Weekly Notes (Matches 12-14): FSU Volleyball Prepares For Three Key GLIAC Matches This Week

September 15, 2008

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    FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team enters its fourth week of the 2008 season preparing for the challenge which three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opponents are expected to offer in this week’s action. The Bulldogs square off against West Michigan archrival and nationally-ranked Grand Valley State this Tuesday (Sept. 16) in a 7 p.m. (EDT) contest at Allendale, Mich. FSU then returns home this weekend (Sept. 19-20) for a two-match conference homestand. Ferris hosts the Northern Michigan Wildcats this Friday (Sept. 19) at 7 p.m. (EDT) before concluding the week’s action this Saturday (Sept. 20) versus the Michigan Tech Huskies. Opening serve for the weekend finale is set for 4 p.m. (EDT). Grand Valley State moved up two places into eighth place nationally in this week’s (Sept. 15)CBS College Sports/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with 621 points.

    Last Time Out: The Bulldogs opened the GLIAC portion of their 2008 schedule by splitting a pair of conference road matches last weekend (Sept. 12-13). FSU suffered a 3-1 league-opening loss to Northwood last Friday (Sept. 12) in Midland, Mich., before getting back on the winning path with a 3-2 decision over Wayne State last Saturday (Sept. 13) in Detroit, 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 762-430 (.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, 260-129 (.668); Career: 16th season, 378-149 (.717). 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 227-99 (.696) 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 seniors – setter-outside hitter Candice Marut (Pinconning) and setter-outside hitter 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.

    Way To Go: Junior outside hitter Katie Edwards’ (Cedar Springs) 17 kills at Wayne State (9/13) marked a season high and her eighth double-figure kills outing this fall. She’s presently averaging 14.3 kills (57 total) per match in her last four contests. Edwards, who has amassed 445 kills in 57 career matches, is 55 kills away from reaching the 500-kills plateau.

    September Matches: Ferris State has compiled a 71-36 overall record (.664) in September outings dating back to the 2000 campaign. The Bulldogs are 21-5 at home and 50-31 in road/neutral site contests since that time. FSU was 6-6 in September matches last season – 2-1 at home and 4-5 on the road. The 2002 and 2006 teams both compiled an 11-2 record for the month while 2003 squad posted an 11-3 ledger.

    Bulldog Bites: Sophomore defensive specialist Dana Ruttle’s (Reed City 11 digs at Wayne State last Saturday (9/13) represents a career high, bettering her seven digs against Wayne State last season (10/13/07) . . . Kristy Gilchrist hammered a match-high 18 kills at Wayne State (9/13), which was one shy of matching her career match-high 19 kills at Grand Valley State a season ago (10/2/07). Gilchrist has produced 30 double-digit single-match kills efforts in 71 career contests to date . . . Freshman outside hitter Ashley Huntey (Stanwood/Morley-Stanwood) registered a season-best 17 digs at Wayne State (9/13) to surpass her previous match high of 12 digs against Wheeling Jesuit (8/29) at the Ferris State Invitational . . . Redshirt freshman libero Lisa Tobiczyk (Marysville) extended her double-digit match digs streak to four straight after totaling 20 digs at Wayne State (9/13). Tobiczyk, who has produced seven double-figure match digs totals this season, is averaging 13.3 digs per match in her last four outings. She garnered a season-best 22 digs versus Indiana, Pa., (8/29) in a Ferris State Invite tilt . . . Andrea Rich served a career-high six aces at Wayne State (9/13)?to eclipse her previous high five service aces set in three previous matches, which included a five ace effort against Indiana, Pa. earlier this season (8/29) at the Ferris State Invitational.

    2008 Home Contests: The Bulldogs are averaging 13.2 kills per set (225 total)?in their five home matches this season compared to the opposition’s 8.3 average (141 total) and have compiled a .249 hitting percentage. FSU?has served 33 aces (1.94 aps.) to its opponent’s 14 total (0.82 apg.). Individually, Katie Edwards and Andrea Rich have combined for 41.3%?(93-225)?of the team’s kills output at home this campaign. Edwards is averaging a team-best 3.06 kills per set (52 total) and Rich has averaged 2.41 kills a set (41 total)?in those five home outings.

    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.

