Big Rapids, Mich. - The four-time defending league champion Ferris State University women's volleyball squad has been picked to repeat as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Champion as the Bulldogs were tabbed first today in the 2018 GLIAC Preseason Poll announced by the league office.
In the North Division volleyball poll, Ferris State tallied 61 points and 11 of a possible 12 first-place votes to finish atop the leaderboard. Michigan Tech was second with 49 points followed by Northern Michigan in third with 43 points. Northwood and Saginaw Valley State shared fourth place with 26 points followed by Lake Superior State in sixth place with 11 points.
In the South Division, Wayne State was chosen first (57) followed by Grand Valley State (52), Ashland (40), Davenport (30), Wisconsin-Parkside (26) and Purdue Northwest (11) rounding out the order.
Ferris State enters the 2017 campaign seeking a fifth consecutive GLIAC Regular Season and Tournament Championship. Expectations are high again for Ferris State Volleyball, which has captured four consecutive GLIAC regular season and tournament championships.
The Bulldogs made their seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament bid last fall and have advanced to at least the regional semifinals each of the last seven years. FSU's regional appearance last year represented the program's 22nd all-time NCAA bid.
In 2017, FSU closed the year with a 24-8 overall mark and also became the first school to ever win four consecutive league tourney crowns.
Last year also marked the 16th time in 22 seasons under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm in which FSU had claimed at least 20 victories in a campaign. The Bulldogs made their 20th consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance.
Ferris State will return seven letterwinners for the 2018 campaign, including two-time All-America outside hitter Allyson Cappel along with returning starters in setter Maeve Grimes in addition to Courtney Brewer and Katie Placek.
This fall's schedule is highlighted by the return of the season-opening Ferris State Invitational on Aug. 23-25 at the Ewigleben Sports Complex. FSU opens the season by hosting Upper Iowa on Thursday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. (ET). The Bulldogs then host Winona State (Minn.) and perennial national power Concordia-St. Paul on Friday, Aug. 24, at 12 and 6 p.m. (ET), respectively, before closing out the three-day event on Saturday, Aug. 25, against Hillsdale starting at 6 p.m.
In addition to the season-opening event, the Bulldogs will also make a trek to Florida over the Labor Day weekend to face strong competition in Drury (Mo.), Florida Southern, Rollins (Fla.) and Tampa before opening GLIAC action at home against Wisconsin-Parkside on Sept. 7.