Weekly Release #2: Unbeaten Bulldogs Head To Amerihost-Grand Valley State Fall Classic

August 29, 2005

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    FSU Volleyball FSU Volleyball At A Glance: FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State women’s volleyball team, which is 5-0 overall this campaign, will take part in the Amerihost-Grand Valley State Fall Classic Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2-3, in Allendale, Mich. The Bulldogs will face non-conference foes Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.), Minnesota-Duluth, Central Washington and Arkansas Tech in the event.

    Big Weekend: The Bulldogs defeated West Virginia State last Thursday (Aug. 25) in their 2005 season opener and then won four consecutive matches in the annual FSU Holiday Inn Invitational held last Friday and Saturday (Aug. 26-27) at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Among Ferris' victories in the home invitational were a 3-2 victory over 24th-ranked Lock Haven (Pa.) Friday and a 3-1 triumph Saturday over previously unbeaten Seattle Pacific (Wash.). FSU was the only school of 10 teams participating in the event to finish with an unblemished record.

    Last Season: Ferris State claimed its ninth Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (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 697-397 (.637) overall record. Ferris has won nine GLIAC titles, made 12 NCAA-II Tournament appearances and registered 25 winning seasons in its previous 31 campaigns.

    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.

    Nationally-Ranked: The Bulldogs are ranked 17th overall in the 2005 CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll announced by the AVCA. FSU registered 295 total points in the balloting process and is among five conference schools listed in the top 25. Ferris concluded the 2004 campaign ranked 20th in the AVCA's final regular-season poll. In addition to FSU, the other GLIAC schools featured in the preseason poll include 11th-ranked Northern Michigan, Grand Valley State (14th), Northwood (16th) and Ashland (25th).

    All-Tourney Selections: Ferris State senior libero Brittny Godlewski (St. Clair Township/Marysville), junior outside hitter Danielle Baucher (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) and junior middle hitter Karla White (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) were among nine individuals named to the FSU Holiday Inn Invitational All-Tournament Team.

    1,000 Digs Club: Brittny Godlewski notched her 1,000th career dig in Friday's win over Lock Haven (Pa.). She ranks ninth to date on FSU's career digs chart and is eight digs away from tying Kelly Stosik (1,065; 1986-89) for eighth place on the school's all-time list.

    Another Good Start: The Bulldogs, who registered their best start in school history (10-0) in 2000, have now won their first four matches seven of the last eight years to date. The 2005 campaign marked the second-straight season in which the Bulldogs opened the year at home. Prior to last season, FSU had not played its season opener at home since 2001. Ferris improved to 27-6 (.818) all-time in season-opening encounters with last Thursday’s win, including a 9-1 mark under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs have won 14 of their last 16 season openers to date.

    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 313-116 (.730) career mark, is 195-96 (.670) in nine seasons 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.

    On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics’ official web site can be found at www.ferris.edu/sports. The site features information on all of FSU’s varsity athletics programs including rosters, statistics, yearbooks and more. The squad’s 2005 yearbook can also be found at the site.

    Great Run: Ferris has won 20 or more matches six times under 10th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 162-59 (.733) over the past seven years and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament three times in that span. FSU has advanced to the GLIAC Tournament seven consecutive years to date.

    Home Sweet Home: The Bulldogs improved to 28-0 in non-conference home outings during head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm's tenure with five victories last weekend. Overall, Ferris is 87-20 (.813) in home matches under Brandel-Wilhelm.

    Tough At Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 234-60 (.796) record to date in 24 seasons of competition at Ewigleben Sports Arena since moving from the Health and Physical Education (HPE) Building in 1981. Ferris, which has compiled six undefeated home seasons in the facility, registered a 12-3 mark at home in 2004.

    Big Numbers: Sixteen different FSU players saw action last weekend. The Bulldogs' current 19-player roster is the program's second-largest in school history behind last season’s roster of 20 players.

    Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 609-286 (.680) overall since 1981 and sports a 393-229 (.632) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. The Bulldogs were 5-2 in neutral site outings last campaign.

    Live Stats At Home: “Live Stats” of all remaining 2005 Ferris home matches will be provided in progress via the internet. Visit www.ferris.edu/sports and click on the “Live Stats” icon to access the “Live Stats” feature.

