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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: Ferris State University’s women’s volleyball team received its 13th all-time NCAA Division II National Tournament bid in an announcement made Sunday (Nov. 13). The Bulldogs are the region’s sixth seed and will square off against third-seeded Southern Illinois-Edwardsville of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) in Thursday’s (Nov. 17) NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Quarterfinals. The match is set for a 12 p.m. (EST) start in Grand Valley State’s Fieldhouse Arena at Allendale, Mich. GVSU claimed the top seed and will serve as the tournament host.
Ferris Falls To GVSU: Ferris dropped a 3-0 decision to archrival Grand Valley State in the quarterfinal round of the 2005 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament last Wednesday (Nov. 9) in Allendale, Mich. FSU, which is currently 22-9 overall and posted a third-place tying 12-6 mark in league play this campaign, has won 16 of its last 22 outings to date this campaign.
Ticket Information: Tickets for the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament will be available at the door or can be obtained by contacting the Grand Valley State Athletics Ticket Office at (616) 331-8800. Ticket prices per session are $7 for adults along with $3 for seniors 55+, youth ages 3-17 and college students with ID.
The Regional Field: FSU is seeded sixth overall in the field while SIUE is seeded third. Thursday’s other quarterfinal round matches include number two seed Rockhurst (Mo.) against seventh-seeded Hillsdale at 2:30 p.m., fourth-seeded Northwood facing fifth-seeded Ashland in a 5 p.m. match and GVSU hosting eighth-seeded Charleston (W.Va.) beginning at 7:30 p.m. The tournament semifinals will be held Friday (Nov. 18) at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, with the regional final set for Saturday (Nov. 19) at 7 p.m.
Regional Notebook: FSU will be making its 13th all-time NCAA Division II National Tournament appearance and second consecutive bid ........ The Bulldogs also played in the NCAA-II Tournament from 1982-87, 1989-90, 1992, 1999 and 2002 ....... Ferris, which has posted a 7-13 overall mark in NCAA Tournament play to date, has advanced to the regional final seven times ........ The Bulldogs claimed the regional championship and participated in the NCAA-II Elite Eight in both 1987 and 1989 ........ In its last regional tournament contest (11/19/04), Ferris dropped a 3-2 quarterfinal round decision versus Southern Indiana at Allendale, Mich. ........ This will be FSU’s fourth regional appearance under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, who’s 0-3 in three previous tournament matches.
More Regional Notes: The winner of Saturday's regional championship match will advance to the 25th annual NCAA-II Elite Eight set to be held Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 1-3, at a campus site to be determined ............ GVSU was selected as the region’s host site by the national committee ..... Three automatic and five at-large bids were be awarded in the region, which consists of the GLIAC, GLVC and West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conferences (WVIAC) .......... The Lakers have hosted the regional tournament in each of FSU’s last three appearances (2002, 2004, 2005) ........ Ferris has dropped its opening match in each of its last three NCAA Tournament berths ........ Five GLIAC schools received 2005 NCAA-II Tournament bids while the GLVC had two schools and the WVIAC had one school picked .......... Ferris head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm is a member of the NCAA’s regional volleyball committee.
GLIAC Tourney Notes: FSU made its eighth consecutive conference tournament appearance this season .......... In eight all-time GLIAC tournament appearances, Ferris has posted a 9-7 overall mark to date following last Wednesday’s loss.
Last Season: Ferris State claimed its ninth GLIAC Championship in 2004 after winning the league’s annual postseason tournament for the first time ever. FSU concluded the 2004 campaign with a 25-7 overall record and a second place 14-4 GLIAC North Division mark. The Bulldogs also advanced to the NCAA-II National Tournament for the 12th time in school history.
The 33rd Season: The 2004 campaign marks the 33rd season of FSU women’s volleyball. Since the program’s inception in 1972, the Bulldogs have compiled a 714-406 (.638) overall record. Ferris has won nine GLIAC titles, made 12 NCAA-II Tournament appearances and registered 25 winning seasons in its previous 32 campaigns. The Bulldogs notched the program’s 700th all-time victory this year with a win over Bellarmine (Sept. 9).
