The 2009 Ferris State University women's volleyball team celebrated its season last Friday (Dec. 4) evening at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Big Rapids, Mich.
Ferris State concluded its 2009 campaign with a 19-12 overall record and made the program's 15th all-time NCAA Division II National Tournament appearance. The Bulldogs, under 14th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, registered their 12th consecutive winning season this fall.
Senior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) was presented with the squad's Most Valuable Player Award. A 2009 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) First-Team pick, Gilchrist totaled a team second-most 325 kills while posting a .248 attack percentage in 31 matches this season. She also compiled 20 service aces, 143 digs, 64 total blocks, five blocks solos, and 59 block assists while generating 18 double-digit kill match performances this campaign. The 6-0 Gilchrist wrapped up her career ranking 14th in both total blocks (337) and block solos (292) among Ferris State's all-time leaders while being listed 15th in kills (1,114), 19th in block solos (45), and tied for 25th in service aces (104). Gilchrist, who was chosen as the GLIAC North Division's Player of the Week in consecutive weeks (Sept. 9 and 14) this fall, attained all-conference honorable mention accolades in 2008 after receiving league second-team kudos in 2007.
A pair of redshirt freshmen, setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) and outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma) were co-winners of the Most Improved Player Award. A starter in all 31 matches, Fordyce's 1,231 assists this season ranks as the 12th highest total on FSU's all-time leaders list. She also served up 27 service aces while tallying 199 digs and 45 total blocks in 2009. Brecht notched 17 kills, seven service aces and six total blocks in 12 outings.
Sophomore libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville), junior libero Dana Ruttle (Reed City), and senior outside hitter Amanda Kettlewell (Marysville) all received the Bulldog Award, which is presented to the player(s) who display the heart and desire of a Bulldog. Tobiczyk, a 2009 honorable mention All-GLIAC honoree, recorded a squad-high and career season-best both in digs (408) and service aces (37) this season in 31 contests while Ruttle's team fourth-most 164 digs in 24 matches matched her career single-season high. Kettlewell chalked up a career single-season most 18 digs in 21 appearances this season.
The Coaches Award was bestowed upon to senior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) and junior libero Whitney Rupp (West Bloomfield). Lark turned in her most productive season in 2009 with career season highs in kills (209), attack percentage (.218), total blocks (82), and block assists (74) in 31 contests. Rupp garnered 88 digs and had 20 service aces in 30 appearances this season.
The 2009 squad's four seniors - Kristy Gilchrist, Amanda Kettlewell, Sarah Lark, and outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs) were all given Senior Awards. Lark and Dana Ruttle, the 2009 FSU co-captains, also were presented with captains pins.
2009 Ferris State Women's Volleyball Team Award
Most Valuable Player - Kristy Gilchrist
Most Improved Player - Samantha Fordyce and Aly Brecht
Bulldog Award - Lisa Tobiczyk, Dana Ruttle, and Amanda Kettlewell
Coaches Award - Sarah Lark and Whitney Rupp
Senior Award - Kristy Gilchrist, Sarah Lark, Amanda Kettlewell, and Katie Edwards