November 17, 2009

Ferris State Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (NCAA Midwest Regional Tourney)

Download FSU Women's Volleyball Notes (PDF Version)

THIS WEEK:

2009 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament Quarterfinal
vs. #11 Lewis Flyers
Thursday, Nov. 19 - 2:30 p.m. (EST)
Ruth Lilly Fitness Center - Indianapolis, Ind.

* The Opening Serve: The 2009 Ferris State University women's volleyball team received its 15th all-time NCAA Division II National Tournament bid in an announcement made Sunday (Nov. 15).  The Bulldogs, who are seeded seventh in the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tourney, will square off against nationally-ranked and two-seed Lewis (Ill.) in this Thursday (Nov. 19) quarterfinal match.  Opening serve is slated for 2:30 p.m. (EST) at the University of Indianapolis' Ruth Lilly Fitness Center (1,000) in Indianapolis, Ind.  Indianapolis is the top seed in the eight-team single-elimination tournament and will serve as the host institution.

* Media Coverage: A live video webcast and live match statistics will be available for all of the Midwest Regional Tournament matches on Indianapolis' Athletics website at http://athletics.uindy.edu/09VBmidwestregional

* Ticket Information: Tickets for the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional are  $25 for all-session pass (entire tournament), $15 for a single-day pass (Thursday or Friday), $10 for championship match, $5 for students of participating schools per session with ID, and $3 for children under 12 per session.  Senior citizens will receive a $5 discount.  Fans are encouraged  to park in the lot north of the Ruth Lilly Center, the lot west of Nicoson Hall, or the gravel parking across National Ave. at the Greyhound Club offices.

* The 37th Season: The 2009 campaign represents Ferris State's 37th season of women's volleyball.  The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 790-450 (.637) 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 19-11 overall and finished with a fourth-place tying 10-6 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division.  The Bulldogs suffered a 3-1 loss to the Hillsdale Chargers in 2009 GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal-round match play last Wednesday (Nov. 11) at Hillsdale, Mich.  Hillsdale would go on to capture the 2009 conference tournament title. 

* The Coach: Ferris State  - Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990), 14th season, 288-149(.659); Career: 17th season, 406-169 (.706).  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.  Brandel-Wilhelm notched her 400th career coaching victory earlier this season (10/3) in a 3-1 conference victory at Hillsdale. 

* The Regional Field: Ferris State is seeded seventh overall in the field while Lewis is the second seed.  This Thursday's (Nov. 19) other quarterfinal round matches include third-seeded Saginaw Valley State against sixth-seeded Grand Valley State at 12 p.m. (EST), fourth-seed Northern Michigan facing fifth-seed Hillsdale in a 5 p.m. (EST) match while top-seeded Indianapolis will entertain eight-seeded Michigan Tech, starting at 7:30 p.m. (EST).  The two tourney semifinal matches will be held this Friday (Nov. 20) at 5 p.m. (EST) and 7:30 p.m. (EST), respectively, with the regional final set for this Saturday (Nov. 21) at 3 p.m. (EST).  Indianapolis is hosting the regional tournament for the first time in school history.

* Ferris State's Regional Notebook: Ferris State will be making its 15th all-time NCAA-II National Tournament appearance and the first time since 2006 . . . The Bulldogs also participated in the NCAA-II Tournament from 1982-87, 1989-90, 1992, 1999, 2002 and 2004-05 . . . FSU has compiled a 7-15 record in NCAA-II Tournament matches and has advanced to the regional final seven times . . . The Bulldogs claimed the regional championship and participated in the NCAA-II Elite Eight in both 1987 and 1989 . . . Ferris State suffered a 3-0 (30-26, 31-29, 30-21) quarterfinal-round loss to Ashland in its most recent regional tournament contest in the 2006 season (11/9) at Jesse Philips Arena in Hillsdale, Mich.  Senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) is the only current student-athlete on the Bulldogs' 2009 roster to compete in the 2006 post-season match as she totaled two kills with three errors on 10 attempts for a -.100 attack percentage to go with two block assists.  FSU posted a team .118 hitting percentage in the three-set match with 37 kills in 127 attempts.  The Bulldogs also compiled five service aces, 58 digs, and six total team blocks . . . This season's regional tournament appearance will mark the program's sixth under current head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, who has registered a 0-5 mark in her previous five tournament outings. 

