Ferris State Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 26-27)

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THIS WEEK:

at Saginaw Valley State Cardinals
Friday, Oct. 30 - 7 p.m. (EDT)
Cardinal Gymnasium - University Center, Mich.

at Lake Superior State Lakers
Saturday, Oct. 31 - 2 p.m. (EDT)
Bud Cooper Gymnasium - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. 

* The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team will conclude the road portion of its 2009 regular-season schedule this weekend (Oct. 30-31) with matches against a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division opponents.  The Bulldogs begin the weekend's action versus the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals this Friday (Oct. 30) at University Center, Mich.  Ferris State then ventures to the Upper Peninsula this Saturday (Oct. 31) to face the Lake Superior State Lakers in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., in what will mark its final road regular-season appearance for the 2009 campaign.

* 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 788-447 (.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 17-8 overall and and has posted an 8-4 ledger in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division.  The Bulldogs suffered a 3-1 conference road loss to Grand Valley State last Friday (10/23) iat the GVSU Fieldhouse in Allendale, Mich., in its lone action of the week.  Ferris State's 17 victories this season exceeds its wins total (16-13 overall record) from the 2008 campaign. 

* The Coach: Ferris State  - Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990), 14th season, 286-146(.662); Career: 17th season, 404-166 (.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.

* Regional Rankings: Ferris State is listed fifth place in the most recent NCAA Division II Midwest Region rankings, which were released Thursday (10/17) by the NCAA-II Women's Volleyball Committee.  The Bulldogs had registered an 11-5 in-region record thru matches of Oct. 11.  FSU is one of seven GLIAC teams listed in the Midwest Region rankings and the next rankings will be released this Thursday (Oct. 29).

* This Week's Opposition: 

Saginaw Valley State: Ferris State has a 48-11 advantage over Saginaw Valley State in the all-time series, which includes a 23-6 away/neutral site record.  SVSU posted a 3-0 victory over the Bulldogs earlier this season (9/25) at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.  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 is 16-8 overall with a 9-4 GLIAC North Division mark after claiming a 3-1 road victory against Michigan Tech last Saturday (10/24) at Houghton, Mich., to snap a two-match losing skid.  The Cardinals sport a 4-2 record in home encounters this campaign.  Saginaw Valley State is 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 - 21-6.

Lake Superior State: Ferris State owns a 62-17 lead in its all-time series against Lake Superior State and has won 42 of the last 43 meetings between the two teams, which includes a 3-0 home triumph earlier this season (9/26) at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.  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 3-21 overall and 2-11 in the GLIAC's North Division this season after dropping its third straight contest in a 3-2 conference road loss to Northern Michigan last Saturday (10/24) in Marquette, Mich.  The Lakers, under 15th-year head coach Mark Engle, are currently 1-6 in home matches this season.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. LSSU - 28-1. 

* Dig Leaders: Ferris State's top two digs leaders this season, sophomore libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) and sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) have combined to generate 48.1%???of the squad's digs production (635-1321) this season.  Tobiczyk has dug up a team-high 338 balls (3.48 avg.) in 25 outings this fall while Huntey has totaled a career season-best 297 digs (3.13 avg.) in 25 matches.  Tobiczyk is 36 digs shy from matching her career single-season best 374 digs established in 29 outings a season ago.

