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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State women’s volleyball team, which is 7-2 overall this campaign, will take part in the Findlay (Ohio) TownPlace Suites Classic this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10, at UF’s Croy Gymnasium and the Malcolm Athletic Center in Findlay, Ohio. The Bulldogs will play three non-league matches versus Bellarmine (Ky.), Concord (W.Va.) and Edinboro (Pa.) in the event.
FSU Splits Weekend Matches: Ferris split four weekend matches in the Amerihost-Grand Valley State Fall Classic last Friday and Saturday (Sept. 2-3) in GVSU’s Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale, Mich. The Bulldogs defeated Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.) 3-0 in Friday’s opening match before falling to nationally fourth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth 3-0 later in the day. Ferris then dropped a 3-0 setback to 12th-ranked Central Washington Saturday morning before concluding the event with a 3-1 triumph over Arkansas Tech.
Last Season: Ferris State claimed its ninth Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (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 699-399 (.637) overall record. Ferris has won nine GLIAC titles, made 12 NCAA-II Tournament appearances and registered 25 winning seasons in its previous 31 campaigns. The Bulldogs are one win shy of notching the program’s 700th all-time victory.
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 Moves Up To 13th: The Bulldogs are currently ranked 13th overall in the latest (Sept. 6) 2005 CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll announced by the AVCA. FSU registered 391 total points in the balloting process after being ranked 17th in the preseason national poll. Ferris concluded the 2004 campaign ranked 20th in the AVCA's final regular-season poll. In addition to FSU, the other GLIAC schools featured in the current poll include 12th-ranked Grand Valley State and 23rd-ranked Northern Michigan. Northwood and Ashland were ranked 16th and 25th, respectively, in the preseason poll but are not included among the top 25 teams in the latest rankings. NU, AU and Findlay are all included in the teams receiving votes category.
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 315-118 (.727) career mark, is 197-98 (.668) in nine seasons 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 is currently three victories shy of registering her 200th win at the Bulldog helm.
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 At Home: “Live Stats” of all remaining 2005 Ferris home matches will be provided in progress via the internet. Visit www.ferris.edu/sports and click on the “Live Stats” icon to access the “Live Stats” feature.
Great Run: Ferris has won 20 or more matches six times under 10th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 164-61 (.729) over the past seven years 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.
Tough At Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 234-60 (.796) 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 87-20 (.813) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.
Big Numbers: Seventeen of FSU's 19 current squad members have seen action this campaign. The Bulldogs' current roster is the program's second-largest in school history behind last season's roster of 20 players.
Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 611-288 (.680) overall since 1981 and sports a 395-231 (.631) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. The Bulldogs are currently 2-2 in neutral site matches this season after posting a 5-2 neutral site mark last campaign.
Ferris State Trends: Five of Ferris State's nine matches this season have been decided in only three games. Two matches have went the entire five games while two have went four frames .......... FSU is 7-0 when registering more kills than its opponent this season ........... Ferris is 3-0 in evening matches and 4-2 in afternoon outings to date this campaign ......... The Bulldogs have had more blocks than their opponent in six of nine matches this year.
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) have been named tri-captains for the 2005 campaign. Baucher had a team-leading 416 digs and added 340 kills last season. Clouse totaled 572 assists and 220 digs while Godlewski chipped in 396 digs.
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.
Bulldog Quick Notes: Ferris has won 19 of its last 23 outings dating back to last campaign ..... Brittny Godlewski currently has 1,113 career digs and is 49 shy of tying Tracie Henne’s (1990-93) sixth-place FSU career mark of 1,162 digs. She has recorded 20 or more digs in four of her last six outings this year .......... Senior middle hitter Lauren Heine (Ypsilanti) notched her 500th career dig versus Central Washington ....... Senior middle hitter Becky Thurau (Troy/Birmingham Groves) is 17 kills away to date from registering her 600th career kill .......... FSU’s 10 solo blocks against Arkansas Tech tied for the program’s most dating back to the 2000 campaign .......... Ferris State had never faced either Central Washington or Arkansas Tech prior to the Amerihost-GVSU Fall Classic ........ Freshman setter Candice Marut (Pinconning) tallied a personal career-high 14 digs versus Arkansas Tech.
Posting Big Numbers: FSU’s Danielle Baucher currently has 693 career kills and is seven shy of recording her 700th career kill. A 2004 All-GLIAC Second Team honoree, Baucher presently has 866 career digs and needs 134 more to become the 11th player in school history to join the 1,000 career digs club.
New Rankings: Several of FSU’s 2005 opponents are included in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, which was released Tuesday (Sept. 6). Minnesota-Duluth is presently ranked fifth, Central Washington moved up to ninth and Grand Valley State is listed 12th. Lock Haven (21st), Northern Michigan (23rd) and Seattle Pacific (24th) are also included.
GLIAC Honoree: Junior middle hitter Karla White (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) was honored as last week’s (Aug. 31) GLIAC North Division Player of the Week for her performance in the Bulldogs’ initial five matches of the season from Aug. 25-27.
What’s On Tap: Ferris opens GLIAC action Friday, Sept. 16, versus the Northwood Timberwolves in Midland, Mich. The contest is set for a 7 p.m. (EDT) start. The Bulldogs will then battle the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals Saturday, Sept. 17, in a 4 p.m. (EDT) league road match at University Center, Mich.
A Look At The Opponents:
Bellarmine: Ferris State holds a 6-2 all-time series’ advantage over Bellarmine entering Friday’s contest at Findlay, Ohio. The Bulldogs defeated the Knights 3-0 in the most recent meeting (8/31/02) at the Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.) Invitational. BU, which is currently 2-0 overall this campaign, defeated Spalding (Ky.) 3-0 in its season opener last Saturday (Sept. 3) at home. Bellarmine, which is guided by head coach Dan Palmer, then recorded a 3-0 win at Kentucky State Tuesday (Sept. 6). The Knights posted a 4-20 overall mark last season, including a 2-14 record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently holds a 4-2 career coaching mark versus BU, which was picked to finish 12th of 13 teams in the GLVC’s 2005 Preseason Coaches Poll.
Concord: FSU and Concord have never met before heading into Saturday’s tilt. The Mountain Lions were 10-19 overall last season and compiled a 6-11 record in West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) play. Head coach Patricia Harden’s squad is presently 0-5 overall this season after dropping two matches to Mount Union (Ohio) and Kenyon (Ohio) last Saturday (Sept. 3) in the Mount Union Tournament in Alliance, Ohio. Concord, which was picked to finish eighth in the 2005 WVIAC Preseason Poll, will host Fairmont State (W.Va.) Wednesday (Sept. 7) before taking part in the Findlay TownPlace Suites Classic.
Edinboro: Ferris and Edinboro have split four previous meetings with EU winning the most recent matchup 3-1 back in 1994 (9/17) at Big Rapids, Mich. The Fighting Scots are guided by first-year head coach Missy Soboleski, who previously served as head coach at GLIAC members Mercyhurst and Gannon. Edinboro posted a 13-19 overall record in 2004 and was 3-7 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) action. EU is currently 4-4 overall this season following last Saturday’s 3-0 setback to Ashland in the Holiday Inn Meadow Lands Classic at California, Pa. Edinboro was chosen fifth in the 2005 PSAC West Division Preseason Coaches Poll. EU will host Gannon Wednesday (Sept. 7) before heading to Findlay.