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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: After a five-match Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road swing, the Ferris State University volleyball squad returns home for five consecutive league encounters at the Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The homestand starts Friday, Sept. 29, as the Bulldogs entertain Mercyhurst in a 7 p.m. (EDT) tilt. FSU will then host Gannon Saturday, Sept. 30, for a 4 p.m. (EDT) contest before archrival Grand Valley State comes to town Tuesday, Oct. 3, with match time set for 7 p.m. (EDT).
Last Weekend: Ferris State swept three GLIAC outings on its annual trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula last week. The Bulldogs recorded a 3-1 triumph in Thursday’s (Sept. 21) match at Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie. FSU then beat Northern Michigan 3-0 Saturday (Sept. 23) in Marquette before rallying to top Michigan Tech 3-2 in Sunday’s (Sept. 24) match at Houghton.
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 727-410 (.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 343-129 (.727) career mark, is 225-109 (.674) 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 with Sunday’s (Sept. 24) victory 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 192-72 (.727) 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 639-299 (.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.
GLIAC Honoree: FSU’s Danielle Baucher was named last week’s (Sept. 18) GLIAC North Division Player of the Week after recording 35 kills, 36 digs, six blocks and two service aces in FSU’s two outings at Ashland and Findlay (Sept. 15-16). Baucher averaged 5.00 kills and 5.14 digs per game in the two matches in addition to recording a .274 attack percentage.
National Rankings: The Bulldogs were not ranked in last week’s (Sept. 19) CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (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 season, did not receive any votes in the most recent poll after being listed second among the other schools earning votes the week prior (Sept. 11) with 12 points. Three GLIAC schools were featured in the latest poll including Grand Valley State (2nd), Hillsdale (11th) and Findlay (23rd). Northern Michigan was second among schools receiving votes with 11 points last week. A new poll will be released late Tuesday (Sept. 26).
Double-Digit Wins: 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.
Bulldog Bites: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm improved her career head coaching record versus Lake Superior State to 22-1 overall with last Thursday’s triumph. The Bulldogs have currently won 36 of the last 37 series’ meetings against the Lakers ...... Junior outside hitter Lindsay Johnson (Cadillac) recorded a career-best 10 digs at Michigan Tech ....... Jamie Palazzolo tallied her 500th career dig at Northern Michigan ...... Karla White netted her 300th career block at Lake Superior State ....... The Bulldogs have compiled a 81-16 (.835) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 campaign ....... The Bulldogs have currently won four of their last five outings this season, all of which were on the road.
What A Trip: Prior to this past weekend, Ferris had not swept all three of its Michigan Upper Peninsula opponents in consecutive fashion on the same road trip since 1984. FSU most recently defeated all three schools on the road in 2002, however, those matches were not all played on the same trip. This year also represents the first time the Bulldogs have accomplished the feat in a GLIAC sense as Northern Michigan didn’t enter the league until 1987.
Big Day For Tye: Junior outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea) recorded a personal career-high 35 kills and hit an impressive .491 in Sunday’s win at Michigan Tech. The 35 kills, which came on 57 total attempts, represents the second-most kills in a single-match in school history. Tye’s 36.0 total points in the same match also ranks as the school’s second-best single-match performance. The 5-10 Tye totaled 54 kills and only 15 errors on 100 total attempts (.390) in FSU’s three Upper Peninsula outings this past week.
Ferris State Trends: The Bulldogs are currently unbeaten (7-0) in evening matches this season ...... Ferris has recorded a higher hitting percentage than its opponent in 15 of 16 outings this year ........ The Bulldogs had dropped their last three five-game encounters dating back to last season prior to Sunday’s win at Michigan Tech.
Baucher Moves Up Again: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher currently has 1,255 career kills and moved into eighth place on the school’s all-time chart this past week. Her 1,381 career digs presently is listed third in school history and is 38 away from matching Brittny Godlewski’s (2002-05) second-place mark of 1,419 digs on Ferris’ career leaders list. She currently needs 88 digs to tie Janna Biggs’ (1985-88) school-record total of 1,469 digs. Baucher, who ranks as Ferris' overall kills (4.36 kpg) leader this season along with second in digs (3.39 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).
What’s On Tap: Following Tuesday’s (Oct. 3) 7 p.m. (EDT) league home meeting with archrival and defending NCAA-II National Champion Grand Valley State, the Bulldogs conclude their five-match conference home set Oct. 6-7 at the Ewigleben Sports Arena. FSU hosts nationally-ranked and presently unbeaten (16-0) Hillsdale Friday, Oct. 6, starting at 5:30 p.m. (EDT). Ferris will then square off against Wayne State Saturday, Oct. 7, in a 4 p.m. (EDT) encounter.
GLIAC Rankings: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher ranks third in kills (4.36 kpg) and second in points (5.08 ppg) while freshman middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) is listed sixth in blocks (1.14 bpg) according to the latest (Sept. 24) GLIAC overall statistical rankings. Lindsay Tye presently is fifth in service aces (0.60 apg). FSU ranks second as a team in aces (3.02 apg) and opponent’s hitting percentage allowed (.119). Tye’s 35 kills versus Michigan Tech rank as the most by a GLIAC player in a single-match to date this season while the 12 total blocks by Gilchrist against California, Pa. (Aug. 25) represents a current league-best tying performance.
A Look At The Opponents:
Mercyhurst: FSU holds a 12-1 advantage entering this Friday’s contest with Mercyhurst and posted a 3-0 triumph in the last meeting (10/7/05) at Erie, Pa. Ferris head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 11-1 career coaching mark against MC. Mercyhurst is presently 6-10 overall and 1-7 in conference play this campaign as a result of Saturday’s (Sept. 23) 3-0 GLIAC home loss to Ashland. Last season, the Lakers compiled a 13-15 overall record and placed fifth (3-14) in the league’s South Division. The Bulldogs are 5-0 all-time versus Mercyhurst in matches played at Big Rapids, Mich. MC, which is coached by second-year head coach Ryan Patton, has lost 10 of its last 11 matches this season to date. Mercyhurst was picked to finish fifth in the GLIAC’s 2006 South Division Preseason Coaches Poll.
Gannon: FSU maintains a 10-6 series edge heading into this Saturday’s 17th series meeting against Gannon. GU has won four of the last nine series’ outings. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 9-4 career coaching mark against the Knights and led Ferris to a 3-0 triumph in the most recent meeting (10/8/05) at Erie, Pa. GU is presently 5-8 overall and 2-6 in the GLIAC after its 3-0 league home loss to Findlay last Saturday (Sept. 23). Last season, Gannon posted a 5-22 overall record and a sixth-place 0-17 mark in the GLIAC’s South Division. The Knights, who have currently dropped six of their last seven outings this campaign, are coached by eighth-year head coach Michele Mason. Ferris is presently 4-2 versus GU all-time in home contests and 6-4 in road/neutral site encounters. GU, which was chosen sixth in the 2006 GLIAC South Division Preseason Coaches Poll, will visit Grand Valley State Friday (Sept. 29) prior to facing FSU.