Weekly Release #5: Ferris Set To Open Homestand In Big Rapids

September 20, 2005

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    FSU Volleyball FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team opens a five-match homestand by hosting Ashland Friday, Sept. 23, in a 7 p.m. (EDT) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tilt at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris will then host Findlay Saturday, Sept. 24, with the league home match set to start at 4 p.m. (EDT). FSU is presently 11-3 overall this campaign.

    FSU Splits Two League Outings: Ferris split two league matches this past weekend. The Bulldogs dropped a 3-0 decision to Northwood last Friday (Sept. 16) in their 2005 league opener at Midland, Mich. Ferris then responded by posting a 3-0 victory over Saginaw Valley State Saturday (Sept. 17) in University Center, Mich. FSU has won five of its last six outings to date this campaign.

    Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2005 Ferris home matches will be available at the door. For more information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.

    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 703-400 (.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. 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 Ranked 16th: The Bulldogs are currently ranked 16th overall in the latest (Sept. 19) 2005 CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll announced by the AVCA. FSU registered 310 total points in the balloting process after being ranked 14th with 418 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 12th-ranked Grand Valley State. Northern Michigan is included in the teams receiving votes category. 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 319-119 (.728) career mark, is 201-99 (.670) 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.

    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: “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 168-62 (.730) 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 615-289 (.680) overall since 1981 and sports a 399-232 (.632) 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: Nine of Ferris State's 14 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 11-0 when registering more kills than its opponent this season ........... Ferris is 3-1 in evening matches and 7-2 in afternoon outings to date this campaign ......... The Bulldogs have had more blocks than their opponent in 10 of 14 matches this year ..... Four of Ferris’ last five matches this season have been decided in only three games.

    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.

    More Balance: FSU has displayed more balance to date this season as the squad’s outside hitters have compiled 333 of the 699 total kills (47.6%) through 14 matches to date this campaign. The middle hitters have posted 328 kills (46.9%) while 38 kills (5.4%) have came from the setter position. At this point in 14 matches last season (2004), the Bulldogs had received 61% (426 kills) of their 708 total kills from the outside. The middle hitters had combined for only 35.3% (250) of the total kills and the setters had registered 4.5% (32 kills) of the squad’s offensive production.

    Bulldog Quick Notes: Ferris has won 23 of its last 28 outings dating back to last campaign ..... Brittny Godlewski currently has 1,158 career digs and is four 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 ........ FSU has currently won 10 of its last 11 regular-season outings versus GLIAC South Division opponents dating back to the 2003 season. Ferris posted a 6-0 record against South Division foes last season ............ FSU improved to 43-8 all-time against Saginaw Valley State with last Saturday’s win ......... Emily Clouse needs 10 digs to notch her 500th career dig ......... The Bulldogs have compiled a 66-12 (.846) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 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).

    GLIAC Rankings: Junior middle hitter Karla White’s (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) 14 total blocks (two solo, 12 assists) against Wheeling Jesuit (8/27) in the FSU Holiday Inn Invitational rank as the GLIAC’s best match total blocks effort to date this season. Overall, Ferris ranks first in opponent’s hitting percentage (.104) along with third in service aces (2.35 apg), fourth in kills (14.27 kpg) and fourth in blocks (2.82 bpg) among the conference’s latest (Sept. 19) overall statistical leaders.

    League Opener Notes: Ferris dropped to 11-5 (.688) in conference openers since 1990 with last Friday’s loss at Northwood. FSU currently sports a 5-4 road mark in season-opening matches during that period. The Bulldogs had won six of their last seven league openers prior to the loss.

    Baucher Closing In: FSU’s Danielle Baucher notched her 900th career dig at Northwood. A 2004 All-GLIAC Second Team honoree, Baucher needs 84 more to become the 11th player in school history to join the 1,000 career digs club.

    In The Rankings: Several of FSU’s 2005 opponents are included in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, which was released Monday (Sept. 19). Minnesota-Duluth is presently ranked fourth, Central Washington is ninth and Grand Valley State is listed 12th. Seattle Pacific (18th) and Lock Haven (24th) are also included.

    Big Home Stretch: Ferris’ two matches at home this weekend open up a five-match homestand. The Bulldogs will then host Upper Peninsula foes Michigan Tech (Sept. 30), Northern Michigan (Oct. 1) and Lake Superior State (Oct. 2) for three consecutive matches inside the friendly confines of the Ewigleben Sports Arena. Following the five-match homestand, the Bulldogs will hit the road for five league contests away from home.

    A Look At The Opponents:

    Ashland: The Bulldogs own an 11-1 series advantage heading into this Friday’s tilt with Ashland and recorded a 3-1 win in the most recent meeting (11/13/04) during the 2004 GLIAC Tournament Semifinals at Allendale, Mich. AU tallied a 26-6 overall record and a first-place 14-3 GLIAC South Division mark in 2004. The Eagles, who are coached by third-year head coach Connie Surowicz, are currently 11-3 overall and 2-0 in league play this season following last Friday’s (Sept. 16) 3-1 GLIAC win at Hillsdale. Ashland, which will visit Wayne State Tuesday (Sept. 20), has won seven of its last eight outings to date this season. The Bulldogs, who have won the last eight series’ meetings, are currently 9-1 against the Eagles in the Tia Brandel-Wilhelm era and 5-0 all-time in matchups at Big Rapids, Mich. AU, which dropped a 3-1 decision in the only regular-season meeting last year (9/18) against the Bulldogs at Big Rapids, was picked to finish second in the 2005 GLIAC South Division Preseason Coaches Poll.

    Findlay: Ferris State holds a 5-3 series edge entering this Saturday’s meeting and recorded a 3-1 triumph last season (9/17/04) at Big Rapids, Mich. The Oilers are currently 8-6 overall and 1-2 in league play heading into this Friday’s (Sept. 23) league road match at Grand Valley State as a result of last Saturday’s (Sept. 17) 3-1 league loss at Hillsdale. UF compiled a 24-8 overall record in 2004, including a second-place tying 11-6 GLIAC South Division finish. Findlay, which has lost two of its last three matches to date, is coached by eighth-year head coach Wick Colchagoff. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently holds a 5-3 career coaching mark versus UF. The Oilers were picked first in the 2005 GLIAC South Division Preseason Poll.

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