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Big Rapids, Mich. - After a successful start to the 2013 campaign last weekend, the Ferris State University women's volleyball team has vaulted into the nation's top 25 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Top 25 poll.
The Bulldogs are ranked 23rd nationally this week with 126 total points following a 3-1 start in their own Ferris State Invitational held at the Ewigleben Sports Complex last Friday and Saturday (Sept. 6-7).
In this week's poll, the Bulldogs are the lone Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) team found in the top 25 overall.
The University of Tampa ranks first nationally this week with 1,173 total points and 36 first-place votes followed by Minnesota-Dulth, Nebraska-Kearney, Concordia-St. Paul and BYU-Hawaii in the top five overall.
Along with Ferris State, five teams from the GLIAC are among those receiving votes just outside of the top 25, including Grand Valley State, Wayne State, Findlay, Northwood and Northern Michigan.
FSU posted 3-0 shutout wins over California (Pa.), Missouri-St. Louis and Cedarville last weekend. The Bulldogs lone loss was a 3-1 decision to Washburn (Kan.), which is ranked sixth in the country this week.
This weekend, the Bulldogs will take part in the Petty Martin Challenge hosted by Central Missouri on Friday and Saturday (Sept. 13-14) in Warrensburg, Mo. FSU will face Winona State (Minn.) in the opening match on Friday starting at 1 p.m. (ET).
Following the Winona State match, the Bulldogs square off against host and nationally seventh-ranked Central Missouri on Friday evening at 7 p.m. (ET). The Bulldogs then will battle Pittsburg State (Kan.) and Emporia State (Kan.) on Saturday at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.
FSU opens GLIAC action at home next week against Northwood (Sept. 20) and Hillsdale (Sept. 21) at the Ewigleben Sports Arena.
Ferris State wrapped up the 2012 campaign with a 24-8 overall record and reached the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals for the second consecutive year. FSU also posted a 16-2 mark in GLIAC play and came within a single victory of claiming a second-straight conference championship. The Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament three of the last four years to date.
FSU is guided by head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, who is midst her 18th year at the Bulldog helm and 21st season overall as a collegiate head coach.