Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 6-9)

Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 6-9)

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* This Week: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team will play its second 2009 regular-season tournament this weekend (Sept. 4-5) as the Bulldogs participate in the St. Cloud State Tournament at SCSU's Halenbeck Hall in St. Cloud, Minn.  Ferris State will face Upper Iowa, Nebraska-Kearney, Wayne State (Neb.), and Missouri Science & Technology in the two-day tournament.  Nebraska-Kearney is ranked fifth in this week's (Aug. 31) American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with 672 points.

* Ticket Information: Please call the SCSU ticket office at 1-877-SCSUTIX or (320) 308-2137 during regular business hours.

* Live Stats: Statistics for all 2009 St. Cloud State Tournament matches can be accessed at  www.stcloudstate.edu/athletics/sports/livestats/sportsstats4/xlive.htm.  

* Live Video: There will be live video streaming available through Penn Atlantic at no charge to the viewer for the entire 2009 St. Cloud State Tournament.  Visit www.northernsun.tv for more information.

* The 37th Season: The 2009 campaign represents Ferris State's 37th season of women's volleyball.  The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 774-441 (.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 3-2 overall and 0-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division to date.

* The Coach: Ferris State  - Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990), 14th season, 272-140 (.660); Career: 17th season, 390-160 (.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: 

   Upper Iowa: First meeting between the two teams.  The Peacocks improved to 5-0 overall this season with a 3-0 non-league road win against Ashford Tuesday (9/1) in Clinton, Iowa.  Upper Iowa, under second-year head coach Shari Robertson, went 4-0 in its season-opening action at the St. Ambrose Tournament (8/28-29) in Davenport, Iowa.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UIU - 0-0.   

   Nebraska-Kearney: First meeting between the two teams.  UNK sports a 4-0 overall record to date this season with all four victories resulting in 3-0 home decisions.  The Lopers claimed a 3-0 home decision over Fort Hays State (Kan.) last Saturday (8/29) at their own Best Western/Runza Fall Classic in the squad's most recent action.  Nebraska-Kearney, which is coached by 11th-year head coach Rick Squiers, visit nationally 25th-ranked Augustana (S.D.) this Wednesday (9/2) in Sioux Falls, S.D.  The Lopers are presently listed fifth in the latest (8/31) AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UNK - 0-0. 

  Wayne State (Neb.): Initial meeting between the teams.  Wayne State is currently 2-2 overall following a 3-0 non-conference triumph against Texas Woman's University last Saturday (8/29) at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs' Marriott Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo., to halt a two-match losing streak.  The Wildcats, who were ranked 25th in the 2009 AVCA Preseason Coaches Top 25 Poll, dropped a 3-1 match to Hillsdale last Saturday (8/29) in tourney-match play.  WSC is directed by head coach Scott Kneifl, who's midst his fifth year at the helm.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. WSC - 0-0. 
  Missouri S&T: First meeting between the schools.  The Lady Miners improved to 2-3 overall to date as a result of posting a 3-1 home non-league win over Harding (Ark.) Tuesday (9/1) at MUS&T's Bullman Multi-Purpose Building in Rolla, Mo.  The Miners, who are coached by fourth-year head coach Jason Holt, started out their 2009 campaign compiling a 1-3 record at the Missouri Southern Tournament (8/28-29) in Joplin, Mo.  Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. MUS&T - 0-0.

* 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. 

* The 2009 FSU Roster: Ferris State's 2009 active roster includes four seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen.  Eight of the 19 players are middle hitters, six are outside hitters, and the five others fill the squad's setter, defensive specialist and libero roles.  All but one of the team's 19 student-athletes hail from the state of Michigan. 

* What Returns For 2009: Below is a look at the 2008 statistical totals of the returnees and what percentage of the team totals they accounted for:
                       2008 Total          2009 Returning             % Returning
 Kills                   1,295                      1,107                                 85.5
 Aces                     193                        138                                  71.5
 Digs                  1,557                      1,088                                  69.9
 Blocks               212.5                         316                                  83.4

* Great Stretch: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches nine times under 14th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 239-110 (.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.

