Weekly Release #12: Ferris Visits Grand Valley State For GLIAC Tourney Quarterfinals

November 6, 2005

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    FSU Volleyball FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team will square off against nationally-ranked West Michigan archrival Grand Valley State Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the quarterfinal round of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament. Match time is set for 7 p.m. (EST) in GVSU’s Fieldhouse Arena at Allendale, Mich.

    Ferris Beats GVSU: Ferris registered an impressive 3-0 triumph over Grand Valley State in its regular-season finale last Friday (Nov. 4) before a standing room only crowd in FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena at Big Rapids, Mich. FSU, which is currently 22-8 overall and 12-6 in league play this campaign, has won 16 of its last 21 outings to date this campaign.

    Ticket Information: Tickets for Wednesday’s match at GVSU can be obtained by contacting the Grand Valley State Athletics Ticket Office at (616) 331-8800.

    GLIAC Tourney Info: FSU, which will be making its eighth consecutive conference tournament appearance, won last season’s conference tourney championship. Ferris also previously claimed runner-up honors in 1998, 1999 and 2001. In seven all-time tournament appearances, Ferris has posted a 9-6 overall mark. Last season, the Bulldogs recorded a 3-1 quarterfinal round win over Northern Michigan (11/10/04) at Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris then beat Ashland 3-1 (11/13/04) and GVSU 3-0 (11/14/04) in the semifinals and finals, respectively, to win the crown in Allendale, Mich. FSU advanced to the 2001 GLIAC Tournament Championship match (11/10/01) for the third time in four years and dropped a 3-0 decision to Northwood at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich. The tournament returns to campus sites this season for the second year in a row.

    GLIAC Semifinals/Finals: The top four teams will host quarterfinal-round action Wednesday in the 11th annual postseason tournament with the top remaining seed selected to host the semifinals/finals Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13. The Bulldogs are the North Division’s fourth overall seed while GVSU is the top seed in the division and would host the semifinals/finals with a win over FSU.

    The Tourney Field: The other quarterfinal round matches include Northern Michigan (#3 North) at Northwood (#2 North), Ashland (#1 South) hosting Wayne State (#4 South) and Hillsdale (#3 South) at Findlay (#2 South). The top three teams in each division plus the next two best overall teams advanced to the tournament. The winners of Wednesday’s matches will be reseeded prior to Saturday’s semifinals. The winner of Sunday's championship match receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament slated for Nov. 17-19 at a campus site to be determined.

    Last Season: Ferris State claimed its ninth GLIAC Championship in 2004 after winning the league’s annual postseason tournament for the first time ever. FSU concluded the 2004 campaign with a 25-7 overall record and a second place 14-4 GLIAC North Division mark. The Bulldogs also advanced to the NCAA-II National Tournament for the 12th time in school history.

    The 33rd Season: The 2004 campaign marks the 33rd season of FSU women’s volleyball. Since the program’s inception in 1972, the Bulldogs have compiled a 714-405 (.638) overall record. Ferris has won nine GLIAC titles, made 12 NCAA-II Tournament appearances and registered 25 winning seasons in its previous 32 campaigns. The Bulldogs notched the program’s 700th all-time victory this year with a win over Bellarmine (Sept. 9).

    GLIAC Preseason Poll: FSU was picked to finish fourth in the 2005 GLIAC Volleyball Coaches Preseason North Division Poll as announced by the league office. The Bulldogs totaled 26 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's head coaches. A year ago, Ferris also took fourth place in the preseason coaches poll with 26 points. Grand Valley State was the favorite to repeat as regular-season divisional champion as the Lakers recorded 31 points along with three first-place votes. Findlay, which tied for second place in the South Division last campaign, received 23 points and three first-place votes in being selected this year’s favorite. Northwood and Northern Michigan were chosen second and third, respectively, in the North Division poll.

    FSU Drops From Rankings: The Bulldogs are not ranked in the latest (Oct. 31) 2005 CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll announced by the AVCA. The current poll marks the first time the Bulldogs haven’t been ranked all season although Ferris is listed third among the other schools receiving votes with seven points. FSU registered 46 total points in the balloting process and was ranked 25th last week (Oct. 24). Ferris concluded the 2004 campaign ranked 20th in the AVCA's final regular-season poll. The only GLIAC school currently featured in the poll is 18th-ranked Grand Valley State. Ferris was ranked 17th in the organization’s 2005 preseason national poll and ranked as high as 13th earlier this season (Sept. 6).

    The Head Coach: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm presently ranks second among Ferris’ all-time coaching victory leaders. Brandel-Wilhelm, who has a current 330-124 (.727) career mark, is 212-104 (.671) in her 10th season at Ferris. A 1990 Alma graduate, Brandel-Wilhelm guided the Bulldogs to NCAA-II Tournament appearances in 1999, 2002 and 2004. Brandel-Wilhelm was voted the GLIAC’s Coach of the Year in 2002. She registered her 200th win at the Bulldog helm with a victory Sept. 10 over Edinboro (Pa.) at the Findlay (Ohio) TownPlace Suites Classic.

    Bulldog Captains: Senior setter Emily Clouse (Tiffin, Ohio/Bascom Hopewell-Loudon), senior libero Brittny Godlewski (St. Clair Township/Marysville) and junior outside hitter Danielle Baucher (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) were named tri-captains for the 2005 campaign. Baucher had 416 digs and added 340 kills in 2004. Clouse totaled 572 assists and 220 digs while Godlewski chipped in 396 digs last year.