    Bulldog Quick Notes: FSU’s Danielle Baucher tied a personal career-high with 30 digs versus Wheeling Jesuit, which is the seventh highest single-match figure in Bulldog history. Baucher also recorded her 800th career dig in the match ..... Senior middle hitter Lauren Heine (Ypsilanti) needs 13 kills to notch her 500th career kill ......... Karla White is 25 kills away from compiling her 400th career kill ...... FSU’s 38 block assists versus Wheeling Jesuit are the second-highest figure since team statistics for the category began in 2000 ....... Ferris has won 17 of its last 19 outings dating back to last campaign.

    Tough Schedule: Seven of FSU’s opponents this season are ranked in the 2005 CSTV/AVCA Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll, including fourth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth, Northern Michigan (11th), Central Washington (12th), Grand Valley State (14th), Northwood (16th), Lock Haven (24th) and Ashland (25th).

    Bulldog Captains: Senior setter Emily Clouse (Tiffin, Ohio/Bascom Hopewell-Loudon), Brittny Godlewski and Danielle Baucher have been named tri-captains for the 2005 campaign. Baucher had a team-leading 416 digs and added 340 kills last season. Clouse totaled 572 assists and 220 digs while Godlewski chipped in 396 digs.

    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.

    Bulldog Athletics Luncheon: The initial Bulldog Athletics Luncheon of the 2005-06 athletics season will be held Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 12-1 p.m. (EDT) at FSU’s Wheeler Pavilion located at Top Taggart Field. Featured speakers include FSU women’s volleyball head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, football head coach Jeff Pierce and women’s soccer head coach Melissa Lalonde. For more information, please contact the FSU Alumni Office at (231) 591-2345.

    A Look At The Opponents:

    Wheeling Jesuit: FSU holds a 3-2 overall mark against Wheeling Jesuit following last Saturday’s win in the FSU Holiday Inn Invitational. Prior to the most recent meeting, the Cardinals had pulled out a 3-2 triumph over the Bulldogs in the last meeting (9/6/03) at the 2003 Grand Valley State Days Inn Classic in Allendale, Mich. WJU, which is coached by fourth-year head coach Christy Benner, finished the 2004 campaign with a 25-15 overall record and was 18-0 in West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) action. Wheeling Jesuit finished FSU Holiday Inn Invitational play with a 1-3 overall mark.

    Minnesota-Duluth: Ferris maintains a 7-3 all-time series’ advantage over Minnesota-Duluth heading into Friday’s showdown. FSU recorded a 3-1 triumph over UMD in the most recent meeting (10/29/93) held at the Air Force Premier Tourney in Colorado Springs, Colo. Minnesota-Duluth, which is also nicknamed the Bulldogs, posted a 2-2 mark in its own season-opening UMD/Kraus-Anderson Classic last Thursday-Saturday (Aug. 25-27) in Duluth, Minn. UMD’s losses came to second-ranked Truman State (Mo.) 3-2 and fifth-ranked Cal-State San Bernardino 3-0. They did post a 3-0 win over St. Edward’s (Texas) in their final match of the event Saturday and will face Hillsdale Friday prior to the match with FSU. Head coach Jim Boos is in his third season at the helm and directed UMD to a 27-5 overall record last season and a berth in the NCAA-II Elite Eight after winning the North Central Conference (NCC).

    Central Washington: CWU and Ferris have never met before. The 12th-ranked Wildcats opened the season with a 2-2 record at the Hawaii-Hilo Hawaiian Style Classic last weekend (Aug. 26-27) in Hilo, Hawaii. Included among their two victories was a 3-2 win over 20th-ranked Chaminade (Hawaii) in Saturday’s (Aug. 27) classic finale. The Wildcats will battle Lake Superior State and tourney host Grand Valley State prior to Saturday’s meeting with FSU. Head coach Mario Andaya is currently in his 10th season at the helm. CWU lost only two starters from last season’s team which posted a 26-1 overall record, advanced to the NCAA-II Pacific Regional Tournament and won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

    Arkansas Tech: Saturday’s match versus Arkansas Tech represents the first-ever series’ contest. ATU split four matches in its own invitational Thursday and Friday (Aug. 25-26) in Russellville, Ark. The Golden Suns, who are directed by second-year head coach and former GVSU assistant coach Kristy Kale, recorded a 13-17 overall mark in 2004 and were 5-7 in Gulf South Conference action. Arkansas Tech hosts Lyon (Ark.) Tuesday (Aug. 30) before facing Florida Gulf Coast, Lake Superior State and Hillsdale in its first three matches at the Amerihost-GVSU Fall Classic.

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