Weekly Notes (Match 29): Ferris State Visits Top Seed Grand Valley State In GLIAC Tourney Quarterfinal

November 11, 2008

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    Opponent/Date/Time: at Grand Valley State -- Wednesday (Nov. 12) at Allendale, Mich. - 7 p.m. (EST)
    VideoLive Video Webcast: None

    FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team starts its postseason action this Wednesday (Nov. 12) as the Bulldogs will be competing in the 2008 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Women’s Volleyball Tournament. FSU takes on the nationally-ranked Grand Valley State Lakers in a quarterfinal-round match at the GVSU Fieldhouse in Allendale, Mich. Grand Valley State is currently listed fourth in this week’s (Nov. 10) Bison/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with 761 total points.

    Last Time Out: Ferris State closed out the regular-season portion of its 2008 schedule last weekend (Nov. 7-8) with road losses to two GLIAC North Division foes. The Bulldogs suffered a 3-0 setback to Northern Michigan last Friday (Nov. 7) at NMU’s Vandament Arena in Marquette, Mich., and then dropped a 3-0 decision to Michigan Tech last Saturday (Nov. 8) afternoon at MTU’s SDC Gymnasium in Houghton, 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 771-438 (.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.

    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, 269-137 (.663); Career: 16th season, 387-157 (.711). 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.

    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 236-107 (.688) 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) are serving as team 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.

    2008 GLIAC Tourney Information: Ferris State is making its 11th straight GLIAC Tournament appearance this Wednesday (11/12). The top four teams are hosting a quarterfinal-round match in the 14th annual postseason tourney with the top remaining seed to host the semifinals/finals this weekend (11/15-16). The top three teams in each division (North and South) along with the next two best overall teams advanced to the GLIAC Tournament. The winners of Wednesday’s contests will be reseeded prior to Saturday’s semifinals. The winner of this Sunday’s championship match earns the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tourney (Nov. 20-22).

    Bulldogs In The GLIAC Tourney: Ferris State has compiled a 10-9 all-time record in GLIAC Tournament matches, which includes a 1-2 mark against Grand Valley State. The last time the two rivals squared off in conference postseason play was in the 2006 season (11/3) when GVSU handed the Bulldogs a 3-0 loss in semifinal-round play at Hillsdale, Mich. Ferris State's last victory over the Lakers occurred in 2004 (11/14) when the Bulldogs swept GVSU in three straight sets (3-0).

    On The Road: The Bulldogs have compiled a 677-326 (.675) overall record since 1981 and are 430-257 (.626) in road/neutral site matches during that span. Ferris State has produced a 5-5 road mark this season and is 4-2 in neutral site outings. A season ago, the Bulldogs were 4-6 on the road and notched a 4-2 mark in neutral site encounters.

    NCAA Regional Tourney Information: Three automatic bids and five at-large bids will be awarded in the region, which consists of teams from the GLIAC and Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). The NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tourney will be held Nov. 20-22 at a campus site yet to be determined. The official tournament pairings and site are slated to be released this Sunday (Nov. 16).

    Newest 2000 Assists Club Member: Andrea Rich became the ninth individual in FSU volleyball history to register 2,000 career assists after she dished out a team-high 13 helpers at Michigan Tech last Saturday (11/8) in the Bulldogs’ regular-season finale match. Rich, who presently has 2,000 career assists in 82 career appearances, is the second Ferris State player to reach the milestone this fall. Candice Marut posted the 2,000 assist of her career versus Grand Valley State (10/24) and has accumulated a present 2,061 career total in 107 outings.

