October 8, 2009

Ferris State Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 20-21)

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THIS WEEK:
vs. Tiffin Dragons
Friday, Oct. 9 - 6 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Sports Arena - Big Rapids, Mich.

vs. Ashland Eagles
Saturday, Oct. 10 - 12 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Sports Arena - Big Rapids, Mich.

* The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team returns home this weekend (Oct. 9-10) to host a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) South Division opponents at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.  The Bulldogs take on the Tiffin Dragons this Friday (Oct. 9) at 6 p.m. (EDT) before going up against the Ashland Eagles this Saturday (Oct. 10) at 12 p.m. (EDT).  Ferris State is listed among other teams receiving votes in this week's (Oct. 5) American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with nine 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.

* Match Promotions: The FSU Athletics Department will feature some promotions for this weekend's matches.  This Friday's (Oct. 9) contest will be "Dig Pink" Breast Cancer Awareness and the Canadian Lakes Outing while Saturday's (Oct. 10) promo is Alumni Day. Snyder's certificates and Tan Line's Free Tan Give-Aways will be distributed for both matches.

* Volleyball To DiG PiNK This Friday: Bulldog volleyball will participate in the national DiG PiNK initiative this Friday (Oct. 9) evening. Proceeds from the match will be divided between the Susan P. Wheatlake Foundation for breast cancer research and DiG PiNK.  A serving contest will also be held in between sets two and three for prizes and a $1 entry fee will be required with all of those funds being donated to the Susan P. Wheatlake Foundation.  Members of the 2009 Bulldog volleyball team will be wearing pink uniforms for the match but unlike last year, the uniforms won't be auctioned off.  A highlight of this Friday's match will be a honorary opening-match serve from current breast cancer survivor Terri Bloomquist, who presently is the coordinator of veteran and athletic programs at Ferris State University.  

* The 37th Season: The 2009 campaign represents Ferris State's 37th season of women's volleyball.  The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 784-445 (.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 13-6 overall and is tied for second place with a 6-3 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division standings.  Ferris State split a pair of road GLIAC matches last weekend (Oct. 2-3), beginning with a 3-2 loss to the Findlay Oilers last Friday (Oct. 2) in Findlay, Ohio.  FSU would then claim a 3-1 triumph over the Hillsdale Chargers in Saturday's (Oct. 3) action at Hillsdale, Mich.  The Chargers have been among other teams listed who have received votes in the last two AVCA Coaches' Poll.

* The Coach: Ferris State  - Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990), 14th season, 282-144 (.662); Career: 17th season, 400-164 (.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: 

   Tiffin: Ferris State is 1-0 in its all-time series versus Tiffin after registering a 3-1 victory last season (10/11) in Tiffin, Ohio.  The Dragons are currently 2-17 overall this fall with an 0-9 mark in the GLIAC's South Division.  Tiffin, under fourth-year head coach T.J. Shouse, is 0-6 in away encounters this campaign..  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. TU - 1-0. 

  Ashland: Ferris State has a 13-4 advantage over Ashland in the all-time series after claiming a 3-2 victory on the Eagles' home floor last season (10/10) in the only meeting between the two teams.  The Bulldogs are 5-1 in home matches versus Ashland, which includes a 3-2 loss in its last home appearance in the 2005 season (9/23).  AU presently has compiled an 8-9 overall record and is 4-5 in conference match play this season to date.  The Eagles, who sport a 1-4 mark in their last five appearances after winning six of their previous seven encounters, are coached by seventh-year head coach Connie Surowicz.  Ashland will visit Grand Valley State this Friday (10/9) at 7 p.m. (EDT) prior to squaring off against Ferris State.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. AU - 11-4. 
 
* 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. 

* Great Stretch: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches nine times under 14th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 249-114 (.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.

