Weekly Notes (Match 24): Ferris State To Host Fifth-Ranked Grand Valley State This Friday Evening

October 21, 2008

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    Date/Time: Friday (Oct. 24) at Big Rapids, Mich. - 7 p.m. (EDT)
    FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team, which has won eight of its last nine matches to date this season, will host the nationally fifth-ranked and their West Michigan archrival the Grand Valley State Lakers this Friday (Oct. 24) evening in its lone match of this week. The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contest is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (EDT) start time in Big Rapids, Mich. Grand Valley State moved up one spot into fifth place nationally in this week’s (Oct. 20) CBS College Sports/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with 765 points.

    Free Admission For A Donation: Admission will be free for those fans attending this Friday’s (Oct. 24) match against Grand Valley State with a donation of a book or boardgame. The books and boardgames will be collected and given to the Bulldog women’s volleyball team’s adopted family for Christmas.

    Last Time Out: Ferris State compiled a 2-1 record in its three matches at the 2008 Asics Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC)/GLIAC Crossover Tournament last weekend (Oct. 17-18) at the Team Indiana Facility in Indianapolis, Ind. The Bulldogs opened tourney play with a 3-1 win over Missouri-St. Louis before holding on for a 3-2 victory against Drury (Mo.) in last Friday’s (Oct. 17) action. Ferris State then had its eight-match win streak snapped as a result of suffering a 3-1 setback to nationally 17th-ranked Lewis last Saturday (Oct. 18) in its lone match.

    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 770-434 (.639) 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, 268-133 (.668); Career: 16th season, 386-153 (.716). 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 235-103 (.695) 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 60-23 overall (.723) in October matches since the 2000 season. The Bulldogs sport a 28-9 home mark and are 32-14 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.

    Nearing A Milestone: Candice Marut enters this Friday’s (Oct. 24) match needing only nine more assists to become the eighth player in Ferris State history to compile at least 2,000 career helpers. Marut has accumuluated 1,991 career assists (5.96 per set avg.) in 102 matches to date. In 18 matches this season, Marut has recorded 289 assists (4.31 per set avg.) after finishing second on the 2007 team with a 620 assists total.

    Bulldog Bites: Junior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) hit for a team-best .339 attack percentage at the Asics GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament with 24 kills in 59 attempts. She also totaled a team second-best tying eight total blocks in the Bulldogs’ three matches, which included seven block assists. Lark’s 10 kills versus Drury (10/17) marked a career match high, eclipsing her eight kills set in three previous matches . . . Junior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) hammered 16 kills against Drury (10/17) which represented her eighth double-digit kills match performance this fall and was two shy of equaling her season best of 18 kills at Wayne State (9/13) . . . Andrea Rich, who has currently generated 695 career digs in 77 matches, is five digs shy of attaining the 700th of her career and is 16 away from moving into a 24th-place tie with Joanne Stafford (1988-90; 711 total) . . . Junior outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs) and sophomore middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) have combined to account for 40/9% (227-555) of Ferris State’s kills production in 12 non-conference contests this season. Edwards has presently chalked up 115 kills and a .176 hitting percentage in 12 matches while Goodson has produced 112 kills to go with a .285 attack percentage in 12 outings . . . Sophomore defensive specialist Dana Ruttle’s (Reed City) 14 digs against Drury not only marked seventh double-digit digs match output this campaign, but was one shy of matching her career-high 15 digs at Ashland earlier this season (10/10) . . . Ferris State has held the opposition to a .131 attack percentage (497 kills in 1,555 attempts) in its last 11 matches after allowing its opponent to hit at a .144 clip (421-1,322) in the squad’s initial 12 encounters this campaign.

    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.

    Noteworthy Streak: Ferris State’s eight-match winning streak, which started on Sept. 26 with a 3-0 conference victory at Lake Superior State and ended with a 3-1 loss to nationally-ranked Lewis last Saturday (10/18), represented the program’s longest since the 2006 season when the Bulldogs also won eight consecutive matches (9/25-9/8).

