Photo: Former & Current Players pose for a group photo at Friday's banquet
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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's volleyball program celebrated 40 years of success by holding a "40th Anniversary Celebration" this past weekend.
The festivities kicked off with a special banquet on Friday evening at CK's Place in Big Rapids followed by an alumni scrimmage on Saturday morning inside the Ewiglebe Sports Complex.
"It was a great weekend and a chance for everyone to catch up with each other again," said FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. "We've had some big moments in 40 years of Ferris State Volleyball and there's a special connection among all the former players and coaches. Once you're a Bulldog, you're always a Bulldog."
Since the program's inception in 1972, the Bulldogs have compiled 32 winning seasons, 16 NCAA Tournament appearances and 10 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships. FSU has posted an all-time record of 819-452 (65%) since the program's inception in 1973.
Friday evening's banquet included comments from Brandel-Wilhelm along with current FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger, former Athletic Director Dean Davenport, longtime supporter and ex-football coach Bob Leach along with Will Goode, who serves as Ferris State's Athletic Advancement Officer and coordinated the banquet.
Former players and coaches took time to chat with each other, look over memorabilia such as trophies, jerseys and photos along with taking the opportunity to pose for group photos. Many also took part in the alumni scrimmage on Saturday.
"It was a memorable weekend for everyone and a great time to see each other again," said Brandel-Wilhelm.
Ferris State, which is the defending GLIAC North Division Champion, officially opens its 2012 volleyball season on Friday, Aug. 31, with a pair of non-conference matches at the Ferris State Invitational in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs host Alderson-Broaddus (W.Va.) and Mercyhurst in their first two matches of the tournament. FSU then concludes tourney play on Saturday, Sept. 1, with contests against West Virginia State and Clarion (Pa.).
FSU compiled a 27-4 overall record in 2011 and won the GLIAC North Division Championship while also reaching the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals. The Bulldogs finished as league co-champions after posting an 18-1 conference mark.