK:
at Findlay Oilers
Friday, Oct. 2 - 7 p.m. (EDT)
Croy Gymnasium - Findlay, Ohio

at Hillsdale Chargers
Saturday, Oct. 3 - 2 p.m. (EDT)
Jesse Philips Arena - Hillsdale, Mich.

* The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team will face a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) South Division opponents this weekend (Oct. 2-3) on the road.  The Bulldogs square off against the Findlay Oilers this Friday (Oct. 2) in a 7 p.m. (EDT) contest at UF's Croy Gymnasium Findlay, Ohio.  Ferris State will then go up against the Hillsdale Chargers this Saturday (Oct. 3) in Hillsdale, Mich.  Opening serve is set for 2 p.m. (EDT) at HC's Jesse Philips Arena.  Hillsdale is currently listed among other teams receiving votes with 31 points in this week's (Sept. 28) American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll.

* 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.

* The 37th Season: The 2009 campaign represents Ferris State's 37th season of women's volleyball.  The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 783-444 (.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 12-5 overall with a first-place tying 5-2 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division.  Ferris State split a pair of home conference matches last week (Sept. 25-26) both by 3-0 margins at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.  The Bulldogs suffered a 3-0 setback to Saginaw Valley State last Friday (Sept. 25) evening before registering a 3-0 triumph over Lake Superior State in a Saturday (Sept. 26) afternoon contest.

* The Coach: Ferris State  - Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990), 14th season, 281-143 (.663); Career: 17th season, 399-163 (.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: 

   Findlay: Ferris State presently holds an 8-4 series lead against Findlay after recording a 3-0 win over the Oilers a season ago (10/4) in Big Rapids.  The Bulldogs are 4-3 in the last seven meetings between the two teams and FSU claimed a 3-1 victory back in the 2007 season (9/29) in its most recent appearance at Findlay.  Ferris State has registered a 3-4 all-time ledger in away encounters versus the Oilers.  UF, which is coached by 12th-year head coach Wick Colchagoff, are 4-11 overall and 1-6 in the GLIAC's South Division to date.  The Oilers ended a six-match losing skid with a 3-0 home non-conference triumph over Lake Erie (Ohio) at Findlay, Ohio. Findlay currently sports a 3-4 home mark this season.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UF - 8-4. 

  Hillsdale: Ferris State owns a 47-11 advantage over Hillsdale in the all-time series, which includes prevailing in two of the last three outings between the two teams. FSU posted a 3-1 home decision over the Chargers last season (10/3).  The Bulldogs are 24-9 overall in away/neutral site outings versus Hillsdale, which includes a 3-0 loss in their last appearance on the Chargers' court back in the 2005 campaign (10/14).  The Chargers, who are currently 13-2 overall and 6-1 in the GLIAC's South Division, had their nine-match winning streak snapped with a 3-1 road league loss to Northern Michigan last Saturday (9/26) in Marquette, Mich.  Hillsdale, under 14th-year head coach Chris Gravel, are 3-0 in home contests this fall.  The Chargers are listed this week (9/28) among other teams receiving votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Top 25 Poll with 31 points.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. HC - 13-4. 
 
* 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. 

* Away From Home: Ferris State is averaging 12.4 kills per set (309 kills) and hitting at a .212 clip (309-136-816) in six away/neutral site contests this season.  The Bulldogs have averaged 1.9 service aces (48 aces), 2.2 blocks per set (54.0 blocks), and 13.2 digs per set (329 digs) away from home this season.  Conversely, the opposition is averaging 11.6 kills a set (289 kills) to go with a .198 attack percentage (289-129-809) in road/neutral encounters.  Ferris' opponents are also averaging 1.5 aces (38 aces), 1.6 blocks (39.5 blocks), and 13.6 digs per set (340 digs). 

