November 15, 2011

Volleyball Notes: NCAA Tourney (Nov. 18-20)

THIS WEEK:

NCAA Division II Midwest Region Quarterfinal
vs. Saginaw Valley State

Friday, November 18 - 2:30 p.m. (EDT)
Jesse Philips Arena - Hillsdale, Mich.

Live on Sunny 97.3 FM & Bulldog Sports Network
Pre-match coverage starts @ 2 p.m. (ET)
Live Bulldog Sports Network Audio Broadcast
Live Hillsdale Video Webcast
Live Internet Statistics
Live Facebook Scoring Updates
Live Twitter Scoring Updates

*The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team will be making its first NCAA Division II Regional Tournament appearance since 2009 and will take on fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) foe Saginaw Valley State on Friday (Nov. 18) in a 2:30 p.m. (EDT) regional quarterfinal match at Jesse Philips Arena in Hillsdale, Mich.

*Ticket Information: Tickets will be $10 for adults and $3 for students. Those prices will get fans into all matches for one day of competition. There will be no weekend passes for sale. Fan who want to attend multiple days of competition will have to buy a new ticket on the second day, and another new one on the third day.

*Media Coverage: Friday's contest will be carried live locally by the Bulldogs Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley handling the play-by-play duties. The broadcast begins with the "Meijer Bulldog Pregame Show" starting at 2 p.m. (ET) and will also be available online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com. The Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM will also continue to carry FSU's matches should the Bullldogs continue to advance in the regional. Hillsdale will provide live internet statistics and a live video webcast of all matches.  All links will be available at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

*39th Season: The 2011 campaign represents Ferris State's 39th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 834-464 (.656). Since the program's inception in 1972, the Bulldogs have won 10 GLIAC titles, qualified 16 times for the NCAA-II Tournament and registered 32 winning seasons.

*2011 Record: Ferris State currently maintains a 26-3 overall record and was 18-1 in the GLIAC during regular-season action en route to winning the league's North Division and finishing as conference co-champions.

*Last Weekend: The Bulldogs earned runner-up honors in the GLIAC Tournament last week.  FSU topped Wayne State by a 3-0 score in Thursday's (Nov. 10) quarterfinals at home.  The top-seeded Bulldogs then hosted the semifinals and finals at the Ewigleben Sports Arena.  FSU defeated fourth-seeded Ashland 3-0 in Saturday's (Nov. 12) semifinals before falling to nationally eighth-ranked and second-seeded Hillsdale by a 3-0 score in the championship match on Sunday (Nov. 13).

*The Coach: Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990) is midst her 16th year at Ferris State. Brandel-Wilhelm holds a FSU coaching record of 332-136 (.669) and is 447-182 (.709) overall as a collegiate coach. Brandel-Wilhelm became the program's all-time winningest coach with last Thursday's (Nov. 10) 3-0 GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal home win over Wayne State. She became the program's fifth head coach in June 1996. Brandel-Wilhelm was named the 2011 GLIAC Coach of The Year.

*NCAA Tourney History: Ferris State will be making its first NCAA-II Regional appearance since 2009 (Nov. 9) when the Bulldogs dropped a 3-0 decision to Lewis (Ill.) to Indianapolis, Ind.  FSU's upcoming regional appearance will represent the program's 16th all-time as the Bulldogs have compiled a 7-16 overall record in NCAA Tournament competition.

*The Regional Tourney: Nationally eighth-ranked Hillsdale was chosen as the top seed and will host the regional tournament from Friday to Sunday (Nov. 18-20).  Semifinals will take place on Saturday night with the championship match on Sunday. The field features five teams from the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) and three from the GLIAC. The winners of each of the 2011 eight regionals will advance to the national finals (Dec. 1-3) which will be conducted on the campus of a participating institution.

*FSU vs. Saginaw Valley State: Ferris State holds a 52-12 all-times series' edge against the Cardinals. The Bulldogs are 28-5 at home and 25-7 when facing SVSU on the road in University Center. The two teams have met twice this season with Ferris State coming away with the win in both contests by identical 3-0 scores. This is the ninth season at the helm for Saginaw Valley State women's volleyball head coach Will Stanton. SVSU ended the 2011 season with a 18-10 overall record, and a 15-4 conference mark.  In the GLIAC tournament, SVSU fell to Hillsdale in a 3-1 (25-17, 3-25, 25-21, 25-13) semifinal decision in Big Rapids after topping Grand Valley State 3-0 at home in the quarterfinal round.