GLIAC Preseason Poll: FSU was picked to finish fourth in the 2005 GLIAC Volleyball Coaches Preseason North Division Poll as announced by the league office. The Bulldogs totaled 26 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's head coaches. Grand Valley State was the favorite to repeat as regular-season divisional champion as the Lakers recorded 31 points along with three first-place votes. Findlay received 23 points and three first-place votes in being selected this year’s South Division favorite. Northwood and Northern Michigan were chosen second and third, respectively, in the North Division poll.
National Rankings Info: The Bulldogs are not ranked in the latest (Nov. 14) 2005 CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll announced by the AVCA. The Bulldogs were ranked nationally all season until the last two polls. Ferris is listed fourth among the other schools receiving votes this week with nine points. Ferris concluded the 2004 campaign ranked 20th in the AVCA's final regular-season poll. The only GLIAC school currently featured in the poll is 21st-ranked Grand Valley State. Ferris was ranked 17th in the organization’s 2005 preseason national poll and ranked as high as 13th earlier this season (Sept. 6). Regional qualifer Rockhurst (Mo.) is currently ranked 22nd with SIUE listed first among the others receiving votes with 24 points.
The Head Coach: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm presently ranks second among Ferris’ all-time coaching victory leaders. Brandel-Wilhelm, who has a current 330-125 (.725) career mark, is 212-105 (.669) in her 10th season at Ferris. A 1990 Alma graduate, Brandel-Wilhelm guided the Bulldogs to NCAA-II Tournament appearances in 1999, 2002 and 2004. Brandel-Wilhelm was voted the GLIAC’s Coach of the Year in 2002. She registered her 200th win at the Bulldog helm with a victory Sept. 10 over Edinboro (Pa.) at the Findlay (Ohio) TownPlace Suites Classic.
The FSU Roster: Ferris’ 2005 active roster includes five seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and seven freshmen. Eight of the 19 players are outside hitters, seven are middle hitters, and four others fill the squad’s setter, defensive specialist and libero roles. Emily Clouse (Ohio) is the only squad member not from the state of Michigan. The Bulldogs' current roster is the program's second-largest in school history behind last season's roster of 20 players.
Bulldog Success: The Bulldogs’ current 22-9 mark this season assures themselves of recording the program’s eighth consecutive winning campaign. This season marks the 25th-straight year the Bulldogs have registered double-figure wins. The last time FSU failed to record at least 10 victories was in 1980 (5-21).
Bulldog Captains: Senior setter Emily Clouse (Tiffin, Ohio/Bascom Hopewell-Loudon), senior libero Brittny Godlewski (St. Clair Township/Marysville) and junior outside hitter Danielle Baucher (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) were chosen as the squad’s tri-captains for the 2005 campaign.
Godlewski Now Second: Ferris’ Brittny Godlewski currently has 1,414 career digs and ranks seocnd all-time in school history. She is only 55 shy of Janna Biggs’ (1985-88) school-record total of 1,469 digs.
Baucher Nearing Mark: FSU’s Danielle Baucher has registered at least 10 kills and 10 digs in 18 of her last 20 outings this campaign. She has 992 kills to date and is eight shy of becoming the 14th player in school history to join the 1,000 career kills club. Baucher, who earlier this season became the program’s 10th member of the 1,000 digs club, would also become the sixth player in Bulldog history to record both 1,000 career kills and digs.
The FSU Tradition: Ferris has won 20 or more matches seven times under 10th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 179-75 (.705) over the past eight years (1998-05) and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament four times in that span. FSU has advanced to the GLIAC Tournament eight consecutive years (1998-05) to date.
Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 626-295 (.680) overall since 1981 and sports a 404-236 (.631) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. The Bulldogs are currently 6-5 in road matches this season after posting a 8-2 mark on the road last campaign.