* Great Stretch: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches nine times under 14th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 248-113 (.687) 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 compiled a 5-1 record this season in road/neutral site contests.  The Bulldogs have won 16 sets while the opposition has prevailed in nine sets.  FSU is 6-0 in the second set and has a 5-1 mark in set three . . . Junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) led Ferris State in kills (125), kills per set (2.91), solos blocks (14), block assists (30), total blocks (44), and blocks per set (1.02) in 12 September matches this season.  The Bulldogs registered a 9-3 mark for the month . . . Kristy Gilchrist reached the 100-career mark in service aces with an ace against Saginaw Valley State last Friday (9/25) and presently has served up 101 aces in 106 career outings.  She ranks 27th among the Bulldogs' all-time service ace leaders and is two shy of tying Gretchen Galloway (1992-94; 103 career aces) for 26th-place honors . . . Senior outside hitter Amanda Kettlewell (Marysville) is six shy of tallying her 100th career kill.  She has presently accumulated 94 kills (0.82 kills per set) in 71 matches . . .  Arielle Goodson has produced a squad-best 178 kills and is averaging 3.02 kills per set in 16 of the team's 17 matches this campaign.  Last season following FSU's initial 17 contests, Goodson chalked up 140 kills while averaging 2.30 kills in 17 appearances . . . Senior middle hitter Sarah Lark is 10 more kills away from reaching the 400-career kills plateau.  Lark has amassed 390 kills (1.41 kills per set) in 93 career appearances to date.   

* National Play Of The Week Honor: Ferris State's second-set play against Grand Valley State in a Sept. 15 conference match has been voted as the first-ever Volleyball Market/AVCA Play of the Week as the Bulldogs bested four other semifinalists for the honor in an announcement made this Wednesday (Sept. 30) by the AVCA.  The play will now join in the coming weeks' finalists in becoming eligibile for the Volleyball Market/AVCA Play of the Year which will be announced at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet on Friday, Dec. 18, at the AVCA Convention in Tampa, Fla. Over 8,000 votes were casted during the week-long voting period.

* Nearing A Milestone: Senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) is 51 kills away from recording her 1,000th career kill.  Gilchrist has amassed 949 career kills (2.45 kills per set) in 106 matches to date and currently ranks 16th among the program's all-time leaders.  Gilchrist, who would become the 16th player at Ferris State to attain 1,000 kills, trails Erin Minnis (1998-01; 1,084 career kills) for 15th place by 135 kills.

* Just One More: Head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, who's presently midst her 14th season at Ferris State, is one victory shy of posting her 400th career win.  She currently has accumulated a 399-163 career bench mark (.709 winning pct.) in 17 seasons.  Brandel-Wilhelm has posted a 281-143 coaching mark at Ferris State to date since 1996 after totaling a 118-20 record in three seasons (1993-95) at West Virginia Wesleyan.

* Nationally Speaking: Ferris State currently is listed 44th place among this week's NCAA-II national statistical leaders in assists per set (11.75 avg.) through Sept. 27 matches.  The Bulldogs rank 50th in kills per set (12.61 avg.), 57th in win-loss pct. (.706), 63rd in blocks per set (1.98 avg.), 88th in service aces per set (1.77 avg.), 118th in hitting pct. (.188), and 169th in digs per set (13.53 avg.).  Individually, redshirt freshman setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) is rated 31st in assists per set (10.38 avg.).

* Clamping Down: Ferris State has limited the opposition to a .170 hitting percentage this season after 17 matches.  The Bulldogs have held their opponent to a .150 or lower hitting percentage in nine contests this fall, which includes the past three outings to date.

* Match Game High: Kristy Gilchrist's 11 digs against Saginaw Valley State last Friday (9/25) matched her 2009 season match high set previously versus Nebraska-Kearney (9/4) at the St. Cloud (Minn.) State Tournament.

* Attack Mode: The Bulldogs established a season match high versus Lake Superior State last Saturday (9/26) with a .360 attack percentage on 40 kills with only eight errors in 89 attempts.  The hitting mark represents Ferris' best since Aug. 29, 2008, when the Bulldogs totaled a .375 attack percentage (51-12-104) vs. Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.) in a Ferris State Invitational match. 

* 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.    
 
* 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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