Weekly Notes (Matches 27-28): Bulldogs Conclude Regular Season With Annual Trek To The Upper Peninsula

November 5, 2008

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    Date/Time: Friday (Nov. 7) at Marquette, Mich. - 7 p.m. (EST); Saturday (Nov. 8) at Houghton, Mich. - 4 p.m. (EST)
    FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team will wrap up the regular-season portion of its 2008 schedule this weekend (Nov. 7-8) with a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division road matches. The Bulldogs take on the Northern Michigan Wildcats this Friday (Nov. 7) in a 7 p.m. (EST) match at Marquette, Mich. Ferris State then closes out its regular season this Saturday (Nov. 8) against the Michigan Tech Huskies with opening serve set for 4 p.m. (EST) at Houghton, Mich.

    Last Time Out: Ferris State split a pair of GLIAC North Division matches last weekend (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs recorded a 3-1 decision over Lake Superior State last Friday (Oct. 31) afternoon and then suffered a 3-0 loss to Saginaw Valley State in last Saturday’s (Nov. 1) final home match of the 2008 campaign.

    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 770-435 (.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.

    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, 269-135 (.666); Career: 16th season, 387-155 (.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.

    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 236-105 (.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.

    2008 GLIAC Tourney Information: Ferris State has clinched a berth in the 2008 GLIAC Volleyball Tournament. The tournament quarterfinals will be held next Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. (EST) on campus sites still yet to be determined. The tourney’s semifinals and championship match are set for Nov. 15-16 at the site of the highest remaining seed. The Bulldogs’ appearance in the conference tourney represents the 11th consecutive year in which FSU will be a postseason event participant.

    The 2000 Assists Club: Andrea Rich needs 24 more assists to become the ninth individual in Ferris State volleyball history to reach the 2,000 career assists plateau. Rich has currently amassed 1,976 career helpers in 80 contests. She is presently ninth among the school’s all-time leaders and trails current teammate Candice Marut by 71 assists to date. Marut became the eighth player in the program’s history to attain at least 2,000 career assists with a team-high 19 helpers against Grand Valley State earlier this season (10/24).

    Bulldog Bites: Sophomore middle hitter Arielle Goodson’s (Grand Rapids/Central) match-high 17 kills against Lake Superior State last Friday (10/31) represents a career high, eclipsing her 16 kills set earlier this fall at Tiffin (10/11) and against Drury (10/17) at the Asics GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament in Indianapolis, Ind. Goodson has compiled double-figure kill totals in 10 matches this season to date, which includes three times in her last five appearances . . . Andrea Rich is seven service aces shy of attaining the 100th of her career. Rich presently is 29th on FSU’s all-time leaders list with 93 aces in 80 matches and needs six more to tie Lisa Haan (1988-91; 99 total) for 27th-place honors . . . Redshirt freshman libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) is currently tied for 30th place on the Bulldogs’ all-time single-season leaders list with 341 digs in 26 contests this season. Tobiczyk’s team-leading 341 digs total matches Morgan Buckner’s 1999 season output . . . Freshman outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) extended her current double-digit digs streak to five with 10 total against Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (11/1). Huntey is averaging 12.8 digs per match (64 total) in her last five outings and has generated 11 matches with double-digit totals this season.

    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 17-18 overall record (.486) in November encounters dating back to 2000. FSU sports a 10-4 home ledger and is 7-14 in road/neutral site matches during that period. Ferris State registered a 2-1 record a season ago in November contests.

    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), have compiled a 10-8 in-region record to date. FSU is one of six GLIAC teams to be listed in the Midwest Region rankings. Grand Valley State continues to remain first followed by Lewis and Northern Kentucky. Ferris State is one place in back of seventh-place Michigan Tech and one in front of ninth-place Missouri-St. Louis among the 10 teams to be ranked. The next rankings will be released Wednesday, Nov. 12.

    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.

    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:

    Northern Michigan: Ferris State is 38-41 in its all-time series against Northern Michigan to date as the Wildcats claimed a 3-2 win in Big Rapids earlier this season (9/19). NMU prevailed in all three meetings last season, which included a 3-1 regular-season home triumph (10/20) in Marquette, Mich., and a 3-0 home victory in a 2007 GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal-Round match (11/7). Ferris has won six of the last 17 encounters and has produced a 19-25 all-time road/neutral site mark against the Wildcats. NMU, under second-year head coach and former Bulldog assistant Dominic Yoder, is currently 18-9 overall and 10-4 in the GLIAC’s North Division. The Cats’, who have won 10 of their last 12 matches to date, posted a 3-1 home league win over Michigan Tech last Friday (10/31) and then bested Urbana (Ohio), 3-0, in a non-conference tilt last Saturday (11/1) at NMU’s Vandament Arena. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. NMU – 9-20.

    Michigan Tech: Ferris State and Michigan Tech will square off for the 61st time in a series which the Bulldogs own a 48-12 all-time series advantage. The Huskies notched a 3-2 decision at Ferris State earlier this fall (9/20) in Big Rapids. A season ago, FSU swept the two-match regular-season series as the Bulldogs recorded a 3-2 home victory over MTU (9/15) in Big Rapids and then claimed a 3-0 road win (10/19) at Houghton, Mich. Ferris State is 25-6 all-time in away/neutral site encounters against Michigan Tech. The Huskies, who are coached by 10th-year head coach Krista Mikesch, are 17-9 overall with a 10-4 GLIAC North Division mark to date. MTU?suffered a 3-1 conference road loss to Northern Michigan last Friday (10/31) in Marquette, but then produced a 3-1 non-league decision over Urbana (Ohio) last Saturday (11/1) at MTU’s SDC Gymnasium. The Huskies, who are listed among others receiving votes in this week’s (11/3) Bison/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, have prevailed in 10 of their last 14 matches. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. MTU – 22-5.

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