FSU Volleyball Notes: GLIAC Tourney

THIS WEEK:

GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal
vs. Wayne State

Thursday, Nov. 10 - 7 p.m. (EDT)
Big Rapids, Mich.

GLIAC Tourney Semifinals/Finals
Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 12-13
Campus Site TBA


*The Opening Serve:
The Ferris State University women's volleyball team will host Wayne State in the quarterfinal-round of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament this Thursday (Nov. 10) at 7 p.m. (ET) inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.  The winner will advance to the semifinals and finals on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13.  FSU is the top seed in the field and would host the semifinals/finals this weekend by beating the eighth-seeded Warriors.

*Ticket Information: Tickets will be sold beginning one hour prior to match time and will be $5 for adults or $3 for all students from grades K to college with identification, which includes FSU students. No complimentary passes will be issued per GLIAC Tournament guidelines and FSU's "Division II Pass for Two" will not be accepted for postseason contests. There will be no preseale of tickets.  For additional ticket information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.

*Media Coverage:
Thursday's match will also be streamed with live video over the internet via the Bulldog Sports Network and the link will be accessible on the FSU Athletics Website at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

*The Rest Of The Field: The other quarterfinal-round matches on Thursday include second-seeded Hillsdale hosting number seven seed Northwood, third-seeded Saginaw Valley State welcoming sixth-seeded Grand Valley State along with number four seed Ashland hosting fifth-seeded Northern Michigan. All are slated for 7 p.m. (ET) starts.

*Tourney Fact: Ferris State will carry the number one seed into the tournament as the 2011 GLIAC Co-Champion. The Bulldogs finished tied with Hillsdale for the best regular season conference record (18-1), but claimed the top seed through GLIAC tie-breakers.  This year represents the Bulldogs' 14th consecutive conference tournament appearance.

*Important Note: This year marks the second consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have drawn Wayne State in the first round of the GLIAC Tournament.  Last year (11/11/10), FSU recorded a 3-1 road win over WSU in the quarterfinals before bowing out of the event with a 3-1 loss at Hillsdale in the semifinals (11/13/10).  Overalll, the Bulldogs are 11-12 all-time in GLIAC Tournament action heading into this year's tournament.

*Semifinals/Finals:
Ferris State would host the tournament semifinals/finals by beating Wayne State in the quarterfinal match.  Match times for Saturday are scheduled for 12 p.m. (ET) and 3 p.m. (ET) should the Bulldogs defeat WSU.  As host, Ferris would play the first match of the day on Saturday with a win in the quarterfinals.  Sunday's title match would take place at 2 p.m. (ET) if the final four is held in Big Rapids.

*Regional Rankings: Ferris State is currently ranked second behind Hillsdale in the most recent NCAA-II Midwest Regional Rankings.  The top-ranked team at the end of the season will likely host the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships from Nov. 17-20.  The winner of the GLIAC Tournament receives an automatic bid into the regional field where eight teams will be selected among the GLIAC and Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) schools. The regional field and host site will be announced late Sunday night.

*First Divisional Crown: FSU officially captured the 2011 GLIAC North Division Championship with last Wednesday (Nov. 2) night's 3-0 league road victory at Saginaw Valley State. The divisional crown is FSU's first since the conference was split into two divisions for volleyball in 1996 and represents the program's first league regular-season title since winning the conference in 1990. The 18 conference wins topped the 16 wins recorded by the 1990 squad for most GLIAC wins in school history. FSU previously had claimed eight GLIAC Championships when the league featured only a single division in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1990. Additionally, the Bulldogs won the GLIAC Tournament in 2004.

*39th Season: The 2011 campaign represents Ferris State's 39th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 832-433 (.656). Since the program's inception in 1972, the Bulldogs have won 10 GLIAC titles, qualified 15 times for the NCAA-II Tournament and registered 32 winning seasons.

*2011 Record: Ferris State ended its 2011 regular season with a 24-2 overall record and 18-1 in the GLIAC en route to winning the league's North Division and regular-season crown. The Bulldogs are on a current eight-match winning streak.

*The Coaches: Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990) is midst her 16th year at Ferris State. Brandel-Wilhelm holds a FSU coaching record of 330-162 (.669) and is 448-182 (.709) overall as a collegiate coach. With the recent three road victories, Brandel-Wilhelm notched her 330th win at Ferris State last Saturday against Lake Superior State and is now tied with former Bulldog head coach Jill Hirschinger (1984-1995, 330-151) for the most wins in school history.  She would set a new school mark with a win over Wayne State on Thurdsay. She became the program's fifth head coach in June 1996.

* This Week's Opposition:

Wayne State: The Bulldogs hold a 46-28 all-time series advantage over the Warriors. This includes a 22-6 record at home for the Bulldogs. On the road, Ferris State is 24-22 against Wayne State. Earlier in the 2011 season, the Bulldogs were able to shutout the Warriors in a 3-0 decision in a match played at the Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids.  At the end of the 2011 regular season, the Warriors stand at a 14-13 overall record and a 10-9 mark in the GLIAC. Wayne State is led by head coach Phil Nickel, who is in his fourth season.

*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.

*National Attention: The Bulldogs remained at the 12th spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II national rankings this week (Nov. 8) for the second week in a row. The Bulldogs have been ranked as high as 11th this year, which represented FSU's highest national ranking in 20 years.

*Bulldog Bites: FSU senior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) reached 1,000 kills in last week's (Nov. 2) match against Saginaw Valley State. Earlier in the season, Huntey reached 1,000 career digs and is now a part of an elite six-member club that recognizes such student-athletes who have reached both 1,000 career kills and digs ... Junior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) leads the conference in assists with 1,019 total helpers this season and is averaging 11.32 assists per set. Fordyce is currently fifth among all-time Bulldog assists leaders … Ferris State has 1,197 total kills while opponents are currently at 1,105 kills … Defensively, the Bulldogs have racked up 107.0 total blocks with 88 block solos and 238 block assists. They are averaging 2.3 blocks per set … Freshman middle hitter Courtney Rehm (Portage/Central) leads the Bulldogs in blocks, having 87 on the season, which includes 14 solo blocks and 73 block assists … Five Bulldogs have posted triple-digit dig counts this season, including senior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (432), Ashley Huntey (272), Brandie Merren (166), Samantha Fordyce (182) and Aly Brecht (127) ...... Tobiczyk presently leads the conference in digs, Fordyce paces the GLIAC in assists while Huntey ranks first in points and second in kills.  Junior middle hitter Anne Sutton (Grand Rapids/Northview) is fifth in hitting perentage (.347) while Rehm ranks third in blocks.

*Player of the Week: Senior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) of the 2011 Ferris State University women's volleyball team has earned this week's (Nov. 7) GLIAC North Division Player of the Week honor. The honor comes as a result of her performance last week (Nov. 2-5) in three road match wins to conclude the 2011 regular season.  Huntey totaled 53 kills in three matches while helping the Bulldogs to a 3-0 mark. She had 22 kills against both Northwood and Lake Superior State to wrap up the regular-season. Huntey also reached double-digit digs in all three contests, with her highest output being 17 digs against Lake Superior State. Huntey averaged 4.42 kills per set and finished the week with 4.79 points per game. It marks the fourth time Huntey has received the honor this season as she also earned the nod the first week of the season and in three subsequent weeks (Sept. 7, Sept. 26, Oct. 15).

*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. The Bulldogs have lost just two sets all year inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena during home match play in 2011.

* 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.

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