Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's volleyball team, which captured the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship to advance to the Elite Eight this past fall, registered one of its highest final rankings in school history as the Bulldogs were recently listed 13th in the final 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II National Rankings.
The 13th-place national ranking in the AVCA poll ranks as the fifth-highest in the program's history since the poll was implemented in 1986. FSU previously finished sixth in 1987, ninth in 1986, 10th in 1990 and 12th in 2011. Overall, the Bulldogs have ranked among the nation's top 25 programs in the final poll nine times, including two of the last three years to date.
National Champion Concordia-St. Paul closed the 2013 season ranked first with Tampa second, national runner-up BYU-Hawaii third, Minnesota-Duluth fourth and West Texas A&M fifth. The Bulldogs were the highest ranked team from the Midwest Region with fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) rival and regional runner-up Grand Valley State one spot back in 14th place.
With the final ranking this year, the Bulldogs have now been ranked among the nation's top 25 teams a total of 113 weeks in school history, including 11 times this past fall. After not being ranked in the preseason poll, the Bulldogs climbed into the national rankings in early September and were ranked 10 consecutive weeks to end the campaign.
Ferris State closed a memorable 2013 campaign with a 25-9 overall record after nearly pulling off a major win over eventual national runner-up BYU-Hawaii in its first appearance deep on the national stage since the late 1980's. FSU, which made its 18th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance this past fall, claimed a regional crown to reach the Elite Eight and national quarterfinals for only the third time in school history and first since 1989.
This past year marked Ferris State's first regional championship since previously winning two back in 1987 and 1989. The Bulldogs reached at least the regional semifinals for the third year in a row and have now made the NCAA Tournament nine times under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, who led FSU to the Elite Eight for the first time in her tenure after notching her 500th career victory in an exciting 3-2 comeback win over archrival Grand Valley State in the Midwest Regional title match in Allendale.
The Bulldogs also placed tied for second this season in the GLIAC with a 15-3 overall record, reached the conference tournament for the 16th consecutive year and posted 20 wins or more for the 12th time in 18 seasons under Brandel-Wilhelm's direction.
Click Here For Final AVCA Division II National Poll