November 1, 2011

Volleyball Weekly Notes (Matches 24-26)

THIS WEEK:

vs. Saginaw Valley State
Wednesday, November 2 - 7 p.m. (EDT)
University Center, Mich.

vs. Northwood
Friday, November 4 – 7 p.m. (EDT)
Midland, Mich.

vs. Lake Superior State
Saturday, November 5 - 2 p.m. (EDT)
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

*The Opening Serve: This week (Nov. 2-5), the Ferris State University women's volleyball team will wrap up the 2011 regular-season with three road matches. On Wednesday, the Bulldogs will travel to University Center, Mich., to take on the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals. They will conclude the road trip with a match against Northwood on Friday evening followed by a trip to Lake Superior State on Saturday afternoon.

* 2011 Record: Ferris State is currently 21-2 overall and 15-1 in the GLIAC North Division to date. The Bulldogs are back on a five-match winning streak. The Bulldogs defeated Ohio Dominican in four sets last Saturday (10/29) before sweeping past Tiffin on Sunday (10/30) with both victories coming on the road. The 15-1 GLIAC record marks the best record the Bulldogs have had in conference play since the 1987 seson when they finished the year with an identical record.

* The Coaches: Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990) is midst her 16th year at Ferris State. Brandel-Wilhelm holds a FSU coaching record of 327-162 (.669) and is 445-182 (.709) overall as a collegiate coach. Brandel-Wilhelm is only three victories away from tying for Ferris State's all-time winningest coach (Jill Hirschinger, 1984-1995, 330-151). She became the program's fifth head coach in June 1996.

* The GLIAC Tourney: The 2011 GLIAC Tournament will open on Thursday, Nov. 10, with four teams hosting quarterfinal-round matches.  The semifinals/finals will take place on Nov. 12-13 at the site of the highest remaining seed.  FSU currently leads the North Division with a 15-1 record and holds the tiebreaker edge over South Division leader Hillsdale (16-1), which means the Bulldogs would hold the number one overall seed by winning their final three regular-season matches this week.  Official tournament pairings and sites will be announced by the league office following the conclusion of regular-season play.

*National Attention: The Bulldogs dropped one spot from the 11th to 12th spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II national rankings despite winning two matches last week. FSU has been ranked 11th three times this season (10/3, 10/17, 10/24) and was 13th two weeks ago before moving up to 11th. The 11th-place national ranking for FSU this season is the highest ranking for the Bulldogs in 20 years.

* The Regional Rankings: The Bulldogs were listed third last week (Oct. 23) in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Rankings behind top-ranked Hillsdale and number two Northern Kentucky.  The rankings were the first regional listing of the season.  The top eight teams at the end of the year earn berths into the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships at a site to be announced.

*Close To 1,000 Again: FSU senior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) recently joined the 1,000 career digs club and is just 20 kills away from reaching 1,000 in her Bulldog career, which would make her one of six who hold the distinction of being in both the 1,000 career kills and digs club.

*Career Digs Leader: After amassing 68 digs in the past three matches, senior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) has become the school's all-time career digs leader with 1,614 to date and surpassed former standout Danielle Baucher's previous school mark.  Tobiczyk had 37 digs in last Saturday's match at Ohio Dominican, which was one shy of tying Sherri (Maus) Harris' school single-match mark of 38 digs.

*39th Season: The 2011 campaign represents Ferris State's 39th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 829-433 (.657). Since the program's inception in 1972, the Bulldogs have won nine GLIAC titles, qualified 15 times for the NCAA-II Tournament and registered 31 winning seasons.

* This Week's Opposition:

Saginaw Valley State: Ferris State holds a 51-12 all-times series edge against the Cardinals. The Bulldogs are 27-5 at home and 24-7 when facing SVSU on the road in University Center. Ferris State beat Saginaw Valley State earlier this season on Oct. 1 with a 3-0 victory in Big Rapids. This is the ninth season at the helm for Saginaw Valley State women's volleyball head coach Will Stanton. SVSU currently holds a 15-8 overall record and is 13-3 in the GLIAC.