Bulldog Quick Notes: Sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea has compiled 10 kills or more 11 times in her last 17 outings this season after doing so only twice in the initial 14 matches this year ......... Emily Clouse recorded her 600th career dig last Wednesday at GVSU ......... Brittny Godlewski’s 444 digs to date this campaign are the school’s most in a season since Sheri (Maus) Harris netted 498 in 1998 ....... Becky Thurau needs 19 kills to notch her 700th career kill ..... Junior outside hitter Jamie Palazoolo (Emmett/Yale) picked up her 300th career dig at GVSU.
Another Great Year: Ferris' current 22-9 overall record this season represents the school's seventh 20-win campaign in the last eight seasons to date. The Bulldogs, who have recorded at least 20 victories in a season 18 times, have won at least 10 matches in each of their last 25 campaigns dating back to 1981. The 1984 FSU squad won a NCAA-II record 46 consecutive matches en route to a school-best 48-3 overall mark.
FSU Notes: FSU is 22-1 when registering more kills than its opponent this season .......... The Bulldogs are presently 20-1 overall when winning the opening game of a match this campaign ......... The Bulldogs have compiled a 74-14 (.843) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 campaign ...... Ferris has posted a lower hitting percentage than its opponent in each of its nine losses this season ........ Danielle Baucher and junior middle hitter Karla White (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) were honored as 2005 All-GLIAC First-Team picks. Brittny Godlewski attained All-GLIAC Second Team kudos while senior middle hitter Lauren Heine (Ypsilanti) was an honorable mention choice in voting conducted by the league’s head coaches.
A Look At The Regional Field:
The Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Cougars: Ferris and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville will square off for the seventh time this Thursday with the all-time series tied at three wins apiece. In the last meeting (9/11/04), the Bulldogs dropped a 3-2 decision to SIUE at the Great Lakes Region Crossover Tournament in Wheeling, W.Va. SIUE, which has won 18 consecutive outings to date this season, captured the 2005 Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Tournament Championship and the league’s automatic NCAA bid with a 3-1 win over Indianapolis in the final match Saturday (Nov. 12) in Kansas City, Mo. The victory gave the Cougars their first league title in their 11-year history. This will be SIUE’s second NCAA Tournament appearance as they also participated in the regional field in 1998. Senior middle hitter Heather Bonde, who was named the 2005 GLVC Player of the Year, leads the Cougars with 424 kills and 121 total blocks this campaign. SIUE, which is guided by fifth-year head coach Todd Gober, presently holds a 27-5 overall record after registering a second place 14-2 GLVC mark this season.
The Grand Valley State Lakers: Ferris and Grand Valley State have met 86 times before with GVSU holding a 46-40 series advantage. The Lakers registered a 3-0 triumph in the most recent meeting (Nov. 9) in Allendale, Mich. FSU has won three of the last five matches, including a 3-0 victory in the 2004 GLIAC Tournament Championship (11/14/04) at Allendale. Ferris head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 8-14 career coaching record against Grand Valley State. GVSU, which has won 10 of the last 17 series contests, holds a 30-25 all-time record versus FSU in Allendale and a 16-15 edge at Big Rapids, Mich. Grand Valley State compiled a 27-7 overall record in 2004, including a first-place 16-2 GLIAC North Division finish and a berth in the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament. The Lakers, who are coached by 11th-year head coach Deanne Scanlon, are currently 26-6 overall this season and won the GLIAC North Division with a 15-3 regular-season mark. GVSU, which has won 16 of its last 18 outings to date this season, also claimed the 2005 GLIAC Tourney title. GVSU recorded a 3-1 win over Ferris in the 1986 regional semifinal at Allendale, which marks the two schools’ only previous NCAA Tournament meeting.
