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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team returns home this weekend (Oct. 3-4) to host a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) South Division opponents at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs take on the Hillsdale Chargers this Friday (Oct. 3) in a 7 p.m. (EDT) encounter before squaring off against the Findlay Oilers this Saturday (Oct. 4) at 4 p.m. (EDT).
Last Time Out: Ferris State was victorious in its two GLIAC road matches last weekend (Sept. 26-27). The Bulldogs posted a 3-0 win over Lake Superior State last Friday (Sept. 26) in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., before knocking off Saginaw Valley by a 3-2 margin last Saturday (Sept. 27) at University Center, Mich.
The 36th Season: The 2008 campaign represents Ferris State’s 36th season of women’s volleyball. The Bulldogs have compiled an all-time mark of 764-433 (.638) to date. Since the program’s inception in 1972, the Bulldogs have won nine GLIAC titles, made 14 NCAA-II Tournament appearances and registered 28 winning seasons.
Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2008 Ferris State volleyball home matches will be available at the door. For more information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.
2008 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Poll: Ferris State has been chosen to finish in a tie for third place in the 2008 GLIAC Volleyball Coaches Preseason North Division Poll as released by the league office. The Bulldogs totaled 16 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference’s head coaches. A season ago, the Bulldogs racked up a third-place 24 points after posting 26 points good for third place in the 2006 league poll. Ferris State was tabbed fourth in the 2005 poll with 26 points. Grand Valley State was voted as the favorite to repeat as the North Division regular-season champions for the fourth consecutive year as the Lakers recorded 24 points along with four of the six first-place votes. Northern Michigan received the other two first-place votes while totaling 18 points.
Head Coach: Ferris State -- Tia Brandel-Wilhelm - (Alma, 1990), 13th season, 262-132 (.665); Career: 16th season, 380-152 (.714). Brandel-Wilhelm enters the 2008 campaign ranking 22nd in career best winning percentage among the NCAA Division II active coaches while her 371 career victories prior to 2008 represents a tie for the 22nd highest total on the Division II active coaches wins list. The 2002 GLIAC Coach of the Year guided the Bulldogs to NCAA-II Tournament appearances in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2005. She registered her 200th win at the Bulldog helm with a victory in the 2006 season (Sept. 10) over Edinboro (Pa.) at the Findlay (Ohio) TownPlace Suites Classic.
Last Season: Ferris State concluded the 2007 season at 20-10 overall with a third-place 12-6 mark in the GLIAC’s North Division. The Bulldogs, which produced the program's 10th consecutive winning campaign in 2007, made its 10th straight conference tourney appearance a year ago.
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 program’s 2008 yearbook can also be found at the site.
Live Stats: “Live Stats” of all 2008 Ferris State 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 CSTV GameTracker “Live Stats” feature. Live match statistics for this Tuesday's (9/16) conference contest at Grand Valley State will also be made available at -- ferris.edu/Sports/VOLLYBAL/2008sked.htm.
Great Stretch: Ferris has won 20 or more matches nine times under 13th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs have registered a current 229-102 (.692) mark over the past 10 years and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament five times in that span. FSU has advanced to the GLIAC Tournament the last 10 consecutive years to date.
2008 Bulldog Captains: A pair of senior setter-outside hitters, Candice Marut (Pinconning) and Andrea Rich (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) will serve as the captains for the 2008 season.
The FSU Roster: Ferris State’s 2008 active roster includes two seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and eight freshmen. Five of the 18 players are outside hitters, six are middle hitters, and seven others fill the squad’s setter, defensive specialist and libero roles. All 18 student-athletes on the team hail from the state of Michigan.
October Matches: Ferris State is a 54-22 overall (.711) in October matches since the 2000 season. The Bulldogs sport a 26-9 home mark and are 28-13 in road/neutral site outings in that span. Ferris State won six of its nine matches in October a season ago, which included a 4-1 home ledger.
Volley For The Cure: Ferris State will do its part for Breast Cancer Awareness month this Friday (Oct. 3) as the Bulldogs join forces with the Susan P. Wheatlake Foundation for “Volley For The Cure”. The event, which is being held in conjunction with FSU’s home volleyball match against Hillsdale, will donate $3 from each paid ticket sold to benefit the Susan P. Wheatlake Women’s Cancer and Wellness Fund. Following the match, a silent auction for FSU’s pink uniforms will commence and held for all remaining 2008 Bulldog volleyball home matches.
Richly Deserved: Andrea Rich presently ranks among Ferris State’s all-time leaders in career assists (1,781) and digs (621). Rich currently ranks ninth place in assists and is 86 helpers shy of tying Candice Marut’s eighth-place 1,867 career total. The 2007 All-GLIAC Honorable Mention performer is 17 digs away of moving into a 29th-place tie with Tracy Landschoot (1993-96; 638 aces). This fall, Rich’s 93 kills represents a career single-season high and eclipsed her 35 kills in the 2007 campaign. She also has compiled a career season-best 35 block assists after totaling a combined 32 block assists in her prior 54 matches before this season.
