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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State women’s volleyball squad hits the road for a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches this week. FSU visits Saginaw Valley State Friday, Oct. 13, for a 7 p.m. (EDT) tilt in University Center, Mich. The Bulldogs will then battle Northwood Saturday, Oct. 14, starting at 4 p.m. (EDT) in Midland, Mich.
Last Week: Ferris State forced both nationally top-ranked Grand Valley State and ninth-ranked Hillsdale to five games each in home matches last week at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. A capacity crowd of 600 fans was on hand Tuesday (Oct. 3) as the Bulldogs fell to their archrival Lakers 3-2 in a league encounter. FSU also surpassed the half-grand fan club with 507 fans present for Friday’s (Oct. 6) 3-2 loss to unbeaten Hillsdale. The Bulldogs rebounded to sweep Wayne State 3-0 Saturday (Oct. 7) in Big Rapids.
Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2006 Ferris home matches will be available at the door. For more information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.
Last Season: Ferris State advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the 13th time in school history during the 2005 campaign after previously claiming its ninth Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championship in 2004 by winning the league’s annual postseason tournament for the first time ever. FSU posted a 22-10 overall mark last season along with a third-place tying 12-6 mark in GLIAC North Division action. Ferris, which compiled the program's eighth consecutive winning campaign in 2005, also made its eighth-straight league tourney appearance a year ago.
The 34th Season: The 2006 campaign represents Ferris State’s 34th season of women’s volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 730-412 (.639) to date. Since the program’s inception in 1972, the Bulldogs have won nine GLIAC titles, made 13 NCAA-II Tournament appearances and registered 26 winning seasons.
GLIAC Preseason Poll: FSU was picked to finish third in the 2006 GLIAC Volleyball Coaches Preseason North Division Poll, which was released by the league office. The Bulldogs totaled 26 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference’s head coaches. A year ago, Ferris took fourth place in the preseason poll with 26 points. Defending NCAA Division II National Champion Grand Valley State was the favorite to repeat as regular-season divisional champions as the Lakers recorded 36 points along with six first-place votes. Hillsdale, which placed third in the South Division last campaign, received 23 points and four first-place votes in being selected this year's South Division favorite.
The Head Coach: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm presently ranks second among Ferris’ all-time coaching victory leaders. Brandel-Wilhelm, who has a current 346-131 (.725) career mark, is 228-111 (.673) in her 11th season at Ferris. A 1990 Alma graduate, Brandel-Wilhelm guided the Bulldogs to NCAA-II Tournament appearances in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2005. Brandel-Wilhelm was voted GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2002. She registered her 225th Bulldog win this season (9/24) at Michigan Tech.
On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics’ official web site can be found at www.ferris.edu/sports. The site features information on all of FSU’s varsity athletics programs including rosters, statistics, yearbooks and more. The squad’s 2006 yearbook can also be found at the site.
Live Stats: “Live Stats” of all 2006 Ferris home matches will be provided in progress via the internet. Visit www.ferris.edu/sports and click on the “Live Stats” icon to access the “Live Stats” feature.
Great Stretch: Ferris has won 20 or more matches seven times under 11th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 195-74 (.725) over the past nine years and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament four times in that span. FSU has advanced to the GLIAC Tournament eight consecutive years to date.
Not In Our House: The Bulldogs have compiled a 248-66 (.790) record to date in 25 seasons of competition at Ewigleben Sports Arena since moving from the Health and Physical Education (HPE) Building in 1981. Ferris, which has compiled six undefeated home seasons in the facility, registered an 11-2 mark at home in 2005. Overall, Ferris is 101-26 (.795) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.
Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 642-301 (.681) overall since 1981 and sports a 412-238 (.634) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. The Bulldogs were 6-5 in road matches last campaign and posted a 5-3 record in neutral site encounters. Presently, Ferris holds a 5-1 road record and is 3-0 in neutral site matchups this season.