    The FSU Roster: Ferris’ 2005 active roster includes five seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and seven freshmen. Eight of the 19 players are outside hitters, seven are middle hitters, and four others fill the squad’s setter, defensive specialist and libero roles. Emily Clouse (Ohio) is the only squad member not from the state of Michigan. The Bulldogs' current roster is the program's second-largest in school history behind last season's roster of 20 players.

    FSU Notes: FSU is 22-1 when registering more kills than its opponent this season ........... Ferris is 9-4 in Friday matches and 11-2 in Saturday encounters to date this campaign ......... The Bulldogs have compiled a 74-13 (.851) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 campaign ...... Ferris has posted a lower hitting percentage than its opponent in each of its eight losses this season ........ FSU holds a 22-0 mark when compiling a higher attack percentage than its opponent this year. The Bulldogs are 12-0 overall to date when their opponent hits less than .100 for the match.

    Bulldog Success: The Bulldogs’ current 22-8 mark this season assures themselves of recording the program’s eighth consecutive winning campaign. This season marks the 25th-straight year the Bulldogs have registered double-figure wins. The last time FSU failed to record at least 10 victories was in 1980 (5-21).

    Godlewski Now Second: Ferris’ Brittny Godlewski currently has 1,409 career digs and ranks seocnd all-time in school history. She is only 60 shy of Janna Biggs’ (1985-88) school-record total of 1,469 digs. Godlewski registered her 1,400th career dig in last Friday’s match versus GVSU.

    Baucher Nearing Mark: FSU’s Danielle Baucher has registered at least 10 kills and 10 digs in 18 of her last 19 outings this campaign. She has 987 kills to date and is 13 shy of becoming the 14th player in school history to join the 1,000 career kills club. Baucher, who earlier this season became the program’s 10th member of the 1,000 digs club, would also become only the sixth player in Bulldog history to record both 1,000 career kills and digs.

    The FSU Tradition: Ferris has won 20 or more matches seven times under 10th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 179-74 (.708) over the past eight years (1998-05) and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament three times in that span. FSU has advanced to the GLIAC Tournament eight consecutive years (1998-05) to date.

    Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 626-294 (.680) overall since 1981 and sports a 404-235 (.632) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. The Bulldogs are currently 6-4 in road matches this season after posting a 8-2 mark on the road last campaign.

    Senior Day: Last Friday’s match versus GVSU was the school’s annual Senior Day contest as middle hitters Lauren Heine (Ypsilanti), Becky Thurau (Troy/Birmingham Groves), setter Emily Clouse, outside hitter Sarah Miller (Bay City/John Glenn) along with libero Brittny Godlewski were all honored prior to their final regular-season home encounters.

    Bulldog Quick Notes: Sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea) has compiled 10 kills or more 11 times in her last 16 outings this season after having done so only twice in the initial 14 matches this year ......... Emily Clouse is currently five digs shy of recording her 600th career dig ......... Brittny Godlewski’s 439 digs to date this campaign are the school’s most in a season since Sheri (Maus) Harris netted 498 in 1998 ....... Becky Thurau needs 25 kills to notch her 700th career kill.

    Bulldog Bites: This season marks the second consecutive year the Bulldogs will face the same opponent they concluded the regular-season with in the opening round of the conference tournament. Last year (2004), the Bulldogs suffered a 3-2 setback to Northern Michigan (11/6) in the regular-season finale before bouncing back to beat the Wildcats 3-1 in the GLAIC Tourney quarterfinals (11/10). Both matches were held in Big Rapids ...... Ferris is currently 13-0 this season versus teams entering the match with a .500 record or less this year ........ The Bulldogs are presently 20-1 overall when winning the opening game of a match this season.

    Another Great Year: Ferris' current 22-8 overall record this season represents the school's seventh 20-win campaign in the last eight seasons to date. The Bulldogs, who have recorded at least 20 victories in a season 18 times, have won at least 10 matches in each of their last 25 campaigns dating back to 1981. The 1984 FSU squad won a NCAA-II record 46 consecutive matches en route to a school-best 48-3 overall mark.

    Regional Information: Three automatic and five at-large bids will be awarded in the region, which consists of the GLIAC, Great Lakes Valley (GLVC) and West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conferences (WVIAC), for the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament set to be held Nov. 17-19 at a campus site to be determined. The official tournament parings and site are slated to be released Sunday, Nov. 13. FSU is ranked ninth in the latest (Nov. 2) regional rankings with GVSU second.

    A Look At The Opponent:

    Grand Valley State: Ferris and Grand Valley State have met 85 times before with GVSU holding a 45-40 series advantage. The Lakers registered a 3-2 triumph earlier this season (Oct. 11) in Allendale, Mich. FSU has won three of the last four meetings, including a 3-0 victory in the 2004 GLIAC Tournament Championship match (11/14/04) at Allendale. Ferris head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 8-13 career coaching record against Grand Valley State. GVSU, which has won 10 of the last 16 series contests, holds a 29-25 all-time record versus FSU in Allendale and a 16-15 edge at Big Rapids, Mich. Grand Valley State compiled a 27-7 overall record in 2004, including a first-place 16-2 GLIAC North Division finish and a berth in the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament. The Lakers, who are coached by 11th-year head coach Deanne Scanlon, fell to 23-6 overall and 15-3 in GLIAC action this season after last Friday’s loss. GVSU, which has won 13 of its last 15 outings to date this season, was picked to finish first in the 2005 GLIAC North Division Preseason Poll.

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