The nets are back up on the court as the Ferris State University women's volleyball team will start making preparations for the 2011 season with the beginning of spring practice this Tuesday (Feb. 22).
The Bulldogs, under the direction of 16th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, will conduct team practices on Tuesday and Thursday mornings each week from 6:30 to 9 a.m. (EST) and also on Friday afternoons until April 15.
"Our spring season is a time of preparation for the the fall," said Brandel-Wilhelm. "We are heavily involved in conditioning and giving effort to improving our strength, power and explosiveness. This is also a time to focus on individual skill development. We have spent six weeks working in small groups for skill improvement and now we have an opportunity to bring the entire team together two or three days a week for the next seven weeks.
"The spring team practices provide an opportunity to connect the improved individual skills to the team play. The spring season is important to see what the up-and-coming players will be able to do in new roles while allowing for the new leaders to develop their competitive leadership skills and to lay the ground work for the team systems we're planning on implementing this fall," added Brandel-Wilhelm, who has compiled a 306-160 (.657) record at Ferris State and is 25 victories shy of becoming the program's all-time winningest coach.
Ferris State will be participating in spring matches at Oakland University (March 19), at Central Michigan University (March 26), at the Dunes Volleyball Training Facility in Indiana (April 2), and at Hillsdale College (April 9).
"We really excited to begin team practices," stated Brandel-Wilhelm. "We have a strong core returning this year who are very focused. This team knows what they want, why they want it and they're determined to get it. It will be a lively and enjoyable spring season for the Bulldogs."
Ferris State, which compiled an 18-10 overall record and a 13-6 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division for the 2010 season while registering its 13th consecutive winning season, returns 11 letterwinners from a season ago.