Bulldog Volleyball Visits GVSU For Tuesday Night Match

Ferris State at Grand Valley State
Tuesday, Sept. 25
7 p.m. (ET)

Live Bulldog Sports Network Audio Broadcast      
Live GVSU Video Webcast     
Live GameTracker Statistics      
Live Facebook Scoring Updates     
Live Twitter Scoring Updates     

*The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team visits archrival Grand Valley State on Tuesday, Sept. 25, for a 7 p.m. (ET) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) match inside the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale, Mich.

*Live Radio Broadcast: Tuesday's match will be broadcast live by the Bulldog Sports Network and flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley calling the play-by-play action and Dominic Hennig offering color commentary along with sideline reporting.  Pre-match coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. (ET) with the Meijer Pregame Show leading up to first serve at 7 p.m. (ET) from Allendale.  Fans can listen online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

*Media Coverage: In addition to the live local radio and online broadcast, fans can also follow GameTracker live internet statistics in addition to a live video webcast offered by GVSU.  Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for links to all available coverage.

* Ticket Information: Tickets for Tuesday's match will be sold at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena prior to the start of the match.  For more information on volleyball ticket sales, please call (616) 331-3200.

*The 40th Season: The 2012 campaign represents Ferris State's 40th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 844-468 (.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.  Tuesday's match marks the Bulldogs' 1,313th all-time match.

*2012 Record: Ferris State is currently 9-3 overall and 3-1 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 460-187 (.711) career record.  She holds a record of 342-167 (.672) 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 swept two league home matches at the Ewigleben Sports Arena this past weekend (Sept. 21-22) as FSU dominated conference newcomers Walsh and Malone by identical 3-0 scores.

*Diggin On Pink: Six seasons ago, the Ferris State women's volleyball team began wearing pink uniforms during a single home match to honor and support breast cancer research. This past Saturday's (Sept. 22) match against Malone served as this year's 'Diggin On Pink match and helped kickoff "Paint Big Rapids Pink", which is a month-long community event to help support breast cancer research thru the Susan P. Wheatlake Foundation.

*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 (Portage/Central) both were recognized.

*National Rankings: Ferris State is currently ranked 22nd 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.  The Bulldogs moved up two spots this week after a pair of wins over the weekend.

*Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs continue a three-match road swing this week as they travel to Ohio for two league road contests.  FSU visits Tiffin on Friday (Sept. 28) for a 7 p.m. (ET) match.  FSU then heads to Columbus to face Ohio Dominican on Saturday (Sept. 29) with match time set for 1 p.m. (ET).

*Continuing To Climb: Senior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) currently ranks fourth in school history with 3,952 career assists and needs 459 more to catch former Bulldog Ashley Green's third-place career total fo 4,411 total assists.  She's 48 shy of notching her 4,000th career assist heading into Tuesday's match.

*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 312-83 (.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, which has accumulated six undefeated home seasons in the facility, produced a 15-1 home ledger in 2011. Overall, Ferris is 165-43 (.793) 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 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 (Alma) 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.

*Bulldog Bites: Junior setter Samantha Fordyce leads the team in assists with 419 total helpers thus far in the season … Ferris State has 523 total kills while opponents are currently at 524 kills … Defensively, the Bulldogs have racked up 97.5 total blocks, 33 block solos and 129 block assists … Junior middle hitter Angi Kent has a team-leading 39 total blocks of which 38 are assisted efforts … Junior libero Brandie Merren (Hopkins) has 207 digs for the 2012 campaign and is averaging 4.77 digs per set.

*Productive Span: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches 10 times under 17th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs have reached the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament seven times in that span and advanced to the GLIAC Tournament the last 14 consecutive years to date.

*Key Statistics: Ferris State leads the GLIAC in attack percentage to date with a .272 hitting figure thus far this season ...... Bulldog senior Anne Sutton tops the conference chart with a league-leading .427 hitting figure ...... Brandie Merren is third in the league in digs (4.77 p/set) with Samantha Fordyce ranked fifth in assists (9.74 p/set).

*Tuesday's Opposition:

Grand Valley State: Grand Valley State owns a 58-42 lead over Ferris State in the all-time series. The Bulldogs swept the Lakers twice by identical 3-0 scores in the 2011 campaign, including the final showdown in Allendale (10/2/11). Overall, the Bulldogs are 17-21 at home and 27-37 on the road versus GVSU in the all-time history. Grand Valley State is currently 9-3 overall and 2-2 in the GLIAC this campaign.  This is the 17th season as the Grand Valley State head coach for Deanne Scanlon.

Divisional Tilt: Tuesday's match is an important divisional tilt for the Bulldogs.  Currently, Northwood tops the North Division with a 4-0 league mark and is followed closely by Northern Michigan and FSU with identical 3-1 records.  GVSU is next in line with a 2-2 ledger in league play to date.

First Of Two Meetings: Tuesday's showdown will be the first of two regular-season matchups between the rivalry foes this season.  The Lakers will make a return trip to Big Rapids to face the Bulldogs on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. (ET) inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena.

Common Foes: The Bulldogs and Lakers have faced four common foes this season, all of which have came in league play the last two weeks.  FSU fell to Northwood 3-2 and swept Hillsdale by a 3-0 score in opening league weekend play (Sept. 14-15) while the Lakers lost to both on the road by 3-1 results.  This past weekend (Sept. 21-22), Ferris State beat Walsh and Malone by 3-0 sweeps in Big Rapids with the Lakers also beating both teams by identical 3-1 scores in Allendale.

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