Weekly Notes (Matches 6-9): Bulldogs Venture To Florida This Weekend For Tampa Classic

September 3, 2008

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    FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team will play its second tournament of the 2008 season this weekend (Sept. 5-6) as the Bulldogs compete in the Tampa Classic at UT's Bob Martinez Sports Center in Tampa, Fla. Ferris State will go up against Eckerd (Fla.), Colorado State-Pueblo, Minnesota State, and host Tampa in the tourney. Tampa is ranked fifth in this week’s (Sept. 1) CBS College Sports/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with 761 points while Minnesota State received 25 points and is listed among nine other teams receiving votes in the national poll.

    Last Time Out: Ferris State opened the 2008 campaign winning four of its initial five non-conference matches all at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs bested Aquinas, 3-0, in last Thursday’s (Aug. 28) season opener. FSU then began 2008 Ferris State Invitational play last Friday (Aug. 29) with a 3-1 decision over Indiana (Pa.) and a 3-0 win against Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.). Ferris suffered a 3-1 setback to nationally-ranked Minnesota Duluth last Saturday (Aug. 30) in its opening match of the day before bouncing back with a 3-0 victory over Urbana (Ohio).

    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 759-427 (.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. Defending NCAA Division II National Champion 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, 257-126 (.671); Career: 16th season, 375-146 (.719). 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 224-96 (.700) 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.

    On The Road: The Bulldogs are 665-315 (.679) overall since 1981 which includes a 421-250 (.627) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. Ferris State was 4-6 in road matches a season ago while compiling a 4-2 mark in neutral site encounters.

    GLIAC Player of the Week: Andrea Rich has been selected this week’s (9/3) GLIAC North Division Player of the Week as announced by the conference office. Rich, a member of the 2008 Ferris State Invitational All-Tournament Team, recorded a triple double-double against nationally-ranked Minnesota Duluth (8/30) with 11 kills, 25 assists, and 10 digs. Rich also posted five service aces in the Bulldogs’ win over Indiana, Pa. (8/29). She finished the week’s five matches with a .330 attack percentage on 41 kills in 91 attempts while totaling 102 assists, 36 digs, and eight block assists.

    2008 Ferris State Invitational Recap: Ferris State’s Andrea Rich, Katie Edwards, and junior middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) were all named to the 12-member Ferris State Invitational All-Tournament Team. Rich recorded a squad-best 90 assists and seven service aces with a .301 attack percentage in the tourney while Edwards compiled a team-high 49 kills and averaged 3.50 kills per set. Lark tallied 23 kills and produced seven block assists. Minnesota Duluth and Saginaw Valley State were the only undefeated teams in the eight-team tourney field with 4-0 records.

    Bulldog Bites: Ferris State’s .375 attack percentage in its 3-0 non-league triumph over Wheeling Jesuit (8/29) at the Ferris State Invite represented the third-best attack percentage in the program’s history. The Bulldogs generated 51 kills with 12 errors in 104 total attempts for the match. The performance surpassed the .366 hitting percentage at Saginaw Valley State (10/3/03). The school record is .416 against Fairmont State, W.Va. (8/24/01) . . . Andrea Rich is 11 assists shy of posting her 1,500th career helper . . . Rich’s five service aces against Indiana, Pa. (8/29) matched a personal career single-match high, equaling her output against St. Joseph’s, Ind. (8/24/06) and versus Midwestern State (9/2/06) at the Incarnate Word Alamo City Classic in San Antonio, Texas . . . Ferris State improved to 30-6 (.833) all-time in season-opening matches with a 3-0 home non-league win over Aquinas last Thursday (8/28) in its 2008 season opener. The Bulldogs are now 12-1 in season openers under Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

    All-Conference Returnees: The Bulldogs return a pair of All-GLIAC performers from the 2007 season in 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.

    Moving Up The Charts: Andrea Rich, who presently has 1,489 career assists in 59 matches, is 63 assists shy of moving into a 10th-place tie with Wendy McCann (1984-87; 1,552 career assists) on the program’s all-time leaders list. Rich’s teammate, Candice Marut, ranks eighth on the Bulldogs’ assists charts with a 1,784 career total to date.

    Starting Out Strong: Junior outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs) is off to another strong start for the Bulldogs as she recorded double-digit kills in four of her first five 2008 season matches, which includes the last four contests to date. Edwards, who hammered a season-best 15 kills against Indiana (Pa.) last Friday (8/29) at the Ferris State Invitational, is averaging 12.3 kills per match (49 total) in her last four 2008 appearances. Edwards averaged 9.6 kills a match (48 total) in her first five encounters a season ago and is averaging 10.4 kills per match (52 total) this season in her initial five appearances.

    Good Start: Sophomore middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) has compiled a team third-best tying 36 kills in the Bulldogs’ initial five matches this season. She also has a .324 attack percentage and is averaging 2.77 kills per set during that span. Last season after her first five matches, Goodson totaled 20 kills while averaging 1.25 per set and registering a .245 hitting percentage.

    A Look At This Week's Opponents:

    Eckerd: First-ever meeting between the two schools. The Tritons are presently 2-2 overall this season after splitting four non-league matches at the West Florida Comfort Inn-Vitational in Pensacola, Fla. Eckerd posted a 3-1 win ove Flagler (Fla.) last Saturday (8/30) in its most recent match. EC, under fifth-year head coach Courtney Draper, hosts Colorado State-Pueblo this Thursday (9/4) in a non-conference match at St. Petersburg, Fla. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. EC – 1-0.

    Colorado State-Pueblo: First meeting between the two teams. CSU-Pueblo is 2-2 overall this campaign to date as a result of gaining a split in its four matches at the CSU-Pueblo Fall Classic last weekend (8/29-30) in Pueblo, Colo. The Thunderwolves snapped a two-match losing skid with a 3-2 victory over St. Edwards, Texas last Saturday (8/30) in their most recent action. CSU-Pueblo, which is under the direction of second-year head coach Chris Jonson, will go up against Eckerd this Thursday (9/4) in its next scheduled contest.. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. CSUP – 0-0.

    Minnesota State: Ferris State maintains a 3-2 lead over the Minnesota State in the all-time series although the Bulldogs suffered a 3-1 loss to Mavericks back in the 1991 season (9/13) at the Central Missouri State Tournament in Warrensburg, Mo. MSU currently sports a 2-2 overall record this season and is midst a two-match winning streak after claiming a 3-1 decision over Western State (Colo.) last Saturday (8/30) at the Days Inn Oredigger Classic in Golden, Colo. The Mavericks, who are led by fourth-year head coach Dennis Amundson, bested Chadron State by a 3-0 count in last Saturday’s (8/30) opening match for their first win of the 2008 campaign. MSU is currently listed among other teams receiving votes in this week’s (9/1) CBS College Sports/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. MSU – 0-0.

    Tampa: The Bulldogs own a 3-2 all-time series advantage against the Spartans. In the most recent meeting (8/30/03), Tampa notched a 3-0 victory over Ferris State at the North Florida Labor Day Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. The Spartans, who are ranked fifth in the latest (9/1) CBS College Sports /AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, are 3-0 on the 2008 season after tallying 3-0 wins against nationally-ranked Ashland, Central Oklahoma, and Northern Kentucky at last weekend’s (8/29-30) Tampa Labor Day Classic in Tampa, Fla. The Spartans are coached by Chris Catanach, who’s presently in his 25th year at Tampa. The Spartans were the 2006 NCAA Division II National Champions. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UT – 0-1.

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