* On The Road:  The Bulldogs are 426-256 (.625) record in road/neutral site matches during that span.  Ferris State posted a 5-6 mark in road matches a season ago while compiling a 4-2 ledger in neutral site encounters. 

* September Matches: Ferris State has compiled a 73-39 overall record (.652) in September matches dating back to the 2000 season.  The Bulldogs were 21-7 at home and 52-32 in road/neutral site contests since that time.  FSU was 5-6 in September matches last season -0-2 at home and 5-4 at road/neutral sites.  The 2002 and 2006 Bulldog squads went 11-2 for the month while the 2003 squad posted an 11-3 ledger.

* 2008 Ferris State Invitational Recap: Ferris State's Sarah Lark represented the Bulldogs on the 12-member 2009 Ferris State Invitational All-Tournament Team.  Lark registered a team-high .387 attack percentage with 30 kills in 62 attempts.  The 5-11 middle hitter averaged 2.14 kills, 0.71 blocks, and 0.43 digs per set in the tournament.  She totaled eight kills in three tourney outings - vs. West Virginia State (8/28), California, Pa. (8/29), and Minnesota, Crookston (8/29).  Previously, Lark was one of three Bulldogs to earn 2008 Ferris State Invitational All-Tourney Team kudos.

* Bulldog Bites: FSU's current top two kills leaders this season, junior middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) and senior outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs)have combined for 46.2% (98-212) of the team's kills production.  Goodson has accumulated a squad-best 53 kills while Edwards has generated 45 kills on the season . . . Ferris State improved to 31-6 (.838) all-time in season-opening matches with a 3-0 home non-conference decision over St. Joseph's (Ind.) last Thursday (8/27) in its 2009 season opener.  The Bulldogs are now 13-1 in season openers under Tia Brandel-Wilhelm . . . Sophomore libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) has compiled double-figure digs in all five FSU matches this season to date, which includes a season-best 16 digs versus Indianapolis (8/28).  A season ago, Tobiczyk tallied double-digit digs in 21 contests . . . Arielle Goodson, who has a team-most 53 kills in five 2009 season outings, has produced double-digit kills in three of her five matches this fall.  The 2008 All-GLIAC Second-Team pick compiled double-figure kill totals in 10 matches a season ago, which included a career match-best 17 against Lake Superior State (10/31) . . . Katie Edwards is 52 kills shy of attaining the 700th kill in her career.  Edwards, a fifth-year senior, has amassed 648 kills in 80 career appearances while averaging 2.43 kills per set for her career . . . Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) started out this season with double-figure digs totals in the team's initial four matches, which included a season-best 13 digs versus Indianapolis (8/28) in a Ferris State Invite contest.  Huntey averaged 12 digs per match (48 total) in the four-match period.

* First Double:  Redshirt freshman setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) has earned the distinction of producing the Bulldogs' first double-doubles of the 2009 season with 44 assists and 11 digs in a 3-1 non-conference decision over West Virginia State (8/28) at the Ferris State Invitational.

* Climbing The Charts:  Senior outside hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) is 97 kills away from moving into an 18th-place tie with Lori Blair (1987-90; 924 career kills) on Ferris State's all-time leaders list.  Gilchrist presently has posted 827 kills in 94 career matches.

* The "Good" News: Arielle Goodson currently ranks tied for 27th place in career total blocks among the program's all-time leaders.  Goodson is presently tied with Danielle Baucher (2003-06; 197 career blocks) for 27th and is only eight blocks shy of tying Kelly Stosik (1986-89; 205 career blocks) for 26th-place honors.  Goodson is also listed tied for 22nd place in career block solos (39) and is 28th in career block assists (158).

* Servin' It Up:  Katie Edwards has already served five aces in FSU's first five matches this fall, which is one shy of matching her career season-high six service aces set in 30 matches for the 2007 season.  The outside hitter accumulated a 2009 season-high three aces against West Virginia State (8/28) at the Ferris State Invitational.  Edwards has17 career services aces in 80 contests. 

* 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.  A highlights video from last weekend's Ferris State Invitational is presently available for viewing on the FerrisVolleybal site.    
* 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.