Bulldog Volleyball To Face Lewis Today In NCAA Tourney

Bulldog Volleyball To Face Lewis Today In NCAA Tourney


NCAA Division II Midwest Region Quarterfinal
vs. Lewis
Thursday, Nov. 29 - 7:30 p.m. (EDT)
Ruth Lily Center - Indianapolis, Ind.

Live Video Webcast
Live Internet Statistics

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

*The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team will be making its second consecutive NCAA Division II Regional Tournament appearance and will take on Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) foe Lewis (Ill.) on Thursday (Nov. 29) in a 7:30 p.m. (ET) regional quarterfinal match at the Ruth Lily Center in Indianapolis, Ind.

*Ticket Information: Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and children. The prices are based per session and no all-tourney passes will be available.

*Media Coverage: Indianapolis will provide live internet statistics and a live video webcast of all matches.  All links will be available at the official tournament website at this link below.

*NCAA Tourney History: Ferris State will be making its second-straight NCAA-II Regional appearance following a trip to the semifinals a season ago.  FSU's appearance last fall was its first since 2009 (Nov. 9) when the Bulldogs dropped a 3-0 decision to Lewis (Ill.) to Indianapolis, Ind.  FSU's upcoming regional appearance will represent the program's 17th all-time as the Bulldogs have compiled a 8-17 overall record in NCAA Tournament competition.

*The Regional Tourney: Nationally-ranked Indianapolis was chosen as the top seed and will host the regional tournament from Thursday to Saturday (Nov. 29-Dec. 1).  Semifinals will take place on Friday night with the championship match on Saturday. The field features three teams from the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) and five from the GLIAC. The winners of each of the 2012 eight regionals will advance to the national finals (Dec. 6-8) which will be conducted on the campus of West Florida.

*40th Season: The 2012 campaign represents Ferris State's 40th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 858-472 (.645). Since the program's inception in 1973, the Bulldogs have won 10 GLIAC titles, qualified 17 times for the NCAA-II Tournament and registered 32 winning seasons.

*2012 Record: Ferris State currently maintains a 23-7 overall record and was 16-2 in the GLIAC during regular-season action en route to finishing second and only a single win behind league champion Northwood.

*Last Time Out: The Bulldogs, seeded second, were upset in the quartefinal-round of the GLIAC Tournament by seventh-seeded Wayne State in a 3-2 decision on Nov. 14 at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids.  FSU had posted back-to-back home sweeps over NCAA Tournament qualifiers Hillsdale and Northwood (Nov. 9-10) in its last two regular-season matches prior to the upset loss in the league 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 474-191 (.713) career record.  She holds a record of 356-171 (.676) 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 on Oct. 20 at Wayne State.

*FSU vs. Lewis: Ferris State and Lewis met earlier this season in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)/Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Crossover Tournament with the Flyers taking a close 3-2 victory in Aurora, Ill.

*Scouting the Flyers:  Lewis is making its seventh-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.  The Flyers earned an at-large bid into the 64-team tournament after a top-8 ranking in the Midwest Region. The Flyers fell to Rockhurst, 3-1, in the GLVC Championship match on Nov. 18. Lewis has finished first or second in the GLVC since 2006, with four championships.  LU is 26-10 overall this campaign to date.

*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.

*National Attention: Ferris State is not ranked this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II National Poll, but is among other teams receiving votes.  FSU was ranked 14th in the preseason poll. A year ago, FSU's 11th-place national ranking was the program's highest ranking in 20 years.

*GLIAC Award Recipients: FSU had five players receive recognition as the 2012 All-GLIAC Awards were presented in conjunction with the conference volleyball tournament. Bulldog junior libero Brandie Merren (Hopkins) was chosen as the league's "Libero of the Year" for the Bulldogs. Additionally, the Bulldogs had two first team All-GLIAC honorees in senior setter Samantha Fordyce (Hopkins) and senior middle hitter Anne Sutton (Grand Rapids/Northview). Merren was joined on the All-GLIAC Second Team by sophomore outside hitter Courtney Rehm (Portage/Central) with senior outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma) claiming honorable mention All-GLIAC laurels for the second-straight year in voting conducted by the league's head coaches.

