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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team hits the road for a five-match Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road swing starting this weekend (Sept. 15-16). Ferris will square off against Ashland Friday, Sept. 15, starting at 7 p.m. (EDT) in AU’s Kates Gymnasium at Ashland, Ohio. The Bulldogs will then battle nationally-ranked Findlay Saturday, Sept. 16, in a 4 p.m. (EDT) encounter at UF’s Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio.
Last Weekend: Ferris split two league matches last weekend (Sept. 8-9) in FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena at Big Rapids, Mich. FSU recorded a 3-0 league-opening win over divisional foe Northwood in Friday’s (Sept. 8) match before dropping a 3-2 decision to Saginaw Valley State Saturday (Sept. 9). Ferris won the opening two games and led 29-26 in game three versus SVSU before the Cardinals rallied to win the third frame and defeat Ferris in each of the last two games.
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.
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.
The 34th Season: The 2006 campaign represents Ferris State’s 34th season of women’s volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 723-409 (.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 339-128 (.726) career mark, is 221-108 (.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 200th Bulldog win with a victory last year (Sept. 10) over Edinboro (Pa.) at the Findlay (Ohio) TownPlace Suites Classic.
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 188-71 (.726) 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.
Tough At Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 245-64 (.793) 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 98-24 (.803) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.
Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 635-298 (.681) overall since 1981 and sports a 408-237 (.633) 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.
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.
GLIAC Honoree: FSU’s Karla White was named last week’s (Sept. 5) GLIAC North Division Player of the Week in an announcement made by the league office. White earned the distinction after leading the Bulldogs to a perfect 4-0 mark in the Alamo City Classic (Sept. 1-2) held in San Antonio, Texas. The 6-0 White had 58 kills in 13 games (4.46 kpg) during the four-match stretch. She also posted an impressive .413 attack percentage with only 13 errors in 109 total attempts. White had 11 kills or more in three of the four matches, including a personal career-high 25 kills in FSU's 3-1 triumph (Sept. 1) over tourney host Incarnate Word (Texas).
National Rankings: The Bulldogs dropped out of this week’s (Sept. 12) CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll announced by the AVCA. FSU, which was ranked 25th last week (Sept. 5), currently is listed second among the other schools receiving votes with 12 points. FSU previously registered 76 total points in the balloting process last week and was among four conference schools listed in the top 25. Presently, four GLIAC schools are featured in the current poll including Grand Valley State (2nd), Hillsdale (14th), Findlay (23rd) and Northern Michigan (24th).
Ferris State Trends: The Bulldogs have compiled more kills, assists and aces while posting a higher attack percentage than their opponents in all 11 matches to date this campaign ........ Ferris is currently unbeaten (9-0) in matches taking four games or less to complete. Conversley, the Bulldogs are presently 0-2 in five-game encounters this season ........ The Bulldogs have compiled a 80-15 (.842) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 campaign.
Bulldog Bites: The Bulldogs had their eight-match winning streak snapped with Saturday’s loss to the Cardinals. SVSU's victory was only its third in 27 all-time meetings at the Ewigleben Sports Arena ......... Ferris’ 9-1 overall start this year prior to Saturday’s setback represented the school’s best season opening performance since beginning the 2000 campaign with a school-record 10 consecutive wins ......... Karla White recorded her 700th career kill versus Northwood ........ Ferris improved to 12-5 (.706) overall in conference openers since 1990 with Friday’s triumph and now sports a 7-2 home mark in those matches during that period. The Bulldogs have won seven of their last nine league openers to date .......... Danielle Baucher notched her 1,300th career dig against Saginaw Valley State .......... Sophomore setter Candice Marut (Pinconning) tallied her 500th career assist versus SVSU.
FSU Invitational Recap: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher and junior outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea) both were named to the FSU Invitational All-Tournament Team held earlier this campaign (Aug. 25-26). Twelve individuals were selected to the all-tourney team. Eleven teams took part in the annual event. Both Hillsdale and California (Pa.) finished with 4-0 marks while the Bulldogs along with Saginaw Valley State compiled 3-1 ledgers.
Alamo City Classic Recap: FSU posted a perfect 4-0 mark in the Alamo City Classic hosted by the University of Incarnate Word (Sept. 1-2) in San Antonio, Texas. Six teams took part in the field. FSU dropped only one game in its four outings against Chadron State (Neb.), UIW, Midwestern State (Texas) and Western Oregon at the event. The Bulldogs and Northern Michigan, who did not play each other, both wrapped up play in the classic with unbeaten 4-0 marks. Lindsay Tye was one of eight players named to the Alamo City Classic All-Tournament Team following the conclusion of the event.
Streak Snapped: Ferris’ first loss this campaign came to California (Pa.) in the FSU Invitational (Aug. 25) at the Ewigleben Sports Arena. The loss was FSU’s first non-league home setback in 11 seasons under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs had compiled a 29-0 cumulative mark in non-conference home outings prior to the loss.
Baucher Continues Climb: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher 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). The 5-10 Baucher currently has 1,160 career kills and is 62 shy of tying Alaina Olds’ (1999-02) 10th-place career total of 1,222 kills at FSU. Her 1,310 career digs presently is 58 away from matching Kathy O’Connor’s (1990-93) fourth-place mark of 1,368 digs on Ferris’ career leaders list.
What’s On Tap: Ferris ventures to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for three league matches next week. The Bulldogs open the trip Thursday, Sept. 21, versus Lake Superior State starting at 7 p.m. (EDT) in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. FSU then squares off against Northern Michigan Saturday, Sept. 23, beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT) in Marquette, Mich. The Bulldogs conclude the trip with a 2 p.m. (EDT) match Sunday, Sept. 24, at Michigan Tech in Houghton, Mich.
A Look At The Opponents:
Ashland: The Bulldogs own an 11-2 series advantage heading into this Friday’s tilt with Ashland, but dropped a 3-2 decision in the most recent meeting (9/23/05) at Big Rapids, Mich. AU tallied a 23-10 overall record and a first-place 13-4 GLIAC South Division mark in 2005. The Eagles, who are coached by fourth-year head coach Connie Surowicz, are currently 7-4 overall and 1-1 in league play this season following Saturday’s (Sept. 9) 3-0 GLIAC home win over Wayne State. Ashland had lost four of its previous five encounters this season prior to the victory. The Bulldogs, who claimed eight consecutive series’ meetings before last season’s setback, are currently 9-2 against the Eagles in the Tia Brandel-Wilhelm era and 6-1 all-time in road/neutral site matchups versus Ashland. AU was picked to finish tied for second in the 2006 GLIAC South Division Preseason Coaches Poll.
Findlay: Ferris State holds a 6-3 series edge entering this Saturday’s meeting and recorded a 3-0 triumph last season (9/24/05) at Big Rapids, Mich. The Oilers are currently 8-2 overall and 1-1 in league play heading into this Friday’s (Sept. 15) league home match versus Grand Valley State as a result of Saturday’s (Sept. 9) 3-1 league home loss to Hillsdale. UF compiled a 22-10 overall record in 2005, including a second-place 12-5 GLIAC South Division finish. Findlay, which had won seven-straight outings prior to Saturday’s loss, is coached by ninth-year head coach Wick Colchagoff. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently holds a 6-3 career coaching mark versus UF. The Oilers were picked tied for second place in the 2006 GLIAC South Division Preseason Poll and are currently listed 23rd in this week’s (Sept. 12) CSTV/AVCA Division II Top 25 Rankings.