Friday - vs. Michigan Tech, 5 p.m.
Saturday - vs. Northern Michigan, 3 p.m.
*The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team returns home for two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches this weekend. FSU hosts Michigan Tech on Friday, Oct. 26, at 5 p.m. (ET) before facing Northern Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. (ET).
* Ticket Information: Tickets for all home matches are sold at the door beginning one hour prior to match time. Adult tickets are $5 for home contests while senior citizens (65+), FSU faculty/staff and students in grades K-12 are $3 each. Ferris State students are admitted free by showing their student ID cards.
*Parking Note: Due to other events in the facility, fans should note that Lot 46 on the east side of the Ewigleben Sports Complex will be closed to the general public for volleyball parking on Friday and Saturday as will lot 48 (meters) on the west side of the facility. Fans are asked to park in Lot 4 (across State street) or Lot 47 (west side of the sports complex).
*2012 Record: Ferris State is currently 17-5 overall and 10-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division to date. FSU has won 11 of its last 13 matches to date this year.
*Near The Top: The Bulldogs enter their final seven league regular-season matches in second place in the GLIAC North Division standings. FSU's 10-1 conference mark trails only Northwood (11-0) for the best in the league. The two teams will meet in the season finale on Nov. 10 in Big Rapids.
*Last Weekend: The Bulldogs jumped back into GLIAC play by posting two important road wins last weekend. FSU emerged with a 3-0 win over Findlay on Friday (Oct. 19) before beating Wayne State 3-2 on Saturday (Oct. 20) in Detroit.
*Media Coverage: Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for links to all available coverage. FSU will offer live internet statistics for both matches this weekend.
*The 40th Season: The 2012 campaign represents Ferris State's 40th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 852-470 (.644). 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.
*850th Win: The Bulldogs notched the program's 850th all-time victory with a win over Southern Indiana on Oct. 13 at the Mizuno GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Tournament.
*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 468-189 (.712) career record. She holds a record of 350-169 (.674) 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. Brandel-Wilhelm notched her 350th win at the Ferris State helm last Saturday at Wayne State.
*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 26th nationally this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II National Poll. FSU, which was ranked 14th in the preseason poll, dropped out of the top 25 for the first time this season last week, but is still the top team receiving votes with 33 total.
*Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs host archrival Grand Valley State on Tuesday, Oct. 30, in a 7 p.m. (ET) league match inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena. FSU was a 3-2 winner in league play over the Lakers earlier this season (Sept. 25) in Allendale. FSU then visits Lake Superior State on Friday, Nov. 2, followed by a match at Saginaw Valley State on Saturday, Sept. 3.
*4,000 Assists: Senior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) currently ranks fourth in school history with 4,335 career assists and needs 76 more to catch former Bulldog Ashley Green's third-place career total of 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 802 total helpers thus far in the season … Ferris State has 992 total kills while opponents are currently at 1,016 kills … Defensively, the Bulldogs have racked up 185.5 total blocks, 75 block solos and 221 block assists … Senior middle hitter Anne Sutton has a team-leading 62 total blocks to date with 52 coming on assisted efforts … Junior libero Brandie Merren (Hopkins) has 382 digs for the 2012 campaign and is averaging 4.66 digs per set ....... FSU's Anne Sutton has tallied 10 or more kills in 13 outings this season to date.
*Productive Span: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches 10 times under 17th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. FSU is presently three wins shy of reaching the mark again this season. 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.
*Ninth In Nation: Senior middle hitter Anne Sutton presently ranks sninth in the nation to date in attack percentage with a .398 season figure. As a team, Ferris State is 19th in the country in hitting percentage as the Bulldogs own a .251 mark overall to date this year.
*Worth Noting: Five of the Bulldogs' last seven matches in league regular-season play will be at home inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena. FSU is currently 6-1 at home to date this season.
*Key Statistics: Ferris State leads the GLIAC and ranks 17th in the nation to date in attack percentage with a .251 hitting figure thus far this season ...... FSU is third in the league in blocks, service aces and digs ...... Bulldog senior Anne Sutton tops the conference chart with a league-leading .398 hitting figure while Samantha Fordyce is fourth in the league in assists (9.78 p/set) ...... Brandie Merren is thirdin the league in digs (4.66 p/set) ... Courtney Rehm is fifth in the GLIAC in service aces (.44 p/set) while Angi Kent is seventh in hitting percentage (.320).
*This Weekend's Opposition:
Michigan Tech: Ferris State has a 3-14 lead over Michigan Tech in the all-time series. The Bulldogs notched a pair of 3-0 wins over the Huskies last season by winning once each at home and on the road. Ferris State is 25-7 at home and 28-7 on the road against Michigan Tech. MTU is currently 4-7 in the GLIAC and 9-15 overall this campaign. This is the first season as the Michigan Tech head coach for Matt Jennings.
Northern Michigan: Ferris State and Northern Michigan will meet for the 87th time as the Wildcats hold a 45-41 all-time series advantage over the Bulldogs. The two teams split a pair of meetings a year ago with NMU prevailing 3-2 in Marquette and the Bulldogs coming back to post a 3-1 win in Big Rapids. Ferris State's record is currently 21-17 at home against Northern Michigan and stands at 20-28 when playing in Marquette. NMU currently stands at 7-4 in the GLIAC and 15-9 overall.