    Aces High: FSU’s 13 service aces at Wayne State (9/13) not only is a 2008 season team high, but represents the squad’s highest match total since last season (9/29) when the Bulldogs registered 17 aces at Findlay. Ferris posted 11 aces versus Colorado State-Pueblo (9/5) at the 2008 Tampa (Fla.) Classic.

    Force In The Middle: Sophomore middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) leads the 2008 team with a 0.96 blocks per set average and has totaled a squad-best 27 blocks (24 block assists) in nine matches. In her first nine outings a season ago, Goodson posted a squad-high 29 blocks (19 block assists) while averaging 0.94 a set.

    NCAA Statistical Rankings: Ferris State ranks 54th in service aces per game (2.0 avg.) among the latest NCAA-II national statistical leaders through matches of Sept. 7. The Bulldogs are 75th in blocks (1.91 avg.), 86th in kills (11.91 avg.), 95th in assists (10.61 avg.), and 107th in hitting percentage (.194). Individually, Arielle Goodson is 77th in hitting percentage (.329) and 79th in blocks per set (0.96 avg.). Andrea Rich is listed 153rd in hitting percentage (.292) and 194th in assists per set (5.03 avg.). Candice Marut ranks 219th in assists per set (4.3 avg.) while Katie Edwards is 246th in kills per set (2.59 avg.).

    A Look At This Week's Opponents:

    Grand Valley State: Ferris State and Grand Valley State will square off for the 92nd time with the Lakers maintaining a 51-40 series lead. GVSU bested the Bulldogs twice in last season’s action as the Lakers posted a 3-2 come-from-behind league home win (10/2) in Allendale. Grand Valley State then netted a 3-1 road triumph (10/26) in Big Rapids. GVSU, which has won 16 of the last 22 series meetings, is 33-25 at home against Ferris. The nationally-ranked Lakers, who are directed by 14th-year head coach Deanne Scanlon, improved to 9-2 overall and 2-0 in the GLIAC this season after winning their sixth consecutive match in a 3-0 victory over Northwood last Saturday (9/13) in Midland. GVSU finished the 2007 campaign with a 33-4 overall record, which tied for the third most wins in school history. The Lakers advanced to the 2007 NCAA Division II Tourney’s Elite Eight in Topeka, Kan., and dropped a 3-2 decision to West Texas A&M. GVSU claimed the 2005 NCAA-II National Championship title. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. GVSU – 8-19.

    Northern Michigan: Ferris State is 38-40 in its all-time series against Northern Michigan after the Wildcats were victorious in all three meetings a season ago. NMU won both 2007 regular-season matches by claiming a 3-2 victory in Big Rapids (9/16) and a 3-1 home decision in Marquette, Mich. Northern then posted a 3-0 home triumph over the Bulldogs in the quarterfinal round of the 2007 GLIAC Tournament at NMU’s Vandament Arena. FSU has won six of the last 16 encounters to date and has compiled a 19-15 all-time home ledger versus the Wildcats. NMU, under second-year head coach and former Bulldog assistant Dominic Yoder, is presently 6-5 overall and 1-1 in the GLIAC to date. The Cats’ suffered a 3-1 home league loss to Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (9/13) in their most recent action and are 1-3 in their last four appearances after winning the previous four straight. NMU visits Michigan Tech this Tuesday (9/16) in conference match play. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. NMU – 9-19.

    Michigan Tech: The two teams will meet for the 60th time with the Bulldogs having a 48-11 all-time series advantage. Ferris State swept last season’s two-match series as the Bulldogs recorded a 3-2 home victory over the Huskies (9/15) in Big Rapids and then claimed a 3-0 road win (10/19) at Houghton, Mich. FSU is 23-5 all-time at home versus Michigan Tech. The Huskies, who are coached by 10th-year head coach Krista Mikesch, are 7-3 overall and 2-0 in the GLIAC to date. MTU has presently won five of its last seven matches, which included a 3-0 league home win against Lake Superior State last Saturday (9/13) at MTU's SDC Gymnasium in Houghton, to extend its winning string to two straight. The Huskies host Northern Michigan this Tuesday (9/16) and then visit Grand Valley State this Friday (9/19) before facing the Bulldogs. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. MTU – 22-4.

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