Bulldogs Register 26 Points In Voting By League Head Coaches

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Ferris State Volleyball
Ferris State was picked to finish third in the 2006 GLIAC North Division Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll
The Ferris State University women's volleyball team was picked to finish third in the 2006 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Volleyball Coaches Preseason North Division Poll, which was released Thursday (Aug. 17) 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 State took fourth place in the conference's preseason coaches poll with 26 points.

Defending NCAA Division II National Champion Grand Valley State was the favorite to repeat as regular-season divisional champions as the Lakers recorded 36 points along with six first-place votes. Hillsdale, which placed third in the South Division last campaign, received 23 points and four first-place votes in being selected this season's South Division favorite.

The league's 13 head coaches voted for the division in which they play, but were not allowed to vote for their own team. The first-place team in the North Division ballot received six points while the second-place team received five points, etc. In the South Division, the first-place team was granted five points while the second-place team took four points, etc.

The GLIAC proved to be one of Division II's toughest conferences last season, sending five teams - Grand Valley State, Ferris State, Northwood, Ashland and Hillsdale - to the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament. GVSU emerged as the regional champion and earned a trip to the NCAA-II Elite Eight where they defeated host and top-ranked Nebraska-Kearney in the title match.

GLIAC volleyball teams open play beginning Thursday, Aug. 24, with the first conference regular-season matches set to begin Tuesday, Sept. 5. The annual league tournament quarterfinals will be held on campus sites Tuesday, Oct. 31, with the semifinals and finals hosted by the highest remaining seed Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3-4.

Ferris State advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the 13th time in school history during the 2005 campaign after previously claiming its ninth GLIAC Championship in 2004 by winning the leagueís annual postseason tournament for the first time ever. FSU posted a 22-10 overall mark last season along with a third-place tying 12-6 mark in GLIAC North Division action.

Ferris, which compiled the program's eighth consecutive winning campaign in 2005, returns 10 of its 19 squad members from last seasonís team for the 2006 campaign. FSU also made the programís eighth-straight league tournament appearance a year ago.

Ferris will open its 34th season of varsity competition by hosting regional foe Saint Joseph's (Ind.) Thursday, Aug. 24, in a 7 p.m. (EDT) non-conference outing at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs will then host the two-day FSU Invitational featuring 11 schools Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25-26, on three courts at the Ewigleben Sports Arena and Ferris' Jim Wink Arena.

The following is the complete 2006 GLIAC Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll with first-place votes in parenthesis.

North Division
1. Grand Valley State (6) - 36 points
2. Northwood (1) - 28 points
3. Ferris State - 26 points
4. Northern Michigan - 21 points
5. Michigan Tech - 18 points
T6. Lake Superior State - 9 points
T6. Saginaw Valley State - 9 points

South Division
1. Hillsdale (4) - 23 points
T2. Findlay (1) - 20 points
T2. Ashland (1) - 20 points
4. Wayne State - 13 points
5. Mercyhurst - 9 points
6. Gannon - 5 points

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