    Coming Around: Kristy Gilchrist has shown marked improvement in FSU’s last 11 matches to date with a combined 105 kills, 14 service aces, 21 digs, and 45 total blocks. In her first 12 appearances this season, Gilchrist generated 75 kills, seven aces, 16 digs, and 22 total blocks.

    Block Party: FSU notched double figures in team blocks for the fourth time this season with 13.0 team rejections against Drury last Friday (10/17). The Bulldogs have also netted double digits on three prior occasions this season – 10 each at Tampa (9/6) and vs. Michigan Tech (9/20) along with 20.5 total against Northern Michigan (9/19).

    Season High Equalizer: Ferris State’s 65 kills against Drury (10/17) tied a 2008 team season high, which was initially setat Wayne State (9/13). The Bulldogs have tallied at least 50 kills or more in a match nine times this campaign and have more kills than their opponent in 15 matches.

    A Tale of Two Teams: FSU has recorded a .217 attack percentage to go along with 12.2 kills, 13.5 digs and 1.8 blocks per set in its 15 victories. The opposition has hit for a .100 percentage. In the squad’s eight losses, the Bulldogs are hitting at a .086 clip with 10.5 kills, 12.5 digs and 2.1 blocks per set. Their opponents have compiled a .202 attack percentage.

    Regional Rankings: Ferris State is ranked sixth of 10 teams in the latest NCAA Division II Midwest Region rankings, which were released Wednesday (10/15) by the NCAA-II Women’s Volleyball Committee. The Bulldogs, who have an 8-6 in-region mark, are one of six GLIAC teams to be listed in the regional rankings. Grand Valley State is ranked first while two of the Bulldogs’ three tournament opponents this weekend in Lewis and Missouri-St. Louis are second and ninth, respectively.

    NCAA Statistical Rankings: Ferris State is currently listed 60th in blocks per set (1.95 avg.) while the Bulldogs rank 67th in aces per set (1.8 avg.), 71st in winning percentage (.652), 113th in kills per set (11.6 avg.), and 120th in assists per set (10.47 avg.). Arielle Goodson is 99th in blocks per set (0.91 avg.). Andrea Rich ranks 182nd in aces per set (0.38) and is 186th in assists per set (5.91 avg.). Kristy Gilchrist is 187th in blocks (0.8 avg.), Lisa Tobiczyk is 207th in digs (3.27 avg.), Candice Marut is 238th in assists (4.31 avg.), and Katie Edwards ranks 284th in kills (2.6 avg.).

    A Look At This Week's Opponent:

    Grand Valley State: Ferris State and Grand Valley State will face one another for the 93rd time in a series which the Lakers have a 52-40 advantage over the Bulldogs. GVSU registered a 3-0 home victory earlier this season (9/16) in Allendale, Mich. Last season, the Lakers posted a 3-2 come-from-behind conference home decision (10/2) and then recorded a 3-1 road triumph (10/26) in Big Rapids. GVSU, which has been victorious in 17 of the last 23 series matches, is 33-25 in road/neutral site encounters against Ferris State. FSU’s last win over Grand Valley State was in the 2005 season (11/4) when the Bulldogs prevailed 3-0 in a regular-season home match. The nationally-ranked Lakers, who are coached by 14th-year head coach Deanne Scanlon, improved to 21-2 overall with a 3-0 tourney mark at the 2008 Asics GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament last weekend (10/17-18) in Indianapolis, Ind. GVSU bested Indianapolis and Northern Kentucky by 3-1 scores (10/17) before notching a 3-0 decision over Bellarmine (10/18) in its final tourney match. The Lakers have won 18 consecutive matches to date this season and host Aquinas this Wednesday (10/22)?in a non-league contest. Grand Valley sports a first-place 11-0 conference ledger and is 7-0 in away outings this fall. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. GVSU – 8-20.

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