at GLIAC/GLVC Crossover
Friday - vs. Lewis (Ill.), 12:30 p.m.
Friday - vs. Indianapolis, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday - vs. Southern Indiana, 2 p.m.
*The Opening Serve: The nationally-ranked Ferris State University women's volleyball team will compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)/Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLIAC) Crossover Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-13, in Aurora, Ill. The Bulldogs face GLVC members Lewis and Indianapolis on Friday followed by a Saturday tilt against Southern Indiana.
*The Crossover Event: Mizuno will once again serve as the title sponsor for the regional volleyball event which will pit 16 GLVC members against 16 institutions representing the GLIAC and is the nation's largest college volleyball event in its fifth season. The two-day tournament will feature 48 matches conducted on eight courts at one of the top volleyball facilities in the country. The event, designed to increase competition between teams from the two leagues in the NCAA Division II Midwest Region, has previously been held in Indianapolis, Ind., and Lansing, Mich.
*Media Coverage: Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for links to all available coverage.
*The 40th Season: The 2012 campaign represents Ferris State's 40th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 849-468 (.645). 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. FSU needs one win to notch its 850th all-time victory.
*2012 Record: Ferris State is currently 14-3 overall and 8-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division to date.
*The Coach: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990) is midst her 17th year at Ferris State. Brandel-Wilhelm ranks among the nation's top active coaches with a 465-187 (.713) career record. She holds a record of 347-167 (.675) at the Bulldog helm. 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.
*Last Week: The Bulldogs swept both Ashland and Lake Erie in league play last weekend (Oct. 5-6) inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids. FSU also honored the 25th anniversary of its 1987 Final Four Team on Saturday.
*All-Tourney Honors: The Bulldogs had several players earn all-tournament team honors in two events to open the 2012 campaign. 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 Ferris State Invitational All-Tournament Team (Aug. 31-Sept. 1). Two FSU players claimed all-tournament team accolades the following week at the Minnesota-Duluth Classic (Sept. 7-8) as Sutton and sophomore outside hitter Courtney Rehm (Portage/Central) both were recognized.
*National Rankings: Ferris State is currently ranked 21st nationally this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II National Poll. FSU, which was ranked 14th in the preseason poll, is one of two GLIAC members found in the top 25 this week along with Northwood (25th). The Bulldogs remained in the 21st spot this week.
*Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs resume GLIAC action on the road next weekend with league encounters at Findlay on Friday (Oct. 19) and against Wayne State on Saturday (Oct. 20).
*Back At Home: Ferris State will play its next home match on Oct. 26 as the Bulldogs entertain the Michigan Tech Huskies in league competition at 5 p.m. (ET) inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena. FSU hosts Northern Michigan on Oct. 27 and rival Grand Valley State on Oct. 30 in Big Rapids.
*4,000 Assists: Senior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) currently ranks fourth in school history with 4,146 career assists and needs 265 more to catch former Bulldog Ashley Green's third-place career total fo 4,411 total assists. Fordyce notched her 4,000th career assist in FSU's road win at Grand Valley State (Sept. 25).
*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 314-83 (.791) 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 167-43 (.795) 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 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 (Alma) 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.
*GLIAC Standing/Schedule: Fans can view the complete 2012 GLIAC Standings for both the North and South Divisions along with a composite schedule on the GLIAC website at www.gliac.org.
*Bulldog Bites: Junior setter Samantha Fordyce leads the team in assists with 613 total helpers thus far in the season … Ferris State has 758 total kills while opponents are currently at 736 kills … Defensively, the Bulldogs have racked up 129.5 total blocks, 49 block solos and 161 block assists … Junior middle hitter Angi Kent has a team-leading 44 total blocks of which 43 are assisted efforts … Junior libero Brandie Merren (Hopkins) has 283 digs for the 2012 campaign and is averaging 4.64 digs per set.
*Productive Span: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches 10 times under 17th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs have reached the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament seven times in that span and advanced to the GLIAC Tournament the last 14 consecutive years to date.
*Sixth In Nation: Senior middle hitter Anne Sutton presently ranks sixth in the nation to date in attack percentage with a .407 season figure. As a team, Ferris State is ninth in the country in hitting percentage as the Bulldogs own a .274 mark overall to date this year.
*Key Statistics: Ferris State leads the GLIAC and ranks ninth in the nation to date in attack percentage with a .274 hitting figure thus far this season ...... Bulldog senior Anne Sutton tops the conference chart with a league-leading .407 hitting figure while Samantha Fordyce leads the league in assists (10.05 p/set) ...... Brandie Merren is tied for second in the league in digs (4.64 p/set) ... Angi Kent is fourth in the GLIAC in hitting percentage (.358).
*This Weekend's Opposition:
Lewis: Lewis owns an 11-7 overall mark to date this season heading into the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover and is 7-2 in GLVC East Division action. The Flyers had won seven consecutive matches prior to a 3-0 league road setback at Missouri S&T on Sunday (Oct. 7). Ferris State is 23-7 all-time against Lewis and was a 3-1 winner over the Flyers in 2011.
Indianapolis: Indianapolis is currently ranked ninth in the nation to date heading into the crossover event and leads the GLVC East Division with a 17-2 overall record and a 9-0 league ledger. The Greyhounds have won 14 matches in a row this season with their only two losses coming to nationally-ranked Central Missouri and Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.) early in the year. Ferris State leads Indianapolis 3-2 in the all-time series, but suffered a 3-0 loss to the Greyhounds in last year's NCAA Tournament in Hillsdale, Mich.
Southern Indiana: The Screaming Eagles are right behind Indianapolis and Lewis in the upper half of the GLVC East Division standings heading into the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover. USI is 9-9 overall and 7-2 in league action heading into the tournament. FSU is 8-3 in series' history against Southern Indiana and topped the Screaming Eagles by a 3-0 count a year ago.