Ferris State Chosen As Conference Preseason Favorites

Senior Dana Ruttle and Ferris State tie for first-place honors in the 2010 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll. (Photo by Ed Hyde)

2010 GLIAC Women's Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll Press Release (PDF)

Click here for 2010 GLIAC Women's Volleyball Season Preview

The Ferris State University women's volleyball team hopes to meet its high expectations for the 2010 season as the Bulldogs have been selected as co-favorites to claim the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division in the 2010 conference coaches preseason poll, which was released this Tuesday (Aug. 24) afternoon.

The Bulldogs received 32 points to tie Grand Valley State for top honors.  FSU, under  the direction of 15th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, also earned two first-place votes while GVSU received three first-place votes.  The other first-place vote went to third-place Northern Michigan, which garnered 24 points in the seven-team North Division.  Saginaw Valley State accumulated 23 points while Michigan Tech had 17 points and Northwood picked up 13 points.  Lake Superior State rounded out the poll with six points.

In the South Division, Hillsdale was tabbed as the favorite with 36 points and claimed six of the seven first-place votes as Findlay received the lone remaining one.  The two conference newcomers, Ohio Dominican and Lake Erie placed fifth and seventh with 13 and nine points, respectively. 

Each of the GLIAC's 14 head coaches voted for the teams within their respective division, but weren't allowed to vote for their own team.  First-place votes were worth five points, second-place votes were worth four, etc.

A season ago, Ferris State was selected to finish fourth in the GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll with 13 points after being tabbed for a third-place tie in the 2008 conference poll by claiming 16 points. 

Ferris State enjoyed a productive season in 2009 as the Bulldogs posted a 19-12 overall record and made the program's 15th all-time NCAA Division II National Tournament appearance.  The Bulldogs also registered their 12th consecutive winning season last fall.

The GLIAC opens this upcoming campaign with ttwo of its conference-member teams either ranked or receiving votes in the 2010 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll.  Hillsdale is ranked 20th while Grand Valley State is listed among other teams receiving votes with 34 points.

Ferris State embarks on its 38th season of intercollegiate competition next weekend, Sept. 3-4, as the Bulldogs host the Ferris State Invitational at the Ewigleben Sports Arena and Jim Wink Arena on the FSU campus in Big Rapids, Mich.  FSU begins its 2010 campaign on Friday, Sept. 3, versus Lock Haven at 2 p.m. (EDT) before going up against Glenville State in a 6 p.m. (EDT) match.  The Bulldogs conclude action Saturday, Sept. 4, versus Minnesota State at 12 p.m. (EDT) followed by a 3 p.m. (EDT) matchup against former conference member Mercyhurst in the tournament finale.

FSU returns 12 letterwinners this fall from the 2009 squad, including three starters and its primary libero.

Here is the complete listing of the 2010 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll:

NORTH DIVISION
School (First-place votes) Points

1. Grand Valley State (3) 32

    Ferris State (2) 32

3. Northern Michigan (1) 24

4. Saginaw Valley State 23

5. Michigan Tech 17

6. Northwood 13

7. Lake Superior State 6

SOUTH DIVISION
School (First-place votes) Points

1. Hillsdale (6) 36

2. Wayne State 27

3. Ashland 26

4. Findlay (1) 24

5. Ohio Dominican 13

6. Tiffin 12

7. Lake Erie 9