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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The nationally-ranked Ferris State University women’s volleyball squad ventures to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for three Great Lake Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches this weekend (Oct. 28-30). Ferris will visit Lake Superior State Friday, Oct. 28, for a 5 p.m. (EDT) match in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. FSU then travels to Michigan Tech Saturday, Oct. 29, with match time set for 2 p.m. (EDT) in Houghton, Mich. The Bulldogs conclude the trip by squaring off against Northern Michigan Sunday, Oct. 30, in a 1 p.m. (EST) tilt at Marquette, Mich.
FSU Sweeps Weekend: Ferris claimed two conference home wins last weekend (Oct. 21-22) in FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena at Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs beat Saginaw Valley State 3-0 Friday (Oct. 21) and then defeated Northwood 3-1 Saturday (Oct. 22). FSU, which is currently 19-7 overall and 9-5 in league play this campaign, has won 13 of its last 17 outings to date this campaign.
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 711-404 (.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. A year ago, Ferris also took fourth place in the preseason coaches poll with 26 points. 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, which tied for second place in the South Division last campaign, received 23 points and three first-place votes in being selected this year’s favorite. Northwood and Northern Michigan were chosen second and third, respectively, in the North Division poll.
FSU Ranked 25th: The Bulldogs are ranked 25th in the latest (Oct. 24) 2005 CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll announced by the AVCA. FSU registered 46 total points in the balloting process after being ranked tied for 24th with 80 points last week. Ferris concluded the 2004 campaign ranked 20th in the AVCA's final regular-season poll. In addition to FSU, the only other GLIAC school featured in the current poll is 16th-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).
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 327-123 (.727) career mark, is 209-103 (.670) 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.
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 squad’s 2005 yearbook can also be found at the site. “Live Stats” of all Ferris home matches will also be provided.
The FSU Tradition: Ferris has won 20 or more matches six times under 10th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 176-73 (.707) over the past eight years (1998-05) and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament three times in that span. FSU has advanced to the GLIAC Tournament seven consecutive years to date.
Home Sweet Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 239-62 (.794) record to date in 24 seasons of competition at Ewigleben Sports Arena since moving from the Health and Physical Education (HPE) Building in 1981. Ferris, which has compiled six undefeated home seasons in the facility, registered a 12-3 mark at home in 2004. Overall, Ferris is 92-22 (.807) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.
Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 623-293 (.680) overall since 1981 and sports a 402-234 (.632) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. The Bulldogs are currently 4-3 in road matches this season after posting a 8-2 mark on the road last campaign.
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 named tri-captains for the 2005 campaign. Baucher had 416 digs and added 340 kills in 2004. Clouse totaled 572 assists and 220 digs while Godlewski chipped in 396 digs last year.
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.
FSU Notes: Ferris is currently 36-10 (.783) in October matches dating back to 2001 .......... FSU is 19-1 when registering more kills than its opponent this season ........... Ferris is 7-4 in Friday matches and 10-2 in Saturday encounters to date this campaign ......... The Bulldogs have compiled a 71-13 (.845) 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 seven losses this season ........ FSU holds a 19-0 mark when compiling a higher attack percentage than its opponent this year. The Bulldogs are 12-0 overall to date when their opponent hits less than .100 for the match.
Bulldog Success: The Bulldogs’ current 19-7 mark with four regular-season matches remaining 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 Quick Notes: Ferris’ Brittny Godlewski currently has 1,359 career digs and ranks fourth all-time in school history. She is nine digs away from tying Kathy O’Connor (1,368; 1990-93) for third place in Bulldog history and only 110 shy of Janna Biggs’ (1985-88) school-record total of 1,469 digs. Godlewski has posted 20 digs or more in four of her last nine appearances this season ............. Danielle Baucher has registered at least 10 kills and 10 digs in 14 of her last 15 outings this campaign. She has 939 kills to date and is 61 shy of becoming the 14th play 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 only the sixth player in Bulldog history to record both 1,000 career kills and digs .......... Sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea) has compiled 10 kills or more eight times in her last 12 outings this season after having done so only twice in the initial 14 matches this year.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris is currently 11-0 this season versus teams entering the match with a .500 record or less this year ........ The Bulldogs are presently 17-1 overall when winning the opening game of a match this season .......... Ferris is one win shy of posting at least 20 victories for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. Overall, FSU has registered 20 or more wins 17 times in the program’s previous 32 campaigns to date ..... Ferris hosts Grand Valley State in its regular-season league finale Friday, Nov. 4, beginning at 5:30 p.m. (EST) in the Ewigleben Sports Arena.