Bulldog Captains: Senior outside hitter Danielle Baucher (Kalamazoo/Mattawan), senior middle hitter Karla White (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) and junior outside hitter Jamie Palazzolo (Emmett/Yale) are serving as tri-captains for the 2006 campaign. Baucher had both a team-high 451 digs and 408 kills last season. White totaled 267 kills along with a team-best 121 total blocks while Palazzolo chipped in 272 digs during the 2005 campaign.
The FSU Roster: Ferris’ 2006 active roster includes two seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and six freshmen. Seven of the 15 players are outside hitters, four are middle hitters, and four others fill the squad’s setter, defensive specialist and libero roles. All 15 squad members are from the state of Michigan.
National Rankings: The Bulldogs are not ranked in this week’s (Oct. 9) CSTV/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll announced by the AVCA. FSU, which was ranked 25th in the initial (Sept. 5) regular-season poll this year, was listed among other schools receiving votes with eight points in this week’s poll. Hillsdale moved up to fourth nationally in this week’s poll following their 3-0 upset Saturday (Oct. 7) at previously number one-ranked Grand Valley State. The Lakers dropped to sixth this week. GLIAC member Findlay is also listed among team’s earning votes with 40 points.
Keep On Winning: The Bulldogs’ current 16-5 mark this season with six regular-season matches remaining assures themselves of recording the program’s ninth consecutive winning campaign ......... This season marks the 26th-straight year the Bulldogs have registered double-figure wins. The last time FSU failed to record at least 10 victories was in 1980 (5-21) ....... Ferris’ 9-1 overall start this year through 10 outings represented the school’s best season opening performance since beginning the 2000 campaign with a school-record 10 consecutive wins .......... The Bulldogs are four wins away from notching their eighth 20-win campaign in the last nine years to date. FSU has currently recorded at least 20 victories in a season 18 times. The 1984 FSU squad won a NCAA-II record 46 consecutive matches en route to a school-best 48-3 overall mark.
Home Court Notes: Ferris needs two more home wins to record its 250th all-time victory at the Ewigleben Sports Arena .......... Last Tuesday’s match versus GVSU marked the sixth time in the last seven years, including the fifth-straight time a capacity crowd has been present for the match between the two rivals in the Ewigleben Sports Arena .... FSU’s home matches versus GVSU and Hillsale are among only 22 NCAA Division II matches to record 500 fans or more this year.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris took Hillsdale to the deciding fifth game for the first time all season and it marked only the fifth time the Chargers had played more than three games in a match all year ..... Sophomore setter Candice Marut (Pinconning) tallied a personal career-high 37 assists in Saturday’s (Oct. 7) 3-0 league home sweep over Wayne State ........ FSU has currently won 15 of its last 19 regular-season outings versus GLIAC South Division opponents dating back to 2003. Ferris posted a 4-2 record against South Division foes last year and was also 4-2 versus the southern division in regular-season play this campaign ...... Four of Ferris’ five losses this season have came in five games.
Ferris State Trends: The Bulldogs are currently 8-2 overall in evening matches this season ...... Ferris has recorded a higher hitting percentage than its opponent in 17 of 21 outings this year ........ The Bulldogs have recorded a 9-0 mark to date this season when holding their opponent to a hitting percentage under .100 for the match ....... FSU has not lost to a team holding a losing record prior to the match this campaign (10-0) ...... The Bulldogs have compiled a 83-16 (.838) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 campaign.
Baucher Keeps Climbing: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher currently has 1,344 career kills and ranks eighth on the school’s career leaders list. Her 1,450 career digs presently is listed second in school history and is only 19 away from tying Janna Biggs’ (1985-88) school-record total of 1,469 digs. Baucher, who ranks as Ferris' overall kills (4.38 kpg) leader this season along with second in digs (3.41 dpg), became the 14th player in school history to notch 1,000 career kills and only the sixth Bulldog player ever to record both 1,000 career kills and digs in Ferris’ season-opening home win over St. Joseph’s (Aug. 24).