    Bulldog Bites: Redshirt freshman libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) has generated double digits in digs on 21 occasions this season to date, which includes her last three outings. Tobiczyk’s squad-high 365 digs in 28 matches this campaign currently ranks 23rd highest among the Bulldogs’ all-time single-season leaders . . . Andrea Rich, who has compiled 762 career digs in 82 contests, is three shy of tying Morgan Buckner’s (1997-00) 22nd-place 765 career digs in 130 outings on FSU’s all-time leaders list. Rich has dug out a career single-season best 302 balls in 28 matches this season, which surpasses her 217 digs in 20 2006 season contests . . . Junior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) moved into 19th place among the program’s all-time kills leaders after totaling a team-high eight kills at Michigan Tech (11/8). Gilchrist has currently amassed 779 kills in 88 matches, which surpasses Kate Pickvet’s (1999-01) 772 career kills in 95 contests . . . The team’s top three kills leaders, junior outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs), sophomore middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central), and Kristy Gilchrist, have combined for 59.2% (742-1,254) of the squad’s production this fall. Edwards has a squad-high 263 kills in 28 outings while Goodson has posted a career-high 256 kills in 28 matches and Gilchrist with 223 kills in 28 appearances.

    Regular-Season Finales: Ferris State has posted a 2-6 mark (.250) in its regular-season finale match since the 2000 campaign. The Bulldogs’ two victories in that span are a 3-0 home decision over Grand Valley State in 2005 (11/4) and a 3-0 home win against Northwood last season (11/3).

    Final Appearance: Seniors Candice Marut and Andrea Rich were both honored prior to the final home match of their collegiate careers last Saturday (11/1) against Saginaw Valley State. Marut dished out a squad-best 14 assists while Rich totaled 11 helpers and digs apiece in the match.

    November Matches: The Bulldogs have compiled a 17-20 overall record (.459) in November contests dating back to 2000. FSU sports a 10-4 home ledger and is 7-16 in road/neutral site matches during that period. Ferris State registered a 2-1 record a season ago in November encounters and is presently 0-3 for the 2008 campaign.

    Attack Mode: Junior middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay), who has chalked up 765 career kills in 86 appearances to date, is four shy of tying Milli Holley (1982-85; 769 total) for 20th place and is seven more kills away from moving into a 19th-place tie with Kate Pickvet (1999-01; 772 total) on the program’s all-time leaders chart.

    Regional Rankings: Ferris State is listed eighth place in the most recent NCAA?Division II Midwest Region rankings, which were released Wednesday (10/29) by the NCAA-II Women’s Volleyball Committee. The Bulldogs, who were ranked sixth in the first regional rankings (10/15), had compiled a 10-8 in-region record prior to the rankings. FSU is one of six GLIAC teams to be listed in the Midwest Region rankings. The next rankings will be released this Wednesday (11/12).

    NCAA Statistical Rankings: Ferris State is 73rd nationally in NCAA Division II in blocks per set (1.92 avg.) while the Bulldogs are ranked 86th in aces per set (1.7 avg.) and 93rd in win-loss percentage (.615). FSU is listed 127th in kills per set (11.49 avg.) and 129th in assists per set (10.36 avg.). Arielle Goodson ranks 118th in blocks per set (0.88 avg.) and Kristy Gilchrist is 183rd (0.79). Andrea Rich is 189th in assists per set (5.66 avg.) and 212th in aces per set (0.36 avg.) while Lisa Tobiczyk is 210th in digs per set (3.28 avg.). Candice Marut is listed 234th in assists per set (4.37 avg.).

    A Look At This Week's Opponent:

    Grand Valley State: Ferris State and Grand Valley State will meet for the 94th time in a series which the Lakers hold a 53-40 advantage. GVSU registered a 3-0 home victory earlier this season (9/16) in Allendale, Mich., and then notched a 3-2 come-from-behind decision over the Bulldogs (10/24)?at Big Rapids, Mich. A season ago, Grand Valley State swept both regular-season matches with a 3-2 home decision (10/2) and a 3-1 road triumph (10/26). GVSU, which has been victorious in 17 of the last 24 series matches between the two West Michigan rivals, is 34-25 at home 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, are presently 26-3 overall with a first-place 15-1 mark in the GLIAC’s North Division. The Lakers had their 22 consecutive match winning streak snapped last Friday (11/7) in a 3-1 loss at Michigan Tech, but recovered to register a 3-2 decision at Northern Michigan last Saturday (11/8). GVSU has produced a 9-0 record in home encounters this season. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. GVSU – 8-21.

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