* A Look At Thursday's Quarterfinal-Round Match: 

Ferris State vs. Lewis: Ferris State has a 22-7 series advantage and is 11-7 in away/neutral site outings against the Flyers. Lewis produced a 3-1 victory over the Bulldogs a season ago (10/18) at the 2008 Asics GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament in Indianapolis, Ind.  The Flyers retained their 11th-place national ranking this week (11/16) in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Coaches Top 25 poll with 473 points.  Ferris State head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has notched a 3-1 coaching mark against Lewis.

 About The Flyers: The Flyers, who are coached by third-year head coach and 2009 GLVC Coach of the Year Lorelee Smith, are currently 30-4 overall this season after finishing runner-up in the 2009 GLVC Tournament with a 3-1 loss to nationally-ranked Indianapolis in last Sunday's (Nov. 15) championship match at Romeoville, Ill.  Lewis topped Rockhurst 3-1 in Saturday (Nov. 14) evening's league tourney semifinals.  The Flyers posted a first-place 14-0 GLVC mark this fall. Lewis had a school-record 27-match winning streak halted with the loss to Indianapolis and also its 41-home match winning string was snapped which dated back to 2007. LU sports an 8-2 record in neutral-site contests this campaign.  Senior outside hitter Stephanie Sagat, the 2009 GLVC Player of the Year, leads the Flyers with 375 kills this season.  Senior middle hitter Sara deBuhr has a second-most 299 kills and a squad-best 102 total blocks, which includes a team-leading 20 block solos. 

The Last Meeting: Ferris State was dealt a 3-0 setback (25-18, 25-21, 31-29) by Lewis earlier this season (10/17) at the 2009 Asics GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Tournament in Lansing, Mich.  Arielle Goodson recorded a match-high tying 13 kills on .440 hitting for FSU while Ashley Huntey recorded 10 digs.  Samantha Fordyce distributed 28 assists and had seven digs as did Lisa Tobiczyk.

* Against The GLVC: The Bulldogs compiled a 4-2 record this 2009 regular season against Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) teams.  FSU posted victories over St. Joseph's, Ind. (3-0 - 8/27), Missouri S&T (3-0 - 9/5), Southern Indiana (3-0 - 10/16), and Missouri-St. Louis (3-2 - 10/16).  The Bulldogs suffered losses to a pair of nationally-ranked teams in Indianapolis (3-0 - 8/28) at home and Lewis (3-0 - 10/17) at the 2009 Asics GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Tournament in Lansing, Mich. 

* November Matches: The Bulldogs have posted a 17-23 overall record (.425) in November contests dating back to 2000, which includes a current 1-2 ledger this season.  Ferris State is 10-5 at home and 7-18 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).

* More Regional Notes: The winner of this Saturday's (11/21) regional championship match will advance to the 29th annual NCAA-II Elite Eight set to be held Dec. 3-5 at a campus site . . . Concordia-St. Paul has won the last two (2007 and 2008) NCAA-II National Championship titles . . . Grand Valley State hosted the 2008 Midwest Regional Tournament which featured six of this season's regional participants - Grand Valley State, Lewis, Saginaw Valley State, Michigan Tech, Indianapolis, and Northern Michigan . . . GVSU won the 2008 Midwest Regional with a 3-1 victory over Saginaw Valley State (11/22) in advancing to the NCAA-II Elite Eight.

