Friday, Sept. 14 - 7 p.m. (ET)
Saturday, Sept. 15 - 2 p.m. (ET)
*The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team continues its 40th year of intercollegiate competition this weekend as the Bulldogs open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action. FSU visits Northwood for its league opener on Friday (Sept. 14) with match time set for 7 p.m. (ET) in Midland. The Bulldogs then head to Hillsdale for an afternoon matchup on Saturday (Sept. 15) at 2 p.m. (ET).
*Media Coverage: For a complete listing of links as they become available, visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
*The 40th Season: The 2012 campaign represents Ferris State's 40th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 841-467 (.643). Since the program's inception in 1973, the Bulldogs have won 10 GLIAC titles, qualified 16 times for the NCAA-II Tournament and registered 32 winning seasons.
*2012 Record: Ferris State is currently 6-2 overall and 0-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division to date.
*The Coaches: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990) is midst her 17th year at Ferris State. Brandel-Wilhelm holds a career record of 339-166 (.671). Brandel-Wilhelm entered the 2012 campaign as Ferris State's all-time winningest coach. She became the program's fifth head coach in June 1996.
*Ferris State Invitational: The Bulldogs officially opened the 2012 campaign by posting a 3-1 mark in the season-opening Ferris State Invitational held two weeks ago (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Complex. FSU recorded wins over Alderson-Broaddus (W.Va.), West Virginia State and Clarion (Pa.), but fell to Mercyhurst by a narrow 3-2 count. A total of nine teams took part in the two-day event with 18 matches contested on two courts.
*Another Good Weekend: FSU followed up its successful opening weekend by posting an identical 3-1 mark in the Minnesota-Duluth Classic last weekend (Sept. 7-8) in Duluth, Minn. The Bulldogs defeated Minnesota-Crookston, Bemidji State (Minn.) and Erskine (S.C.) in the event. The lone loss came to nationally sixth-ranked host Minnesota-Duluth by a 3-0 score.
*All-Tourney Honors: Two Bulldog players claimed all-tournament team honors after their efforts at the Ferris State Invitational. Senior middle hitter Anne Sutton (Grand Rapids/Northview) and junior middle hitter Angi Kent (Lansing/Waverly) both were among the 12 individuals named to the all-tournament squad for their efforts.
*More All-Tourney Nods: Again last weekend, two FSU players claimed all-tournament team accolades. Anne Sutton and sophomore outside hitter Courtney Rehm both were recognized by being named to the 2012 Minnesota-Duluth Classic All-Tournament Team for their play over the weekend.
*National Rankings: Ferris State is currently ranked 19th nationally again this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II National Poll. FSU, which was ranked 14th in the preseason poll, dropped five spots but is the only GLIAC member school found in the top 25 nationally.
*Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs are back at home next week as they continue GLIAC competition inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena. Ferris State hosts league newcomers Walsh and Malone on Friday and Saturday (Sept. 21-22), respectively. FSU faces Walsh on Friday at 2 p.m. (ET) before battling Malone on Saturday at 3 p.m. (ET).
*2012 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Poll: Ferris State was selected first in the 2012 GLIAC Preseason North Division Coaches Poll. The Bulldogs captured 10 first-place votes and 211 total points as the favorite in the 16-team league. FSU, which won the GLIAC North Division a year ago, was tabbed to finish ahead of defending conference tournament champion Hillsdale. The Chargers came in second with 193 points and three first-place votes.
*2012 FSU Roster: Ferris State's 2012 active roster includes six seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and six freshmen. Seven of the 18 players are middle hitters, seven are outside hitters and the four others fill the squad's setter, defensive specialist and libero roles. All but two members of the team are from Michigan.
*Ewigleben Sports Arena: The Bulldogs have compiled a 310-83 (.789) record to date in 31 seasons of competition at the Ewigleben Sports Arena since moving from the Health and Physical Education (HPE) Building in 1981. Ferris, which has accumulated six undefeated home seasons in the facility, produced a 15-1 home ledger in 2011. Overall, Ferris is 163-43 (.791) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.
*2011 Record: The Bulldogs won the GLIAC North Division Championship while also reaching the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals in 2011 with a 27-4 overall record. Ferris State finished as league co-champions after posting an 18-1 conference mark under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs appeared in their 14th straight GLIAC Tournament a season ago.
*All-Conference Returners: Ferris State has three All-GLIAC performers from last season's squad returning. Senior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) and senior middle hitter Anne Sutton were chosen as first team All-GLIAC picks a year ago while sophomore middle hitter Courtney Rehm earned second team status and was the GLIAC's Freshman of the Year. Meanwhile, senior outside hitter Aly Brecht wan an honorable mention choice a year ago.
*Yearbook Available Online: The 2012 Ferris State University Women's Yearbook will be available to view online in a PDF format this week. The publication features such information as 2012 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2011 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc.
*This Week's Opposition:
Northwood: The Timberwolves are currently 5-3 overall this season and coming off a 3-0 loss to nationally 22nd-ranked Eckerd (Fla.) last Saturday (Sept. 8) in St. Petersburg, Fla. Eighth-year head Coach Tim Koth's squad opened the year by winning three of four outings at the Ferris State Invitational (Aug. 31 & Sept. 2). The Bulldogs own a 32-21 all-time series' edge over the Timberwolves, including a 14-14 overall mark in Midland.
Hillsdale: Ferris State and Hillsdale will meet for the 64th time with the Bulldogs holding a 49-15 all-time series advantage over the Chargers. The two teams split two matches last season with FSU winning 3-0 in regular-season play and the Chargers taking a 3-0 win in Big Rapids in the GLIAC Tournament title match. Ferris State's record is currently 24-3 at home against Hillsdale and stands at a 25-12 when playing against the Chargers in Hillsdale. The Charger squad is led by Chris Gravel who is in his 17th season at the position. HC is currently 1-7 overall heading into the week.