Ferris Sports Update TV – Volleyball Coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm

Welcome back to Ferris Sports Update time to talk Bulldog volleyball and with us head Coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. Coach first of all welcome to the show. Thank you thanks for having us here. Obviously your season well underway a couple of big weekends already of volleyball action against some very good competition. Yeah we are yeah we’re eight matches in already we played six teams that are in that national ranking getting votes kind of area so like top 30 ish and in the country and yeah it’s been quite a schedule already. Obviously you started off your season late August at home the annual Ferris State Invitational and 10 teams taking part in that event and we were able to go four and 0 just just talked about that weekend as a whole. You know it was a great weekend there was just there’s some really good volleyball both courts we had you know ten teams is a couple more than we usually have but it was just really nice to have such a quality of teams that we had. And a pretty good diversity of teams too so that you know we just really neat to have that experience and obviously we’re super excited to play well in front of our home crowd and you know to start off the season that was a big focus for us to start off strong and and certainly did that. Some of those teams receiving votes are in the national rankings Winona State you’re able to beat them that was a nationally ranked team and obviously the number one team you took out Concordia st. Paul but big regional win as well as we see the highlights against Hillsdale here. Yeah all of those you know Hillsdale all four teams that we played Upper Iowa, Concordia St. Paul, Winona and Hillsdale are all in that area of getting votes or in the national rankings so they’re all really strong teams and and it was you know it’s all four of them count as regional opponents even though only Hillsdale actually in our region. So we’re pretty excited to get those wins and to get those those quality teams on our strength of schedule for sure. Obviously one of your key returning players Allyson Cappel the GLIAC Player of the Year last year back for you and named the National Player of the Week after that opening weekend. Yes she did really well out of the gate she really did. She’s worked really hard in the spring to grow her game a little bit and and she’s certainly not a kid that rests on you know being Player of the Year as a sophomore is a pretty big deal and that not at all a thing like she just worked so hard every single day to get better and she’s always trying to improve her game and to find the little areas that she can be better. Obviously good mix of returning talent but some young kids that saw their first action there in front of the home fans. Yeah we have four new kids this year three freshmen and transfer and yeah the three freshmen have all played and gotten in the game and had some pretty good moments and yeah doing doing quite well. Obviously after that opening weekend you hit the road a long trip to Florida and took on some strong competition here this past weekend. Yeah and and we didn’t do great it wasn’t a good weekend for us that’s for sure I think that you know number of things happened but we we definitely we you know we lost a couple of matches but even more so we just didn’t play well in a couple of matches so it was a little disappointing to have that experience. How much of a learning experience will that be for your kids here two kind of different weekends in terms of the results. Yeah November I’ll let you know you know hopefully it’s a huge learning experience for us hopefully it’s an opportunity for us to you know to really see what we need to get better at we’re certainly more focused in practice after a one-in-three weekend then we were with a four and 0 weekend so hopefully it ends up being a really good thing for us. Obviously those results you had though for the past couple weekends some big matches that prepare you for the start of conference play which starts this week taking on Wisconsin Parkside, Purdue Northwest just talk about this week and these opponents. Yeah these are two opponents that are really scary I mean they both have a bunch of players back from last year and we don’t know a lot about them we’ve only played Purdue Northwest the one time last year and it was the first match of the season and we have not played Wisconsin Parkside in conference play ever because they’re new and we’ve only played them a few times over the past ten years so we don’t really know the programs either one of them at all. So it’s it’s a little scary for us going in we just don’t really know as much what to expect. Obviously coming into the GLIAC schedule and the GLIAC race after you’ve seen some of these early season results so some GLIAC teams that have done very well here early on. For sure yeah we’ve probably got about six seven teams in the GLIAC that are really have started off well the non-conference part and and have won some really huge games so it’s gonna be quite an exciting race. Stepping up in a conference play does this mean a little bit more in terms of some of the matches and and the results you hope to have? I think hopefully every time we play it means a lot to the players but I think as a team you know we understand the level of play that we have to play in the GLIAC and the consistency that you have to do every night and so and and we know you know we know how good the GLIAC is and how many how many teams have you know their whole roster back or everybody but one player. So we know that we really have to get focused and ready to go for every single GLIAC match that we play. How nice is it to be able to to start your conference season here at home in front of the home fans where you’ve drawn so well? Anytime we can play at home we’re excited you know we have such a great fan base and you know people from the community people from campus faculty staff student athletes um it’s just a great fan base so anytime we can play at home for our fans we are excited to do that for sure. Well what will be some keys for your team hopefully to get off to a great start here in the conference with a couple wins this weekend? Well I think that you know we have to really be on the video and make sure that we get a good visual of the teams that we’re playing I think that’s going to be the biggest part. And then both of these teams are pretty persistent teams high energy teams so we’re gonna have to you know really be able to weather the storms of some really you know five six great rallies or swings in a row and just be able to weather that storm as we play in the match. Obviously getting off to a big start in the conference goes a long way towards some of you your regional implications and a challenging region again your this season. Yeah the region is gonna be really really good I think will probably be you know I would say right now it looks like 12 to 14 teams deep where you know any of those teams could make it into the top eight which is it’s really deep for a region so it’s definitely gonna be tough. Obviously you have some teams that you’ve played here already in the first couple weeks that our teams that certainly prepare you well for some of those big regional matches that you’ll have throughout the year. Yeah for sure I mean we’ve already played Hillsdale and Dreary both in region and you know both of those are just great teams so and then in our conference play we’ll play you know there’ll be a number of teams that will be in that mix of regional rankings it’s it’s gonna be kind of a fight every night. Obviously a great nucleus coming back from last season talk about the kids you have coming back and how much what they were able to achieve last season and helped you coming into this year. Yeah I think you know we graduated 5 from last year and that’s you know it’s a big loss for the team for sure we you know we have Allyson on the outside and Courtney Brewer on the outside coming back we have Kayla Rosman back as a DS and Katie Placek who’s been an out side or right side hitter for us is now at the Libero spot so and and then Maeve Grimes in the right side or in the setting position those are all players that you know were out on the court quite a bit and they’re back first this year Mekayla Carey is in the middle has not much played until this point you know she just played a little bit on the right side but very little in the middle. And she’s you know she’s really worked hard to get herself ready to be in the middle and then the same with Katie O’Connell she’s playing a lot on the right side and and has not played as much until this year so it’s kind of some new stuff out there. Well coach best of luck to the Bulldogs this weekend. Thank you. That’ll do it for Ferris Sports Update you can follow all the action at Ferris State Bulldogs.com. Have a great week. you

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