Ferris State Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 28-29)

Ferris State Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 28-29)

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vs. Michigan Tech Huskies
Friday, Nov. 6- 12 p.m. (EST)
Ewigleben Sports Arena - Big Rapids, Mich.

vs. Northern Michigan Wildcats
Saturday, Nov. 7 - 2 p.m. (EST)
Ewigleben Sports Arena - Big Rapids, Mich. 

* The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team closes out its 2009 regular season this weekend (Nov. 6-7) at home with a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division at Big Rapids, Mich.  The Bulldogs open their two-match homestand this Friday (Nov. 6) against the Michigan Tech Huskies, starting at 12 p.m. (EST).  Ferris State will wrap up the regular season this Saturday (Nov. 7) hosting the Northern Michigan Wildcats.  Opening serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. (EST).

* Match Promotions: All FSU faculty and staff are invited to attend this Friday's (Nov. 6) match free of charge.  Country Inn & Suites will be sponsoring "Books and Balls Day" in which 300 books will be distributed to local children who attend the match compliments of Country Inn & Suites.  Besides the books, Morley-Stanwood Middle School 7th grade class will be given an admissions presentation, a campus tour, and a lunch on campus before the Bulldog women's volleyball match.  This Saturday's (Nov. 7) contest will be free to individuals who signed up for the community recreation volleyball league and also for those people who purchase a ticket for this weekend's (Nov. 6-7) home hockey series versus Bowling Green State.

* 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 789-448 (.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 18-9 overall with a 9-5 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division.  The Bulldogs compiled a 1-1 record last weekend (Oct. 30-31) versus a pair of GLIAC North Division opponents.  FSU suffered a 3-1 loss to Saginaw Valley State last Friday (Oct. 30) at SVSU's Cardinal Gymnasium in University Center, Mich., before recording a 3-0 triumph against Lake Superior State last Saturday (Oct. 31) at LSSU's Bud Cooper Gymnasium in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. 

* The Coach: Ferris State  - Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990), 14th season, 287-147(.661); Career: 17th season, 405-167 (.708).  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 remains fifth place in the latest NCAA Division II Midwest Region rankings, which were released Thursday (Oct. 29) by the NCAA-II Women's Volleyball Committee.  The Bulldogs had registered a 13-7 in-region record thru matches of Oct. 25.  FSU is one of seven GLIAC teams listed in the Midwest Region rankings with Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech ranked sixth and eighth place, respectively.  The next rankings will be released Thursday, Nov. 12.

* This Week's Opposition: 

Michigan Tech: Ferris State has a 49-13 all-time series advantage over Michigan Tech, which includes a 23-6 home ledger.  FSU registered a 3-1 victory over the Huskies earlier this season (9/18) in Houghton, Mich.  A season ago, MTU swept both regular-season contests as the Huskies claimed a 3-2 win (9/20) in Big Rapids and posted a 3-0 regular-season finale win (11/8) in Houghton.  MTU, under first-year head coach Orlando Gonzalez, improved its 2009 season record to 13-12 overall and 9-5 in the GLIAC's North Division with a 3-2 conference win against Northern Michigan last Saturday (10/31) at the SDC Gymnasium in Houghton.  The Huskies, who have presently won seven of their last nine contests, are 5-3 in away matches this fall.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. MTU - 23-6.

Northern Michigan: Ferris State is 39-42 in its all-time series against Northern Michigan, which included a 3-2 victory over the Wildcats earlier this season (9/19) to end a five-match series losing string.  Last season, 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 seven of the last 19 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 17-9 overall and 10-4 in the GLIAC's North Division.  The Wildcats, who have prevailed in 11 of their last 13 matches, had their five-match winning streak snapped following a 3-2 conference setback to Michigan Tech last Saturday (10/31) in Houghton, Mich.  NMU sports a 5-3 mark in road encounters this season.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. NMU - 10-21. 

* November Matches: The Bulldogs have posted a 16-21 overall record (.432) in November contests dating back to 2000.  Ferris State is 9-4 at home and 7-17 in road/neutral site matches during that period.  FSU dropped all four of its November outings last season, which included a season-ending 3-1 loss at Grand Valley State in the 2008 GLIAC Tournament (11/12).

* Regular-Season Finales: Ferris State has registered a 2-7 mark (.222) in its regular-season finale matches since the 2000 campaign.  The Bulldogs' two victories during that span were a 3-0 home decision over Grand Valley State in 2005 (11/4) and a 3-0 home win against Northwood in 2007 (11/3).  FSU dropped a 3-0 match at Michigan Tech last season (11/8) in 2008 regular-season finale.

