Bulldogs Open 2008 Season With Five Straight Home Matches

*2008 GLIAC Women's Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll Release*

The 2008 Ferris State University women's volleyball has been selected to finish in a tie for third place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Preseason Coaches Poll, which was released Wednesday (Aug. 20) by the conference office.

The Bulldogs, who are led by 13th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, earned 16 points in the balloting as did Michigan Tech. Ferris State and Michigan Tech both finished five points ahead of fifth-place Saginaw Valley State (11) and 11 in front of sixth-place Lake Superior State (five).

Each of the GLIAC's 12 coaches voted for the teams within their division, but could not vote for their own team. First-place votes were worth five points, second-place votes were worth four, etc.

The 2008 season represents the third straight year in which the Bulldogs have been tabbed to either place or tie for third. A season ago, Ferris State received a third-place 24 points in the preseason coaches poll as conducted by the league's head coaches after totaling 26 points good for third place in the 2006 league poll.

Grand Valley State, which captured both the 2007 GLIAC North Division's Regular-Season title and GLIAC Tournament Championship, was forecasted to defend its crown for the fourth consecutive season as the nationally sixth-ranked Lakers recorded four first-place votes and 24 points. Northern Michigan received the two remaining first-place votes and totaled 18 points.

Hillsdale was chosen as the preseason favorite in the GLIAC's South Division as the Chargers garnered 23 points to edge out Ashland by one point. Both Hillsdale and Ashland split the first-place votes with three apiece. Northwood, which competed in the North Division last season, claimed a third-place 17 points in the South Division. The Timberwolves along with Tiffin (Ohio) are newcomers to the South Division as a result of Gannon (Pa.) and Mercyhurst (Pa.) leaving the GLIAC after the 2007-08 athletics season for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).

The GLIAC will begin the 2008 campaign with three of its member schools in Grand Valley State, Hillsdale, and Ashland ranked in the CBS College Sports Network/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Preseason Coaches Top 25 Poll, which was released Aug. 19. Grand Valley State is listed sixth while Hillsdale and Ashland are 18th and 21st, respectively. Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) was selected first in the preseason national poll.

Ferris State, which went 20-10 overall with a third-place 12-6 GLIAC record a season ago, turned in the program's 10th straight winning campaign in 2007 while making its 10th consecutive conference tournament appearance. The Bulldogs return 10 letterwinners from the 2007 squad, including six starters.

The Bulldogs begin their 36th season of varsity competition next Thursday, Aug. 28, hosting Aquinas in a 7 p.m. (EDT) non-conference match at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Following the season opener, FSU then hosts the eight-team Ferris State Invitational on Aug. 29-30 with the Bulldogs slated to play two non-conference matches apiece on both days. The contests wil be conducted at the Ewigleben Sports Arena court along with the two courts in Jim Wink Arena all on the Ferris State campus.

The 2008 GLIAC Volleyball Tournament will begin on Nov. 12 at campus sites with the semifinals and finals scheduled to be held Nov. 15-16 at the campus of the highest remaining seed.


North Division
1. Grand Valley State (4) - 24 points
2. Northern Michigan (2) - 18 points
3. Ferris State - 16 points
Michigan Tech - 16 points
5. Saginaw Valley State - 11 points
6. Lake Superior State - 5 points

South Division
1. Hillsdale (3) - 23 points
2. Ashland (3) - 22 points
3. Northwood - 17 points
4. Findlay - 13 points
5. Wayne State - 10 points
6. Tiffin - 5 points

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