* Bulldog Bites: Kristy Gilchrist is 19 kills away from matching her career single-season best 336 kills per set in 30 2007 matches.  Gilchrist has hammered 317 kills in 30 contests this campaign.  She currently ranks 15th among FSU's all-time leaders in career kills (1,106), 14th in both total blocks (336) and block assists (291), 19th in block solos (45), and is tied for 25th in service aces (104) . . . Junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) has generated double-figure kills in a match 24 times this season, which includes a current 19-match streak (9/11-11/11).  Goodson is averaging 3.36 kills per set and is hitting for a .261 percentage as a starter in those 19 outings . . . Sophomore libero Lisa Tobiczyk's (Marysville) 777 career digs in 59 matches presently ranks in a 21st-place tie on the Bulldogs' all-time digs leaders list.  Tobiczyk, who has compiled both a team-high and career season-best 403 digs in 30 contests this campaign, is presently tied with Erin Minnis (1998-01; 777 career digs) for 21st-place honors.  Tobiczyk's 403 digs this fall represents the 20th best single-season output to date in school history . . . Arielle Goodson's team-high 362 kills in 29 matches this season represents a career season high, eclipsing her 262 kills in 29 outings a season ago.  She's averaging 3.23 kills per set this fall after generating 2.43 kills last season . . . Ferris State has compiled a 114-28 (.803) overall record in three-set matches since the start of the 2000 campaign . . . Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) is one total block shy of equalling her season-best 33 total blocks in 29 matches last season.  Huntey has netted 30 block assists apiece to date in each of her two seasons at Ferris State . . . Senior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) has posted 54 more kills this season (205 to 151) in 30 contests than in 2008.  She also has 30 more total blocks (82) this fall compared to a season ago (52) in 29 appearances . . . Redshirt freshman setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) has assembled a program single-season high 1,211 assists in 30 outings this season and is three shy of tying Tricia Metz's 1,214 assists total in 1995 . . . The Bulldogs' 1,451 kills this season marks the 24th highest output in the program's history while the 2009 team's 1,583 digs represents the 20th best. 

* Successful Season: Ferris State's 19 victories to date this season (19-11 overall record) exceeds its wins total (16-13 overall) from the 2008 campaign.  FSU posted a 9-3 mark in their first 12 matches this season.  The Bulldogs went 20-10 overall in 2007 after tallying a 21-9 ledger in the 2006 season. The 1984 team won a NCAA-II record 46 consecutive matches en route to a school-best 48-3 overall mark.

* At Neutral Sites: Ferris State has posted a 5-2 mark in neutral site encounters this season.  The Bulldogs are averaging 12.1 kills per set (328 kills) while hitting for a .197 percentage (328-152-893) in their seven neutral site outings this campaign.  FSU is averaging 2.3 service aces (61 aces), 2.3 blocks per set (63.0 total blocks), and 12.8 digs per set (345 digs) in neutral sites this campaign.  Ferris has a 6-1 mark and a 5-2 ledger in a match's second and third set, respectively.

* All-GLIAC Honorees: Ferris State had three players named to the 2009 All-GLIAC teams, which were announced in conjunction with the league tournament last Friday (Nov. 13) at Hillsdale, Mich.  Kristy Gilchrist and Arielle Goodson both received first-team all-conference kudos while Lisa Tobiczyk was an honorable mention selection.  The league's 12 head coaches took part in the all-conference voting.  Twelve individuals were named to both the first and second-team squads with 12 others attained honorable mention recognition.

* Among The National Leaders: Ferris State was ranked 48th among last week's NCAA Division II statistical leaders in blocks per set (2.08 avg.).  The Bulldogs were listed 63rd in assists per set (11.6), 68th in kills per set (12.43), 69th in win-loss percentage (.655), and 77th in service aces per set (1.71) through Nov. 8 matches.  FSU was listed 106th in hitting pct. (.191) and 185th in digs per set (13.57 avg.).  Individually, Arielle Goodson ranked 30th in blocks per set (1.08) while Samantha Fordyce is 36th in assists per set (10.39).

* 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 255-119 (.682) over the past 11 plus years and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament five times in that span.  FSU has presently advanced to the GLIAC Tournament 12 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.   

* 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.    
 

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