September 6, 2012

FSU Volleyball Notes: #19 FSU at Minnesota-Duluth Classic (Sept. 7-8)

at Minnesota-Duluth Classic (Sept. 7-8)
Romano Gymnasium
Duluth, Minn.

vs. Minnesota-Crookston

Friday, Sept. 7 - 2 p.m. (ET)

vs. Bemidji State (Minn.)
Friday, Sept. 7 - 6 p.m. (ET)

vs. Minnesota-Duluth
Saturday, Sept. 8 - 12 p.m. (ET)

vs. Erskine (S.C.)
Saturday, Sept. 8 - 4 p.m. (ET)

*The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team continues its 40th year of intercollegiate competition this weekend (Sept. 7-8) as the Bulldogs take part in the 2012 Minnesota-Duluth Classic in Duluth, Minn.  FSU is slated to face Minnesota-Crookston, Bemidji State, host Minnesota-Duluth and Erskine (S.C.) in the two-day event.  A total of six teams are in the field with each playing three or four matches.

*Media Coverage: Live stats and live video are currently slated to be available for the Minnesota-Duluth Classic. For a complete listing of links as they become available, visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

*The 40th Season: The 2012 campaign represents Ferris State's 40th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 838-466 (.643). Since the program's inception in 1973, the Bulldogs have won 10 GLIAC titles, qualified 16 times for the NCAA-II Tournament and registered 32 winning seasons.

*2012 Record: Ferris State is currently 3-1overall and 0-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division to date.

*The Coaches: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990) is midst her 17th year at Ferris State. Brandel-Wilhelm holds a career record of 336-165 (.671). Brandel-Wilhelm enters the 2012 campaign as Ferris State's all-time winningest coach. She became the program's fifth head coach in June 1996.

*Ferris State Invitational: The Bulldogs officially opened the 2012 campaign by posting a 3-1 mark in the season-opening Ferris State Invitational held last weekend (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Complex.  FSU recorded wins over Alderson-Broaddus (W.Va.), West Virginia State and Clarion (Pa.), but fell to Mercyhurst by a narrow 3-2 count.  A total of nine teams took part in the two-day event with 18 matches contested on two courts.

*All-Tourney Honors: Two Bulldog players claimed all-tournament team honors after their efforts at the Ferris State Invitational this past weekend.  Senior middle hitter Anne Sutton (Grand Rapids/Northview) and junior middle hitter Angi Kent (Lansing/Waverly) both were among the 12 individuals named to the all-tournament squad for their efforts.

*National Rankings: Ferris State is currently ranked 19th nationally this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II National Poll.  FSU, which was ranked 14th in the preseason poll, dropped five spots but is the only GLIAC member school found in the top 25 nationally.

*We Meet Again: Friday's first match at the Minnesota-Duluth Classic will pit the Bulldogs and head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm against one of her former assistant coaches in Lee Anderson, who is now the head coach for the Golden Eagles.  Anderson was a Bulldog assistant coach in 2003 and 2004.  He helped his squad to a 3-1 mark last weekend in a return to Big Rapids at the Ferris State Invitational.

*Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs open GLIAC play on the road next weekend as FSU visits Northwood on Friday (Sept. 14) before heading to Hillsdale on Saturday (Sept. 15).  The Bulldogs' next home matches are on Sept. 21-22 when they host league newcomers Walsh and Malone, respectively.

*2012 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Poll: Ferris State was selected first in the 2012 GLIAC Preseason North Division Coaches Poll. The Bulldogs captured 10 first-place votes and 211 total points as the favorite in the 16-team league.  FSU, which won the GLIAC North Division a year ago, was tabbed to finish ahead of defending conference tournament champion Hillsdale.  The Chargers came in second with 193 points and three first-place votes.

*2012 FSU Roster: Ferris State's 2012 active roster includes six seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and six freshmen. Seven of the 18 players are middle hitters, seven are outside hitters and the four others fill the squad's setter, defensive specialist and libero roles.  All but two members of the team are from Michigan.

*Ewigleben Sports Arena: The Bulldogs have compiled a 310-83 (.789) 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, which has accumulated six undefeated home seasons in the facility, produced a 15-1 home ledger in 2011. Overall, Ferris is 163-43 (.791) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

*2011 Record: The Bulldogs won the GLIAC North Division Championship while also reaching the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals in 2011 with a 27-4 overall record.  Ferris State finished as league co-champions after posting an 18-1 conference mark under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs appeared in their 14th straight GLIAC Tournament a season ago.

*All-Conference Returners: Ferris State has three All-GLIAC performers from last season's squad returning. Senior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) and senior middle hitter Anne Sutton were chosen as first team All-GLIAC picks a year ago while sophomore middle hitter Courtney Rehm earned second team status and was the GLIAC's Freshman of the Year.  Meanwhile, senior outside hitter Aly Brecht wan an honorable mention choice a year ago.

*Yearbook Available Online: The 2012 Ferris State University Women's Yearbook will be available to view online in a PDF format this week. The publication features such information as 2012 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2011 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc.

*This Week's Opposition:

Minnesota-Crookston: FSU owns a 1-0 all-time series' edge over Minnesota-Crookston by virtue of a 3-0 sweep in 2009.  The Golden Eagles are led by a former Ferris State assistant coach in Lee Anderson, who's in his sixth season at the helm.  He has guided his team to a 3-1 start this year with all four matches taking place last weekend in Big Rapids at the Ferris State Invitational.

Bemidji State: Friday's matchup will represent the Bulldogs' first-ever contest against Bemidji State.  The Beavers are 1-3 on the season after taking part in the Pittsburg State Gorilla Classic last weekend.  Wayne Chadwick enters his third season at the helm and is looking to build off a 6-22 finish a year ago.

Minnesota-Duluth: Ferris State owns a current 7-6 overall series' record against its Bulldog counterparts.  Minnesota-Duluth is ranked sixth nationally this week in the AVCA Division II Top 25 poll and coming off a 3-0 sweep of unbeaten Northern Michigan earlier this week at home.  They are unbeaten to date at 5-0 this campaign under 11th-year head coach Jim Boos.

Erskine (S.C.): The Bulldogs have never faced Erskine to date in school history.  The Flying Fleet will open their 2012 campaign at the Minnesota-Duluth Classic.  The program was resurrected only three years ago, but has reached the conference postseason tournament each of the last three years under head coach Heather Vahjen.