* Bulldog Bites: Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) recorded her fourth double-double this season with a 10-kill, 17-dig performance at Hillsdale last Saturday (9/3).  Her previous three double-double match efforts are against Upper Iowa (9/4) and Nebraska-Kearney (9/4) at the St. Cloud State (Minn.) State Tournament and versus Wayne State, Mich. (9/11) . . . Senior outside hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) tied her career match high with a 13-kills performance at Hillsdale (10/3) on 18 attack attempts for a .611 hitting percentage.  Lark initially hammered 13 kills in the Bulldogs' 2008 season opener versus Aquinas (8/28).  Prior to the Hillsdale match, Lark's previous best this season was 11 kills against Grand Valley State (9/15) . . . Junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) has compiled 55 more kills this season in Ferris State's initial 19 matches than a season ago at this time.  Goodson has generated a team-most 211 kills (3.10 kills per set) in 18 matches this fall compared to a squad season-best 156 kills (2.26 kills per set) in her first 19 outings a season ago . . . Arielle Goodson is one block solo shy of moving into a tie with Becky Thurau (2002-05; 62 career block solos) for 14th place among Ferris State's all-time leaders.  She also is 16 block solos away from tying Janna Biggs' (1985-88) 20th-place 269 career total blocks output Senior outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs) is five total blocks shy of equalling her career single-season best 31 blocks (four solos and 27 assists) set in 29 2008 season matches.  Edwards has posted 26 total blocks with five solo rejections and 21 assists in 19 contests this campaign . . . Sarah Lark's 46 total blocks (six solos and 40 assists) in 19 outings this season matches her second-highest season total set in 2007 (10 solos and 36 assists).  The 2009 FSU co-captain is six blocks away from tying her 2008 career-high 52 blocks total which consisted of three block solos and 49 block assists . . . Redshirt freshman setter Samantha Fordyce's (DeWitt) 11 digs at Hillsdale last Saturday (10/3) matched her season best set earlier this season (8/28) against West Virginia State in the Bulldogs' opening match of the Ferris State Invitational.  She has presently compiled nine or more digs in a match six times this season.         

* Nearing A Milestone: Senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) needs 17 more kills to register her 1,000th career kill.  Gilchrist has presently racked up 983 career kills (2.48 kills per set) in 108 matches and currently ranks 16th among the program's all-time kills 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 101 kills.

* 400 Wins!: Head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, who's presently midst her 14th season at Ferris State, registered her 400th career win last Saturday (Oct. 3) in the Bulldogs' 3-1 conference victory over Hillsdale at Hillsdale, Mich.  She currently has accumulated a 400-164 career bench mark (.709 winning pct.) in 17 seasons.  Brandel-Wilhelm has posted a 282-144 coaching mark at Ferris State to date since 1996 after totaling a 118-20 record in three seasons (1993-95) at West Virginia Wesleyan.

* No Place Like Home: Ferris State is averaging 12.8 kills per set (498 kills) and hitting at a .174 clip (498-262-1354) in 11 home contests this season.  The Bulldogs have averaged 1.7 service aces (65 aces), 1.9 blocks per set (73.0 blocks), and 13.8 digs per set (537 digs) at home this season.  Conversely, the opposition is averaging 10.4 kills a set (404 kills) to go with a .153 attack percentage (404-215-1239) in home encounters.  Ferris' opponents are also averaging 1.2 aces (46 aces), 1.2 blocks (46.0 blocks), and 13.4 digs per set (524 digs). 

* A Career Best: Kristy Gilchrist's match-leading 21 kills at Hillsdale last Saturday (10/3)marked a career match high, eclipsing her 19 kills at Grand Valley State in a 2007 season contest (10/2).  Gilchrist, who currently has produced 10 double-figure match kill performances this fall, has amassed 48 such outings in 108 career matches.  

* Nationally Speaking: Ferris State currently is listed in 50th place among this week's NCAA-II national statistical leaders in both assists per set (11.75 avg.) and kills per set (12.61 avg.) through Oct. 4 matches.  The Bulldogs rank 61st in win-loss pct. (.684), 63rd in blocks per set (2.0 avg.), 99th in service aces per set (1.68 avg.), 106th in hitting pct. (.193), and 176th in digs per set (13.56 avg.).  Individually, Samantha Fordyce is rated 26th in assists per set (10.48 avg.) while Arielle Goodson ranks 42nd in blocks per set (1.04).

* 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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