* Bulldog Bites: Junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) extended her current double-digit kills match streak to 16 consecutive with a match-high 12 kills at Lake Superior State last Saturday (10/31).  Goodson, who has amassed 21 such outings this fall, is hitting at a .266 clip with 216 kills and a 3.32 kills per set average during those 16 matches . . . Senior outside hitter Amanda Kettlewell (Marysville) reached the 100th career mark in kills with a lone kill in her only set appearance at Lake Superior State (10/31).  Kettlewell is averaging 0.76 kills per set while recording a .146 hitting percentage in 79 career contests to date . . .  Junior libero Whitney Rupp's (West Bloomfield/Mercy) 10 digs at Lake Superior State (10/31) represented a season match high, bettering her five digs at Saginaw Valley State (10/30).  Rupp totaled a career match-best 12 digs in back-to-back appearances at Findlay (9/29) and at Grand Valley State (10/2) in the 2007 season . . . Senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) presently ranks 16th on FSU's all-time kills leaders list and is 20 kills away from moving into a 15th-place tie with Erin Minnis (1998-01; 1,084 career kills).  Gilchrist is a service ace shy of tying Gretchen Galloway (1992-94; 103 career aces) for 26th-place honors among the Bulldogs' career leaders . . . Arielle Goodson is within one block solo of sharing seventh place with Milli Holley (1982-85; 79 career block solos) on Ferris State's all-time bests chart.  Goodson has presently recorded 78 block solos in 85 contests.  The middle hitter needs two more block assists to match Stephanie Chaffin's (1989-92) 21st-place 212 career block assists total . . . Redshirt freshman outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma) set a season high with seven kills at Saginaw Valley State (10/30), which surpassed her six kills versus Lake Superior State earlier this season (9/26). 

* First-Second Half Comparison: Ferris State has posted a .188 attack percentage with an 11.9 kills per set average (607 kills) in its last 13 matches this season after recording a .192 hitting percentage (685 kills) in its initial 14 contests.  The Bulldogs are averaging 2.20 blocks a set (112.0 total blocks) in the past 13 outings compared to a 2.04 blocks average (108.0 total blocks) in their previous 14 encounters.    

* Good Year: Ferris State's 18 victories to date this season (18-9 overall record) exceeds its wins total (16-13 overall) from the 2008 campaign.  The Bulldogs went 20-10 overall in 2007 after tallying a 21-9 ledger in the 2006.

* Senior Day Match: This Saturday's (11/8) final regular-season match versus Northern Michigan represents the program's annual Senior Day contest as the Bulldogs will honor the 2009 squad's four senior student-athletes - Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs), Kristy Gilchrist, Amanda Kettlewell, and Sarah Lark (Alma).  The four have combined to register a current 97-51 record (.655) during their careers (2005-present).  Edwards appeared in 11 matches as freshman in 2005 before suffering a season-ending injury and receiving a medical redshirt.  

* On The Home Floor: Ferris State has compiled a 9-4 home record this season.  The Bulldogs are averaging 12.8 kills per set (614 kills) while hitting at a .182 percentage (614-311-1,666) in their 13 home contests this campaign.  FSU has averaged 1.7 service aces (83 aces), 2.0 blocks per set (96.0 total blocks), and 14.1 digs per set (675 digs) in home encounters this campaign.  Arielle Goodson has hammered a squad-high 144 kills and a 0.91 blocks per set (39 total).     

* Among The National Leaders: Ferris State currently ranks 42nd among this week's NCAA Division II statistical leaders in blocks per set (2.12 avg.).  The Bulldogs are listed 65th in both win-loss percentage (.667) and assists per set (11.59) through Nov. 1 matches.  FSU is 74th in kills per set (12.42 avg.), 82nd in service aces per set (1.69 avg.), 105th in hitting pct. (.190), and 184th in digs per set (13.55 avg.).  Individually, Arielle Goodson ranks 25th in blocks per set (1.09) while redshirt freshman setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) is 35th in assists per set (10.36 avg.).

* 2009 GLIAC Tourney Information: Ferris State has clinched a berth in the 2009 GLIAC Women's Volleyball Tournament.  The tournament quarterfinals will be held next Wednesday, Nov. 11, at campus sites yet to be determined.  The tournament's semifinals and championship match are slated to be held Nov. 14-15 at the site of the highest remaining seed.  The Bulldogs' appearance in the conference tourney will represent their 12th consecutive season in which FSU has qualified as a participant.

* 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.

* Great Stretch: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches nine times under 14th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 254-117 (.685) 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.

* 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.