Weekly Release #4: Bulldogs Set To Open Conference Play This Weekend

September 13, 2005

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    FSU Volleyball FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team will visit Northwood Friday, Sept. 16, for a 7 p.m. (EDT) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) encounter at Midland, Mich. FSU will then battle Saginaw Valley State Saturday, Sept. 17, in a 4 p.m. (EDT) league tilt at University Center, Mich. FSU is presently 10-2 overall this campaign and ranked 14th in the latest (Sept. 13) CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II National Poll.

    FSU Sweeps Weekend Matches: Ferris swept three non-league matches in the Findlay TownPlace Suites Classic held last Friday and Saturday (Sept. 9-10) at UF’s Croy Gymnasium and the Malcolm Athletic Center in Findlay, Ohio. The Bulldogs beat Bellarmine (Ky.) 3-0 in Friday’s opener and then defeated Concord (W.Va.) 3-0 along with Edinboro (Pa.) 3-1 in Saturday’s final day of action. FSU has won its last four outings to date this campaign.

    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 702-399 (.638) overall record. Ferris has won nine GLIAC titles, made 12 NCAA-II Tournament appearances and registered 25 winning seasons in its previous 31 campaigns. The Bulldogs notched the program’s 700th all-time victory with the win over Bellarmine.

    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 Ranked 14th: The Bulldogs are currently ranked 14th overall in the latest (Sept. 13) 2005 CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll announced by the AVCA. FSU registered 418 total points in the balloting process after being ranked 13th with 391 points last week. Ferris concluded the 2004 campaign ranked 20th in the AVCA's final regular-season poll. In addition to FSU, the only other GLIAC school featured in the current poll is 13th-ranked Grand Valley State. Northern Michigan, and Findlay are included in the teams receiving votes category. Ferris was ranked 17th in the organization’s 2005 preseason national poll.

    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 318-118 (.729) career mark, is 200-98 (.671) 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. She registered her 200th win at the Bulldog helm with Saturday’s triumph over Edinboro.

    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.

    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.

    Great Stretch: Ferris has won 20 or more matches six times under 10th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 167-61 (.732) 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.

    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. Overall, Ferris is 87-20 (.813) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

    Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 614-288 (.681) overall since 1981 and sports a 398-231 (.633) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. The Bulldogs are currently 5-2 in neutral site matches this season after posting a 5-2 neutral site mark last campaign.

    Ferris State Trends: Seven of Ferris State's 12 matches this season have been decided in only three games. Two matches have went the entire five games while three have went four frames .......... FSU is 10-0 when registering more kills than its opponent this season ........... Ferris is 3-0 in evening matches and 6-2 in afternoon outings to date this campaign ......... The Bulldogs have had more blocks than their opponent in eight of 12 matches this year.

    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 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. The Bulldogs' current roster is the program's second-largest in school history behind last season's roster of 20 players.

    A Comparison: Ferris has averaged 14.4 kills and 17.0 digs per game through 12 matches as compared to last season’s 12-match averages of 14.2 kills and 11.7 digs per game. The Bulldogs have recorded a .181 attack percentage to date this campaign versus their .221 hitting percentage over the same span last year. FSU was also 10-2 at this point last season.

    Bulldog Quick Notes: Ferris has won 22 of its last 26 outings dating back to last campaign ..... Brittny Godlewski currently has 1,140 career digs and is 22 shy of tying Tracie Henne’s (1990-93) sixth-place FSU career mark of 1,162 digs .......... Senior middle hitter Becky Thurau (Troy/Birmingham Groves) is 17 kills away to date from registering her 600th career kill ....... Ferris is 10-0 when recording more kills, assists, aces and a higher attack percentage than its opponent this campaign.

    Reaching The Marks: FSU’s Danielle Baucher presently has 893 digs and is seven shy of recording her 900th career dig. A 2004 All-GLIAC Second Team honoree, Baucher needs 107 more to become the 11th player in school history to join the 1,000 career digs club. She notched her 700th career kill against Bellarmine.

    New Rankings: Several of FSU’s 2005 opponents are included in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, which was released Tuesday (Sept. 13). Minnesota-Duluth is presently ranked fourth, Central Washington is ninth and Grand Valley State is listed 13th. Seattle Pacific (20th) and Lock Haven (22nd) are also included.

    All-Tourney Team: Senior middle hitter Lauren Heine (Yspilanti) was named to the Findlay TownPlace Suites Classic All-Tournament Team. Heine, who was one of seven honorees, compiled 25 kills, six service aces and two blocks in FSU’s three outings. She had 13 kills, five aces, four digs and two blocks against Edinboro.

    Conference Openers: Ferris is 11-4 (.733) in conference openers since 1990 and sports a 5-3 road mark in those matches during that period. The Bulldogs have won six of their last seven league openers to date. Meanwhile, FSU sports a 9-6 record in its second league match of each season dating back to 1990. Last season (2004), the Bulldogs won their league opener at home against Findlay (9/17) 3-1 before beating Ashland (9/18) 3-1 at Big Rapids in their second league match.

    What’s On Tap: Ferris opens a five-match conference homestand Friday, Sept. 23, against Ashland at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The league home opener is set for a 7 p.m. (EDT) start. The Bulldogs will then host Findlay Saturday, Sept. 24, with GLIAC match time slated to begin at 4 p.m. (EDT).

    A Look At The Opponents:

    Northwood: FSU maintains a 24-17 series edge heading into this Friday’s 42nd series meeting against Northwood. The Timberwolves have won nine of the last 13 series outings although Ferris recorded a 3-1 victory in the last meeting (10/30/04) at Midland, Mich. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 8-14 career coaching mark against the Timberwolves. NU is presently 6-5 overall this season heading into this Tuesday’s (Sept. 13) GLIAC road match at Saginaw Valley State after winning all three of its matches in the Findlay TownPlace Suites Classic last weekend (Sept. 9-10). Last season, Northwood posted a 21-10 overall record and a fourth-place 11-7 mark in the GLIAC’s North Division. The Timberwolves, who have presently won their last four outings this season, are directed by second-year head coach Tim Koth. Ferris is currently 12-10 versus NU all-time in road/neutral site tilts. The two teams split two matches in 2004 as NU recorded a 3-1 triumph at Big Rapids (10/2).

    Saginaw Valley State: Ferris and Saginaw Valley State will square off for the 51st time Saturday with FSU holding a 42-8 series advantage. In the last meeting (10/29/04), the Bulldogs recorded a 3-1 road win at University Center, Mich. Ferris head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 15-3 career coaching record against the Cardinals. FSU, which has won nine of the last 10 series’ contests, holds a 19-6 all-time record versus SVSU in road/neutral site encounters. SVSU compiled a 2-29 overall record in 2004, including a seventh-place 0-18 GLIAC North Division finish. The Cardinals, who are coached by third-year head coach Will Stanton, fell to 6-7 overall as a result of a 3-0 non-conference loss to Walsh (Ohio) last Saturday (Sept. 10) in the Madonna University Tournament at Livonia, Mich. SVSU has dropped four of its last five outings this campaign to date heading into Tuesday’s (Sept. 13) conference-opening home match versus Northwood. SVSU will also host league foe Grand Valley State Friday (Sept. 16) prior to facing the Bulldogs.

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