Bulldog Bites: Katie Edwards has generated a squad-best 165 kills in the Bulldogs’ initial 16 matches this season after recording a 162-kills total a season ago following the team’s first 16 outings . . . FSU has prevailed in 40 of the last 41 contests versus Lake Superior State following a 3-0 victory at LSSU last Friday (9/26) and is now 29-13 all-time against the Lakers in road/neutral site matchups . . . Freshman outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) has totaled double-figure digs in her last four matches to date, which includes a season-best 13 digs on two occasions – against Northern Michigan (9/19) and at Lake Superior State (9/26). Huntey is averaging 11.8 digs per match (47 total digs) during that period and has registered six double-digit single-match dig performances this season to date . . . With a 3-2 triumph at Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (9/27), the Bulldogs have now won 15 of the last 17 meetings between the two in-state schools . . . Junior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) has totaled a combined 19 block assists in her last six appearances after chalking up 12 block assists in her first 10 matches this season.
2008 Home Matches: The Bulldogs are averaging 11.8 kills per set (319 total) in their seven home matches this season to the opposition’s 9.1 average (246 total). Ferris State is hitting at a .171 clip while its opponent has posted a .116 attack percentage. FSU has served up 49 aces (1.8 aps.) with a .902 success rate and the opposition has produced 22 service aces (0.8 aps.) for an .897 success rate. The Bulldogs are averaging 2.2 blocks per set (59.5 total blocks) while their opponent has netted a 1.2 blocks per set average (33.5 total blocks).
All-Conference Returnees: The Bulldogs return a pair of All-GLIAC performers from the 2007 season in junior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) and Andrea Rich. Gilchrist received all-conference second-team accolades in 2007 while Rich garnered honorable mention all-league kudos. Gilchrist paced the 2007 squad in service aces (48) while finishing second for top team honors in kills (336) and total blocks (83) in 30 matches. Rich dished out a career-high 700 assists to go with 213 digs in 23 outings.
A Good Sign: Sophomore middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) is only nine kills away from matching her 2007 season’s output of 146 kills in 30 matches. Goodson currently has produced a team second-most 137 kills in 16 matches this campaign, which is 69 more than she totaled last season (68 kills) at this time.
Nearing A Milestone: Junior outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs) is six kills shy of notching the 500th kill in her career. Edwards, who presently has accumulated a team-leading 165 kills in 16 matches this campaign, has racked up 494 career kills in 62 outings and is averaging a career 2.45 kills per set. She has generated 10 double-figure single-match kills efforts during her career.
Backrow Stopper: Redshirt freshman libero Lisa Tobiczyk’s (Marysville) 21 digs at Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (9/27) was one shy of matching her season high of 22 digs against Indiana (Pa.) earlier this season (8/29) in a Ferris State Invitational match. Tobiczyk, who has a team-high 187 digs in 16 matches this fall, has garnered double digits in digs on 10 occasions to date this campaign. Tobiczyk has reached the 20 or more digs mark in a single match three times – 22 vs. Indiana (Pa.), 20 at Wayne State (9/13) and 21 at Saginaw Valley State.
Clogging The Middle: The Bulldogs are averaging 11.63 team blocks (46.5 total) in their last four matches to date compared to 7.0 team blocks (28 total) in the previous four outings this season. In its seven GLIAC matches this campaign, Ferris State has averaged 2.15 blocks per set (64.5 total) to the opposition’s 1.82 blocks per set average (54.5 total).
Clamping Down: Ferris State is holding opponents to a .136 hitting percentage this season after 16 matches. The Bulldogs have held their opponent to a .150 or lower hitting percentage in nine contests this fall.
NCAA Statistical Rankings: Ferris State currently ranks 49th in blocks per set (2.02 avg.), 75th in service aces (1.81 avg.), 117th in kills per set (11.37 avg.) and 120th in assists per set (10.24 avg.) among the latest NCAA Division II national statistical leaders through matches of Sept. 28. On an individual basis, Arielle Goodson is 66th in blocks per set (0.98 avg.). Andrea Rich is listed 173rd in assists per set (6.25 avg.) and 259th in aces per set (0.37 avg.). Kristy Gilchrist ranks 156th in blocks per set (0.82) while Lisa Tobiczyk is 277th in digs per set (2.97 avg.) and Katie Edwards’ 2.66 average in kills per set is 239th best.
A Look At This Week's Opponents:
Hillsdale: Ferris State owns a 46-11 advantage over Hillsdale as the two teams will square off for the 58th time this Friday. The Bulldogs have won five of the last nine series meetings, which included a 3-2 home triumph over the Chargers last season (10/12) in Big Rapids. Ferris State is 22-2 overall versus Hillsdale in home matchups to date. The Chargers, who are currently 12-5 overall and 4-3 in the GLIAC’s South Division, have currently lost three of their last four matches after winning 10 of their previous 11 encounters. Hillsdale, under 13th-year head coach Chris Gravel, suffered a 3-1 home conference loss to Michigan Tech last Saturday (9/27) in its most recent action. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. HC – 12-4.
Findlay: Ferris State holds a 7-4 series lead against Findlay following a 3-1 win over the Oilers last season (9/29) in Findlay, Ohio. The Bulldogs are 3-3 in the last six contests to date between the two teams and FSU is undefeated at home against UF after claiming a 3-0 victory in the 2005 season (9/24). Ferris has registered a 4-0 all-time mark in home outings versus Findlay. The Oilers, who are coached by 11th-year head coach Wick Colchagoff, were 7-10 overall and 1-6 in GLIAC action entering this Friday’s (9/26) league match at nationally-ranked Grand Valley State in Allendale, Mich. UF is presently midst a seven-match losing streak, which includes a 3-1 conference setback to Northern Michigan last Saturday (9/27) in Marquette, Mich. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UF – 7-4.