Friday, Sept. 21 - 7 p.m. (ET)
Saturday, Sept. 22 - 3 p.m. (ET)
*The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team continues its 40th year of intercollegiate competition this weekend as the Bulldogs play two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home matches inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena. FSU hosts league newcomer Walsh on Friday (Sept. 21) evening at 7 p.m. (ET) with another new conference opponent in Malone slated to visit on Saturday (Sept. 22) for a 3 p.m. (ET) match.
*Paint Big Rapids Pink: Ferris State will help "Paint Big Rapids Pink" by kicking off the annual month-long community event that benefits the Susan P. Wheatlake Women's Cancer and Wellness Fund and recognizes Breast Health Awareness Month on Saturday. Bulldog Volleyball starts the action with a Diggin' on Pink match against Malone at 3 p.m. (ET). It will be followed by the FSU football team's home contest versus Walsh at 7 p.m. (ET).
*Media Coverage: For a complete listing of links as they become available, visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Live stats will be available for all Bulldog home matches. Selected Ferris State home games will feature live video streaming for $7.95 a match.
* Ticket Information: Tickets for 2012 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.
*The 40th Season: The 2012 campaign represents Ferris State's 40th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 842-468 (.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 7-3 overall and 1-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division to date.
*The Coach: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990) is midst her 17th year at Ferris State. Brandel-Wilhelm ranks among the nation's top active coaches with a 458-187 (.710) career reocrd. She holds a record of 340-167 (.671) at the Bulldog helm. Brandel-Wilhelm entered the 2012 campaign as Ferris State's all-time winningest coach. She became the program's fifth head coach in June 1996.
*Last Weekend: The Bulldogs opened GLIAC action by splitting a pair of conference road contests last weekend. FSU took a two-set lead in Friday's (Sept. 14) league opener at Northwood before falling 3-2 in Midland. The Bulldogs rebounded to beat defending GLIAC South Division champion Hillsdale by a 3-0 count on Saturday (Sept. 15) at HC's Jesse Philips Arena.
*All-Tourney Honors: The Bulldogs had several players earn all-tournament team honors in two events to open the 2012 campaign. 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 Ferris State Invitational All-Tournament Team (Aug. 31-Sept. 1). Two FSU players claimed all-tournament team accolades the following week at the Minnesota-Duluth Classic (Sept. 7-8) as Sutton and sophomore outside hitter Courtney Rehm both were recognized.
*National Rankings: Ferris State is currently ranked 24th nationally this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II National Poll. FSU, which was ranked 14th in the preseason poll, is the only GLIAC member school found in the top 25 nationally.
*Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs have little time to rest as they will square off against archrival Grand Valley State on Tuesday (Sept. 25) evening in league action at GVSU's Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale. The match begins at 7 p.m. (ET). FSU then visits Tiffin and Ohio Dominican next Friday and Saturday (Setp. 28-29), respectively.
*Continuing To Climb: Senior setter Samantha Fordyce currently ranks fourth in school history with 3,880 career assists and needs 531 more to catch former Bulldog Ashley Green's third-place career total fo 4,411 total assists.
*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.
*GLIAC Standing/Schedule: Fans can view the complete 2012 GLIAC Standings for both the North and South Divisions along with a composite schedule on the GLIAC website at www.gliac.org.
*This Week's Opposition:
Walsh: The Cavaliers currently own a 3-4 overall record and are 1-1 in the GLIAC this season. They picked up their first-ever league victory with a 3-1 road win at Tiffin last Friday (Sept. 14) and are coming off a 3-0 home win over Alderson-Broaddus on Tuesday (Sept. 18). Head coach Erin Foster is midst her third season at the helm and directed Walsh to a 27-7 overall record a year ago.
Malone: Ferris State and Malone will meet for the first-time ever on Saturday. Malone, which visits Grand Valley State on Friday before facing FSU, is presently 6-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play heading into the weekend. The Pioneers won a pair of five-set matches to open league play last week with identical 3-2 wins at Tiffin and Ohio Dominican (Sept. 14-15). They also beat Indiana (Pa.) by a 3-0 decision at home on Tuesday (Sept. 18). Head coach Tanya Hockman is in her 14th season at the helm and led Malone to a 29-15 overall mark a year ago.
League Newcomers: Both Malone and Walsh are midst their first season in the GLIAC as part of a transition to NCAA Division II. They will play a full league schedule this campaign and be eligible for postseason competition in 2013-14.