*Libero of The Year: Junior Brandie Merren made the most of her first season as the squad's libero as she has compiled a team-leading 488 digs (4.44 avg.) to date en route to earning GLIAC Libero of the Year honors.  Her efforts helped the Bulldogs post a current 23-7 overall record and finish as the league runner-up this season. Merren took over for 2011 GLIAC "Libero of the Year" Lisa Tobiczyk and has recorded only 28 reception errors in 533 attempts (.947) in 110 sets.  This season, she's also posted the school's second-most assists (74) and is third on the team in service aces (26).

*Academic All-District: Ferris State senior middle hitter Anne Sutton has been named to the Capital One Division II Academic All-District IV First Team. The academic all-district teams are chosen by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) members and recognize the nation's top student athletes for their combined performance on the floor and in the classroom. As a first team academic all-district team pick, Sutton will now advance to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration, which will be announced in the next month.  A year ago, she received Capital One Division II Academic All-America Third Team recognition.

*AVCA All-Region: Two members of the Ferris State team have claimed 2012 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II All-Region accolades in an announcement made by the national organization. Senior middle hitter Anne Sutton was one of 14 individuals named to the All-Midwest Region First Team while senior setter Samantha Fordyce was tabbed among six honorable mention all-region recipients. As a first team recipient, Sutton is now under consideration for AVCA All-America accolades, which will be announced in early December.

*Bulldog Bites: Senior Samantha Fordyce moved into third place this year on the school's all-time assists leaders list with more than 4,500 in her career and was among the conference leaders with 1,081 total to date this campaign.  She also ranks second for FSU in aces (36) and third in digs (261) ..... Senior Anne Sutton ranks among the nation's top 10 players with a .398 attack percentage and leads the Bulldogs in kills (317) and blocks (81).  She also earned All-GLIAC First Team honors for the second consecutive campaign and finished first in the league in attack percentage along with ranking among the leaders in both kills and blocks .... Sophomore Courtney Rehm claimed second team All-GLIAC recognition for the second-straight year in her first season moving to an outside hitter role.  She's second on the team in kills (257) and digs (322) top date while leading the squad in service aces (37) .... Senior Aly Brecht has started all 30 matches and ranks third in total kills (254) and digs (260) for the Bulldogs.  She has played in all 110 sets to date and is a two-time All-GLIAC selection.

*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.

*Milestone Victory: 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.

*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 318-85 (.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 171-45 (.792) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

* A Year Ago: 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.

* All-Tourney Honors: Fhe Bulldogs had several players earn all-tournament team honors in two events to open the 2012 campaign.  Senior middle hitter Anne Sutton 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 both were recognized.

* Twenty More Wins:This year marks the 11th time the Bulldogs have won 20 or more matches in a season under 17th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs have reached the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament eight times in that span and advanced to the GLIAC Tournament the last 16 consecutive years to date.

*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.

Here are the quarterfinal-round pairing for the 2012 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Tournament:

Thursday, November 29
12 p.m. Match 1 (#3 Grand Valley State vs. #6 Hillsdale)
2:30 p.m. Match 2 (#2 Northwood vs. #7 Ashland)
5 p.m. Match 3 (#1 Indianapolis vs. #8 Rockhurst)
7:30 p.m. Match 4 (#4 Lewis vs. #5 Ferris State)

Friday, November 30
5 p.m. Match 5 (Winner Match 1 vs. Winner Match 2)
7:30 p.m. Match 6 (Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4)

Saturday, December 1
4 p.m. Match 7 (Winner Match 5 vs. Winner Match 6)

Click Here For NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament Website