Northwood: The Bulldogs edge out the Timberwolves in an all time series with a 31-21 advantage. This includes a 31-21 record at home for the Bulldogs. However, on the road Ferris State is 13-14 against NU. Earlier this season (9/18), the Timberwolves got swept by the Bulldogs 3-0 at the Ewigleben Arena in Big Rapids. The Timberwolves stand at 12-12 overall and a current 10-6 record in the GLIAC heading into the week. Northwood is led by head coach Tim Koth, who is in his seventh season.

Lake Superior State: Ferris State and Lake Superior will meet for the 84th time as the Bulldogs hold a 66-17 all-time series advantage over the Lakers. Ferris State claimed this season's first match, prevailing 3-0 (9/17) at home. Ferris State's record is currently 35-4 at home against Lake Superior and stands at 31-13 when playing in Sault Ste. Marie. Lake Superior State head coach Ben Kaszeta is in his inaugural season with the squad. LSSU is currently 5-11 on the 2011 season and 8-16 in GLIAC competition.

*2011 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Poll: Ferris State was selected third in the 2011 GLIAC Preseason North Division Coaches Poll. This season, Hillsdale was picked as the top team in the South Division and Northern Michigan as the first-place team in the North Division. Falling two points behind Northern Michigan was second-place Grand Valley State.

*Bulldog Bites: Junior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) leads the team in assists with 885 total helpers this season and is averaging 11.3 assists per set. Fordyce is currently fifth among all-time Bulldog career assists leaders … Ferris State has 1,044 total kills while opponents are currently at 940 kills … Defensively, the Bulldogs have racked up 177.0 total blocks with 78 block solos and 198 block assists. They are averaging 2.27 blocks per set  … Freshman middle hitter Courtney Rehm leads the Bulldogs in blocks, having 72 on the season, which includes 11 solo blocks and 61 block assists … Five Bulldogs have posted triple-digit dig counts this season, including senior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (358), Ashley Huntey (231), Brandie Merren (144) and Samantha Fordyce (148). Most recently, junior outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma) reached 105 digs for the season.

*GLIAC Standing/Schedule: Fans can view the complete 2011 GLIAC Standings for both the North and South Divisions at this link – GLIAC STANDINGS LINK. The composite 2011 conference women's volleyball schedule can be accessed at this link – GLIAC SCHEDULE

*2011 Team Captains: Serving as the 2011 FSU team captains are senior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville), senior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood), junior setter Samantha Fordyce (Dewitt) and junior outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma). Fordyce and Tobiczyk both served as captains in the 2010 season.

*2011 FSU Roster: Ferris State's 2011 active roster includes three seniors, six juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen. Six of the 15 players are middle hitters, five are outside hitters and the four others fill the squad's setter, defensive specialist and libero roles.  All but one member of the team is from Michigan.

* Ewigleben Sports Arena: The Bulldogs have compiled a 305-81 (.790) record to date in 31 seasons of competition at the Ewigleben Sports Arena since moving from the Health and Physical Education (HPE) Building in 1981. Ferris State wrapped up the 2011 regular season with a 13-0 home record, which marks the program's seventh undefeated home record to date. Overall, Ferris is 158-41 (.794) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

* 2010 Record: Ferris State concluded the 2010 season with a 18-10 overall record and a 13-6 record in GLIAC play. The Bulldogs appeared in their 13th-straight GLIAC Tournament a season ago. Ferris State finished the regular season in fourth-place among the North Division.

* All-Conference Returners: Ferris State has three All-GLIAC performers from last season's squad returning. Senior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) and senior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) both received second team recognition. Junior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) was named on the honorable mention team.

*Yearbook Available Online: The 2011 Ferris State University Women's Yearbook is available to view online in a PDF format. The publication features such information as 2011 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2010 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc. Click on this 2011 Yearbook link to view the online publication.

*Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2011 Ferris State women's volleyball regular-season home matches are available at the door. Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students (K-12), FSU faculty/staff and senior citizens. Ferris State students with valid ID will be admitted free of charge. For more information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.

*Media Coverage: Live stats will be available for all Bulldog home matches in 2011. Selected Ferris State home games will feature live video streaming for $7.95 a match. For more information, visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

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