Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University volleyball program has began preparations for the 2018 campaign as FSU officially reported for the start of preseason workouts this week.
The Bulldogs held their first practice and training session on Monday morning in Big Rapids following initial testing and official check-in activities.
Along with the normal preseason practices, the squad will also participate in several scrimmages before camp comes to a close. Team meetings, presentations and conditioning are also part of the various scheduled preseason activities for both squads.
The Bulldog volleyball squad, which is the four-time defending Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Regular Season and Tournament Champion, was chosen first in the 2018 GLIAC Preseason Coaches Poll.
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.