The Hillsdale Chargers: FSU maintains a 45-10 series edge against Hillsdale. The Bulldogs have won four of the last seven series outings, but dropped a 3-0 decision in this season’s meeting (10/14) at Hillsdale, Mich. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 11-3 career coaching mark against the Chargers. HC is presently 19-11 overall and was 11-6 in league action this season following a 3-0 GLIAC Tourney semifinal round loss at Grand Valley State last Saturday (Nov. 12). Last season, Hillsdale posted a 19-10 overall record and a second-place tying 11-6 mark in the GLIAC’s South Division. The Chargers, who have currently split their last six outings, are directed by 10th-year head coach Chris Gravel. Ferris is presently 24-9 versus HC all-time in road/neutral site contests. The two teams have never faced each other before in NCAA Tournament play.
The Charleston (W.Va.) Golden Eagles: Ferris and Charleston (W.Va.) have met once before with FSU posting a 3-1 neutral site win (9/6/98) during the Tia Brandel-Wilhelm era at Kenosha, Wis. The Golden Eagles enter the tournament with a 26-9 overall record under 13th-year head coach Bren Stevens. Charleston posted a 31-7 overall record in 2004 and placed second in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Charleston, which has posted 12 consecutive 20-win campaigns, will be making its sixth overall and second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Golden Eagles claimed the 2005 WVIAC Tournament Championship after placing tied for first with a 17-1 league mark in regular-season play.
The Ashland Eagles: The Bulldogs own an 11-2 series advantage over Ashland, but lost a 3-2 decision in this season’s only meeting (Sept. 23) at Big Rapids, Mich. AU tallied a 26-6 overall record and a first-place 14-3 GLIAC South Division mark in 2004. The Eagles, who are coached by third-year head coach Connie Surowicz, are currently 23-9 overall and posted a first-place 13-4 GLIAC South Division mark this campaign. AU also advanced to the GLIAC Tourney semifinals before falling to Northwood 3-1 Saturday (Nov. 12) in Allendale, Mich. Ashland has lost three of its last four outings to date this season. The Bulldogs, who have won eight of the last nine series’ meetings, are currently 9-2 against the Eagles in the Tia Brandel-Wilhelm era and 6-1 all-time in road/neutral site tilts. AU, which dropped a 3-1 decision in the only regular-season meeting last year (9/18) against the Bulldogs at Big Rapids, also fell to Ferris 3-1 in the 2004 GLIAC Tourney Semifinals (11/13/04) at Allendale. The two teams have never met before in NCAA Tournament play.
The Rockhurst Hawks: Ferris State and Rockhurst (Mo.) have never met before in collegiate volleyball competition. The nationally 22nd-ranked Hawks claimed the Great Lakes Valley Conference regular-season championship with a 15-1 league record this campaign. Rockhurst, which is presently 27-6 overall this season, lost a 3-2 decision to Indianapolis in the GLVC Tournament Semifinals last Friday (Nov. 11) at home in Kansas City, Mo. RU, which has presently split its last six outings this year, is in its first season as a member of the GLVC. Rockhurst finished with a 26-10 record and ranked 23rd in the final Division II poll in 2004. The Hawks won the Heartland Conference regular season with a 9-1 record and advanced to the NCAA-II Southwest Regional Tournament last campaign. Tracy Rietzke serves as the Hawks’ head coach.
The Northwood Timberwolves: FSU maintains a 25-18 series edge against Northwood. The Timberwolves have won 10 of the last 15 series outings, although Ferris won the most recent meeting (10/22) 3-1 in Big Rapids, Mich. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 9-15 career coaching mark against the Timberwolves. NU is presently 22-10 overall and was 14-4 in the GLIAC this season before falling to GVSU 3-0 in the league tourney final Sunday (Nov. 13). Last season, Northwood posted a 21-10 overall record and a fourth-place 11-7 mark in the GLIAC’s North Division. The Timberwolves, who have presently won six of their last seven outings this season, are directed by second-year head coach Tim Koth. Ferris is currently 12-11 versus NU all-time in road/neutral site tilts and has never met Northwood before in NCAA Tournament play.