GLIAC Tourney: The 2006 GLIAC Tournament remains on campus sites this season for the third-straight year. The top three teams in each division plus the next two best overall teams will qualify for the postseason tournament. The top four teams will host quarterfinal-round action Tuesday, Oct. 31, with the top remaining seed selected to host the semifinals/finals Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3-4. Ferris has six league matches remaining this season.
Regional Information: Three automatic and five at-large bids will be awarded in the region, which consists of the GLIAC, Great Lakes Valley (GLVC) and West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conferences (WVIAC), for the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament set to be held Nov. 9-11 at a campus site to be determined. The official tournament parings and site are slated to be released Sunday, Nov. 5. FSU was ranked eighth in the initial (Sept. 27) regional rankings this year. GVSU and Hillsdale were listed first and second, respectively, in the first regional poll of the year. New regional rankings will be announced Wednesday (Oct. 11).
What’s On Tap: Ferris returns home for three GLIAC encounters next week inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena at Big Rapids, Mich. FSU hosts Lake Superior State Friday, Oct. 20, for a 7 p.m. (EDT) tilt followed by a visit from Michigan Tech Saturday, Oct. 21, with match time set for 4 p.m. (EDT). Ferris will square off against Northern Michigan in its regular-season home finale Sunday, Oct. 22, starting at 1 p.m. (EDT).
Stats Of Note: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher ranks second in both kills (4.38 kpg) and points (5.14 ppg) while Karla White is listed fourth in blocks (1.12 bpg) according to the latest (Oct. 9) GLIAC overall statistical rankings. Lindsay Tye presently is fifth in service aces (0.58 apg). FSU ranks second as a team in aces (2.90 apg) and opponent’s hitting percentage allowed (.118) ...... Ferris was ranked ninth nationally in service aces, according to the most recent (Oct. 3) NCAA-II national statistics. Lindsay Tye’s 35 kills at Michigan Tech (9/24) represents the nation’s third-most kills in a single match this campaign.
A Look At The Opponents:
Saginaw Valley State: Ferris and Saginaw Valley State will square off for the 54th time Friday with FSU holding a 44-9 series advantage. In the last meeting (9/9/06), the Cardinals recorded a 3-2 triumph at Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris’ Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 17-4 career coaching record against the Cardinals. FSU, which has won 11 of the last 13 series’ contests, holds a 24-3 all-time record versus SVSU in Big Rapids and a 20-6 ledger against the Cardinals in road/neutral site encounters. SVSU compiled a 8-23 overall record in 2005, including a seventh-place 2-16 GLIAC North Division finish. The Cardinals, who are coached by fourth-year head coach Will Stanton, dropped to 13-8 overall and 5-7 in league play as a result of Saturday’s (Oct. 7) 3-2 loss at Gannon. SVSU, which also visits Grand Valley State this Friday (Sept. 8), has currently lost four of its last six outings to date this campaign.
Northwood: FSU maintains a 26-18 series edge heading into this Saturday’s 45th series meeting against Northwood. The Timberwolves have won 10 of the last 16 series outings, but dropped a 3-0 decision to Ferris in the last meeting (9/8/06) at Big Rapids, Mich. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 10-15 career coaching mark against the Timberwolves. NU is presently 13-7 overall and 7-5 in the GLIAC this year after posting a 3-2 conference road win over Mercyhurst Saturday (Oct. 7). Last season, Northwood posted a 23-11 overall record and a second-place 14-4 mark in the GLIAC’s North Division. The Timberwolves, who have presently split their last four outings this season, are directed by third-year head coach Tim Koth. Ferris is currently 12-11 versus NU all-time in road/neutral site tilts. The two teams split two matches in 2005 as NU recorded a 3-0 triumph at Midland (9/16/05).