Weekend Notes: Ferris improved to 44-8 all-time against SVSU with Friday’s win. Ferris head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm improved her career coaching mark versus the Cardinals to 17-3 overall ........... Ferris held both NU and Saginaw Valley State to a negative attack percentage last weekend. SVSU posted a -.009 attack percentage versus FSU while Northwood hit -.014 against the Bulldogs ............. The match against SVSU was the 300th in Ewigleben Sports Arena history ....... Saturday’s match versus NU was Brandel-Wilhelm’s 450th match as a collegiate head coach.
GLIAC Tourney: The 2005 GLIAC Tournament remains on campus sites this season for the second-straight year. The top three teams in each division plus the next two best overall teams will qualify for the postseason tournament. The top four teams will host quarterfinal-round action Wednesday, Nov. 9, with the top remaining seed selected to host the semifinals/finals Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13. Ferris has six league matches remaining this season.
A Look At The Opponents:
Lake Superior State: FSU holds a 54-17 advantage entering this Friday’s 72nd series meeting with Lake Superior State. Ferris’ Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 20-1 career coaching mark against LSSU and guided the Bulldogs to a 3-2 win in the last meeting (10/2/05) at Big Rapids. LSSU, which has won its last two outings this campaign to date, is presently 8-18 overall and 5-8 in conference play after last Saturday’s (Oct. 22) 3-2 league upset at Northern Michigan. Last season, the Lakers compiled a 8-22 overall record and placed sixth (4-14) in the league’s North Division. The Bulldogs, who have won 34 of the last 35 meetings, are 25-13 all-time versus Lake Superior State in road/neutral site encounters. LSSU is coached by 11th-year head coach Mark Engle.
Michigan Tech: Ferris and Michigan Tech will square off for the 54th time this Saturday with FSU holding a 42-11 series advantage. In the last meeting (9/30/05), the Bulldogs recorded a 3-0 win at Big Rapids. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 16-4 career coaching record against the Huskies. FSU, which has won 15 of the past 16 contests, holds an 22-6 all-time record versus MTU in road/neutral site matches. MTU compiled an 11-20 overall record in 2004, including a fifth-place 8-10 GLIAC North Division finish. The Huskies, who are coached by seventh-year head coach Krista Mikesch, fell to 9-13 overall and 5-8 in league play this season as a result of their 3-2 conference home loss to Lake Superior State Friday (Oct. 21). MTU has lost its last three outings this campaign to date after being picked to finish fifth in the GLIAC North Division Preseason Poll. MTU will visit Minnesota-Duluth for a non-league match Tuesday (Oct. 25) and then host GLIAC foe Grand Valley State Friday (Oct. 28) prior to facing the Bulldogs.
Northern Michigan: The all-time series between FSU and NMU is tied at 36 wins apiece heading into Sunday’s 73rd series meeting. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 7-15 career coaching mark against the Wildcats, but dropped a 3-1 home decision in the last matchup (10/1/05) at Big Rapids. NMU is presently 11-10 overall and 8-5 in the GLIAC’s North Division following Saturday’s (Oct. 22) 3-2 home loss to Lake Superior State. Northern Michigan recorded a 24-7 overall record and a third-place 13-5 mark in the GLIAC’s North Division last season. The Wildcats are directed by Qi Wang, who is midst his first season at NMU. NMU, which has lost three of its last four outings to date this campaign, has claimed six of the last 10 series’ victories versus FSU. Northern Michigan holds a 22-18 all-time advantage over the Bulldogs in road-neutral site meetings. Northern Michigan will host GVSU Saturday (Oct. 29) before squaring off against FSU.