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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State women’s volleyball team hosts Michigan Tech on Halloween night Tuesday, Oct. 31, in the quarterfinal round of the 2006 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Postseason Tournament. Match time is set for 7 p.m. (EST) inside FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena at Big Rapids, Mich.
Ticket Information: Tickets for Tuesday’s match will be available at the door. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. The first 100 students who attend will be admitted free of charge. The doors will open at 6 p.m. (EST). For more information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.
Media Coverage: Live internet statistics from Tuesday’s match will be provided free of charge on FSU’s Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports. Click on the “Live Stats” icon to access the information while the contest is in progress.
FSU Drops Finale: Ferris State, presently 20-7 overall and 12-6 in GLIAC play, suffered a 3-1 loss to nationally-ranked archrival Grand Valley State in its regular-season finale last Friday (Oct. 27) in the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena at Allendale, Mich. GVSU, which is the defending NCAA Division II National Champion, was ranked fifth in last week’s (Oct. 23) American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)/CSTV Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll.
GLIAC Tourney Info: FSU, which will be making its ninth consecutive conference tournament appearance, dropped a 3-0 league tournament quarterfinal round match last season (11/9) at Grand Valley State. Ferris claimed the 2004 tournament championship and previously picked up runner-up honors in 1998, 1999 and 2001. In eight all-time tournament appearances, Ferris has posted a 9-7 overall mark. Ferris beat GVSU 3-0 (11/14/04) in the 2004 tournament finals at Allendale. FSU previously advanced to the 2001 GLIAC Tournament Championship match (11/10/01) for the third time in four years and dropped a 3-0 decision to Northwood at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich. The tournament returns to campus sites this season for the third year in a row.
GLIAC Semifinals/Finals: The top four teams will host quarterfinal-round action Tuesday in the 12th annual postseason tournament with the top remaining seed selected to host the semifinals/finals Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3-4. The Bulldogs are the North Division’s second overall seed while Michigan Tech is the third seed in the division. Hillsdale is seeded first in the South Division and would host the semifinals/finals by winning its quarterfinal-round match.
The Tourney Field: The other quarterfinal round matches include Northern Michigan (Wild Card #2) at Hillsdale (#1 South), Findlay (#2 South) hosting Ashland (#3 South) and Northwood (Wild Card #1) at Grand Valley State (#1 North). The top three teams in each division plus the next two best overall teams advanced to the tournament. The winners of Tuesday’s matches will be reseeded prior to Friday’s semifinals. The winner of Saturday’s championship match receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament slated for Nov. 9-11 at a campus site to be determined.
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 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 compiled the program's eighth consecutive winning campaign in 2005 and 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 734-414 (.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 350-133 (.725) career mark, is 232-113 (.672) 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.
Keep On Going: Ferris has won 20 or more matches eight times under 11th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 199-76 (.724) over the past nine years and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament four times in that span. This year will be FSU’s ninth consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance.
This Is Our House: The Bulldogs have compiled a 251-66 (.792) 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 104-26 (.800) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.
Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 646-303 (.681) overall since 1981 and sports a 413-240 (.632) 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 6-3 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 has compiled a team-high 455 kills along with 344 digs this season. White presently has netted a team-best 122 blocks and has 330 kills while Palazzolo leads the squad in digs (413) to date.
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.
Great Season Indeed: Ferris' current 20-7 overall record this season represents the school's eighth 20-win campaign in the last nine seasons to date ......... The Bulldogs, who have recorded at least 20 victories in a season 19 times, have won at least 10 matches in each of their last 26 campaigns dating back to 1981. The last time FSU failed to record at least 10 victories was in 1980 (5-21) ..... The 1984 FSU squad won a NCAA-II record 46 consecutive matches en route to a school-best 48-3 overall mark ....... 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.
Key Squad Notes: Sophomore setter Candice Marut (Pinconning) needs 12 assists to notch her 1,000th career assist ..... Jamie Palazzolo compiled her 700th career dig against Northern Michigan (Oct. 22) ..... Junior outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea) posted her 500th career dig in Friday’s match at Grand Valley State. She earned her 600th career kills versus NMU.
National Rankings: The Bulldogs were not ranked in last week’s (Oct. 23) 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 three points in last week’s poll. Hillsdale was listed third nationally in last week’s poll with Grand Valley State ranked fifth overall. Findlay was also included in the current rankings at 25th nationally.
School Record Holder: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher currently has a school-record 1,525 career digs to date along with 1,453 kills, which presently ranks sixth on the school’s career kills leaders list. Baucher, who ranks as Ferris' overall kills (4.46 kpg) leader this season along with second in digs (3.37 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). She’s seven service aces away from matching Kathy O’Connor’s (1990-93) fifth-place career mark of 171 aces at FSU.
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 fifth in the most recent (Oct. 25) regional rankings this year. Hillsdale and Grand Valley State were listed first and second, respectively, in the regional poll followed by Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Findlay.
Bulldog Bites: Five of Ferris’ seven losses this season have came in five games. FSU has not lost to a team holding a losing record prior to the match this campaign (11-0). Friday’s loss at GVSU was Ferris’ first setback (8-1) in a four-game match this year ....... Ferris notched its 250th all-time win inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena against Michigan Tech (Oct. 21) .............. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm recorded her 350th collegiate career coaching victory versus Northern Michigan (Oct. 22) ..... The Bulldogs are listed 10th nationally in aces per game (2.92) according to the latest (Oct. 16) NCAA-II National Statistical Rankings ........ The Bulldogs have recorded a 10-0 mark to date this season when holding their opponent to a hitting percentage under .100 for the match ....... Ferris has compiled a 85-16 (.842) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 campaign.
A Look At The Opponent:
FSU vs. Michigan Tech: Ferris and Michigan Tech will square off for the 57th time this Tuesday with FSU holding a commanding 45-11 series advantage. The Bulldogs won both of this year’s regular-season meetings, defeating MTU 3-0 in Big Rapids (10/21) and 3-2 at Houghton (9/24). FSU’s Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 19-4 career coaching record against the Huskies. FSU, which has won 18 of the past 19 contests, holds a 21-5 all-time record versus MTU in home matches. MTU compiled an 10-18 overall record in 2005, including a fifth-place tying 6-12 GLIAC North Division finish. The Huskies, who are coached by eighth-year head coach Krista Mikesch, improved to 15-13 overall and 11-7 in league play this season as a result of their 3-1 conference home win over Saginaw Valley State Saturday (Oct. 28). MTU has dropped three of its last five outings this campaign to date. FSU beat MTU 3-2 in the 2001 GLIAC Tourney Semifinals (11/9/01) at Battle Creek, Mich., which represents the only previous tourney matchup between the two teams.