* Bulldog Bites: Senior outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs) is 193 kills away from registering her 1,000th career kill.  Edwards, who has totaled 204 kills for a 2.29 set average this fall in 25 matches, has presently produced 807 career kills in 100 contests.  Edwards is presently 75 kills shy of matching her career single-season best of 279 kills set in 30 outings for the 2007 campaign . . . Ashley Huntey's 19 digs at Grand Valley State last Friday (10/23) marked her second-best match output this fall in 25 appearances.  Huntey has amassed 16 double-figure dig contests this campaign, which includes a career match-best 23 digs versus Grand Valley State earlier this season (9/15) . . . Senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) is 37 kills away from tying Erin Minnis (1998-01; 1,084 career kills) for 15th place among the Bulldogs' all-time kills leaders.  Gilchrist has currently hammered 1,047 career kills in 114 matches while averaging 2.49 kills per match and a .238 attack percentage . . . Kristy Gilchrist needs one more service ace to tie Gretchen Galloway (1992-94) for 26th place on FSU's all-time service ace leaders list.  Gilchrist has served up 102 career aces to date while Galloway registered a 103 career total . . . Redshirt freshman setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) surpassed the 1,000 mark in assists this fall in the match at Grand Valley State (10/23) with a match-leading 35 helpers.  Fordyce has currently amassed 1,004 assists and is also averaging 10.35 helpers per set this campaign.  She has generated at least 40 assists or more in a match on 13 occasions this fall, which includes a season-high 63 against Grand Valley State (9/15) . . . Lisa Tobiczyk has accumulated 22 matches with double-digit digs total this season in 97 sets after chalking up 21 such performances a season ago in 114 sets.  Tobiczyk's 338 digs this season are 36 shy of equalling her 374 digs output in the 2008 campaign . . . Junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) is one kill shy of notching her 700th career kill.  Goodson, who has tallied a squad-high 291 kills in 24 matches this season, is averaging 2.31 kills per set and a .214 attack percentage to date in 83 career appearances . . . Senior outside hitter Amanda Kettlewell (Marysville)remains one kill away from reaching the century mark as she has currently totaled 99 career kills in 77 contests. 

* Dana Digs: Junior libero Dana Ruttle (Reed City) has totaled 164 digs in 24 matches this season, which equals her season high set a season ago in 28 contests.  Ruttle, who's averaging 1.82 digs per match this campaign, has turned in eight double-digit dig match performances this fall.  The FSU co-captain's 14 digs at Grand Valley State last Friday (10/23) marked a season match best, eclipsing her 12 digs versus the Lakers earlier this campaign (9/15) at home.  

* Final Road Outings: The Bulldogs have compiled an 8-10 (.444) record in their final two conference regular-season matches dating back to the 2000 season, which included an 0-2 mark a season ago with a pair of league road setbacks to Northern Michigan (11/7) and Michigan Tech (11/8).  Ferris State sports a 3-6 (.333) mark in its final road league regular-season contest since 2000.  The Bulldogs concluded their 2007 away regular-season action with a 3-0 victory over Lake Superior State (10/21) in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. 

* Great Stretch: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches nine times under 14th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 253-116 (.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.

* On The Road: Ferris State sports a 3-2 record in away matches this season.  The Bulldogs are averaging 12.0 kills per set (264 kills) while hitting for a .183 attack percentage (264-138-688) in five road contests this campaign.  The Bulldogs have averaged 1.0 service aces (22 aces), 2.2 blocks per set (48.0 total blocks), and 13.7 digs per set (301 digs) in road encounters this campaign.  Arielle Goodson has totaled a squad-high 70 kills and 1.50 blocks per set (33 total) while senior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) is hitting at a .316 clip.     

* October Matches: Ferris State has registered a 66-27 overall record (.709) in October matches since the 2000 season.  The Bulldogs sport a 35-17 record in road/neutral outings and are 31-10 at home in that span.  Ferris State is presently 5-3 this October as the Bulldogs have averaged 12.1 kills per set (399) while hitting at  a .182 clip (399-203-1077).  FSU has registered 2.4 blocks a set (80.0 total blocks) to go with 1.6 service aces per set (53 total), and 13.8 digs a set (455 total) to date this month.

* Among The National Leaders: Ferris State is presently ranked 37th among this week's NCAA-II national statistical leaders in blocks per set (2.13 avg.) while being listed 55th in win-loss percentage (.680) through Oct. 25 matches.  FSU ranks 62nd in assists per set (11.58 avg.), 69th in kills per set (12.43 avg.), 77th in service aces per set (1.71 avg.), 106th in hitting pct. (.186), and 172nd in digs per set (13.62 avg.).  Individually, Arielle Goodson ranks 21st in blocks per set (1.1) while Samantha Fordyce is listed 33rd in assists per set (10.35 avg.).

* 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.

* Team Captains: Serving as 2009 team captains will be senior middle hitter Sarah Lark and junior libero Dana Ruttle.  Ruttle was a co-recipient of the program's Coaches Award a season ago. 

* 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.    
 
* 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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