*Scouting the Cardinals  Senior outside hitter Annie Buxton and senior middle hitter Katie Fitzgerald both made the All-GLIAC First-team. Senior libero Laura Ward was a 2011 All-GLIAC Honorable Mention pick while senior middle hitter Becky Schroeder was named to the 2011 GLIAC All-Tournament Team. Buxton leads the Cardinals with 409 digs and is averaging 3.82 digs per set. Junior setter Same Breault has totaled 928 of the team's 1187 assists. Katie Fitzgerald leads the team defensively with 86 total blocks, including 11 block solos and 75 block assists.

*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 climbed the 11th spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II national rankings this week. FSU had been ranked 11th earlier this year (10/3, 10/17 and 10/24) before being ranked 13th and then moving back up to 12th most recently. The 11th-place national ranking for FSU this season is the highest ranking for the Bulldogs in 20 years.

*GLIAC All-Tournament Team: Senior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) and junior middle hitter Anne Sutton (Grand Rapids/Northview) received 2011 GLIAC All-Tournament Team honors for their performance last weekend as FSU hosted the GLIAC Semifinals and Finals at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena.

*GLIAC Award Recipients: FSU senior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) was voted as GLIAC Libero of the year and became the program's all-time career digs leader this season. She's both a three-time All-GLIAC and GLIAC All-Academic Team selection. Meanwhile, freshman middle hitter Courtney Rehm (Portage/Central) was honored with the GLIAC Freshman of the Year Award. In her impressive rookie campaign, she wrapped up the regular-season ranked third in blocks among the GLIAC leaders and has recorded a team-high 93 total blocks. Rehm also is hitting a squad second-best .337 on the year.

*GLIAC Award Recipients: Junior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) joined teammates Ashley Huntey and Anne Sutton as All-GLIAC First Team selections last week. Freshman Courtney Rehm and senior Lisa Tobiczyk were both picked for the 2011 All-GLIAC Second Team. Finally, junior Aly Brecht (Alma) was named as an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention student-athlete. FSU's Tia Brandel-Wilhelm was tabbed as the 2011 GLIAC Coach of the Year.

*Academic All-District: Senior Ashley Huntey and junior Anne Sutton have both been named to the 2011 Capital One Division II All-District First Team.  They were among six players named to the first team and are now eligible to receive Capital One Academic All-America accolades as determined by sports information directors from across the country.

*Daktronics All-Region: The Bulldogs have four of the 14 Daktronics all-region selections announced this week in voting by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) members.  Ashley Huntey and Lisa Tobiczyk were tabbed as first-team picks while both Anne Sutton and Samantha Fordyce garnered all-region second team laurels.

*Bulldog Bites: FSU's Ashley Huntey reached 1,000 kills in FSU's most recent match against Saginaw Valley State to become only the seventh player in Bulldog history to notch both 1,000 career kills and digs … Huntey has 380 kills on the season .... Setter Samantha Fordyce leads the team in assists with 1,117 total helpers this season and is averaging 11.2 assists per set. Fordyce is currently fifth among all-time Bulldog assists leaders … Ferris State has 1,315 total kills while opponents are currently at 1,224 kills … Defensively, the Bulldogs have racked up 230.0 total blocks with 95 block solos and 270 block assists. They are averaging 2.3 blocks per set … Freshman Courtney Rehm leads the Bulldogs in blocks with  98 on the season, including 18 solo blocks and 80 block assists … Five Bulldogs have posted triple-digit dig counts this season, including senior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (472), Ashley Huntey (312), Brandie Merren (187) and Samantha Fordyce (203). Junior outside hitter Aly Brecht has 154 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 307-82 (.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 and suffered its lone home setback against Hillsdale in the GLIAC Tournament Championship Match this past Sunday. Overall, Ferris is 160-42 (.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 returned three All-GLIAC performers from last season's squad entering this season. Senior libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) and senior outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) both received second team recognition a year ago. Junior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) was named on the honorable mention team in 2010.

*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.

Here are the quarterfinal-round pairing for the 2011 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament:

Midwest Region
Hosted by Hillsdale – Nov. 18-20

Quarterfinals - Friday, Nov. 18
No. 3 Indianapolis (21-7) vs. No. 6 Southern Indiana (20-10) - - 12 p.m.
No. 2 Ferris State (26-3) vs. No. 7 Saginaw Valley (18-10) - - 2:30 p.m.
No. 4 Northern Kentucky (25-5) vs. No. 5 Lewis (25-5) - - 5 p.m.
No. 1 Hillsdale (27-2) vs. No. 8 Missouri S&T (24-9) - - 7:30 p.m.

Semifinals - Saturday, Nov. 19
5:00 – 3/6 winner vs. 2/7 winner
7:30 – 1/8 winner vs. 4/5 winner

Championship - Sunday, Nov. 20
4:00 – championship match

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