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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team opens Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action by hosting Northwood Friday, Sept. 8, in a 7 p.m. (EDT) contest at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs will then square off against Saginaw Valley State Saturday, Sept. 9, in a 4 p.m. (EDT) league home encounter.
Last Weekend: FSU posted a perfect 4-0 mark in the Alamo City Classic hosted by the University of Incarnate Word (Texas) last weekend (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 as the two GLIAC squads posted an 8-0 overall mark.
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 722-408 (.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 338-127 (.727) career mark, is 220-107 (.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 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 187-70 (.728) 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 244-63 (.795) 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 97-23 (.808) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.
Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 634-297 (.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) have been named 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.
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 Player Of The Week: FSU’s Karla White was named this week’s GLIAC North Division Player of the Week in an announcement made Tuesday (Sept. 5) by the league office. White led the Bulldogs to a perfect 4-0 mark in the Alamo City Classic last weekend (Sept. 1-2) 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 Friday (Sept. 1) over tourney host Incarnate Word (Texas).
Nationally-Ranked: The Bulldogs are ranked 25th overall in this week’s CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll announced by the AVCA. FSU registered 76 total points in the balloting process and is among four conference schools listed in the top 25. In addition to FSU, the other GLIAC schools featured in the current poll include Grand Valley State (2nd), Hillsdale (20th) and Findlay (22nd).
All-Tourney Team: Ferris junior outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea) was one of eight players named to the Alamo City Classic All-Tournament Team following the conclusion of last weekend’s event. Tye compiled 36 digs, 33 kills and 11 service aces in Ferris’ four outings. She netted seven service aces in the Bulldogs’ 3-0 win last Friday (Sept. 1) morning over Chadron State (Neb.). Tye added 22 digs against host Incarnate Word as the Bulldogs recorded a 3-1 victory later Friday evening.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris’ current 8-1 overall start this year represents the school’s best season opening performance since beginning the 2000 campaign with a school-record 10 consecutive wins ........... Ferris’ 21 service aces versus Chadron State (Neb.) and Midwestern State (Texas) last weekend were both one shy of matching the school match record of 22 aces set two different times. FSU needed only three games to finish off both opponents ........ Ferris’ outings versus Chadron State, Incarnate Word and Western Oregon in the Alamo City Classic all marked the first time the Bulldogs had ever squared off against each school. FSU improved its all-time series’ record to 2-0 versus Midwestern State with last Saturday’s triumph ........ Western Oregon filed an official protest with the match officials in the second game of FSU’s 3-0 win last Saturday (Sept. 2) due to a Bulldog point scored after an illegal substitution. The protest, which occurred with Ferris leading the second game by a 9-5 score, was eventually denied and withdrawn following the conclusion of the match ........ Karla White currently needs two kills to notch her 700th career kill.
FSU Invitational Recap: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher and Lindsay Tye 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.
Streak Snapped: Ferris’ only 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 Reaches Century Club: 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). Baucher garnered second-team Daktronics All-Great Lakes Region kudos along with honorable mention AVCA All-Great Lakes Region recognition last campaign. The 5-10 Baucher was also a first-team All-GLIAC honoree last year after claiming second-team laurels in 2004.
Conference Openers: Ferris is 11-5 (.688) in conference openers since 1990 and sports a 6-2 home mark in those matches during that period. The Bulldogs have won six of their last eight league openers to date. Meanwhile, FSU sports a 10-6 record in its second league match of each season dating back to 1990. Last season (2005), the Bulldogs dropped their league opener at Northwood (9/16) 3-0 before beating Saginaw Valley State (9/17) 3-0 in their second league match at University Center, Mich.
What’s On Tap: Ferris opens a five-match league road swing Friday, Sept. 15, versus Ashland starting at 7 p.m. (EDT) in Ashland, Ohio. FSU then visits Findlay Saturday, Sept. 16, for a 4 p.m. (EDT) conference tilt in Findlay, Ohio. The Bulldogs’ next home encounter won’t be until Friday, Sept. 29, versus Mercyhurst starting at 7 p.m. (EDT).
A Look At The Opponents:
Northwood: FSU maintains a 25-18 series edge heading into this Friday’s 44th series meeting against Northwood. The Timberwolves have won 10 of the last 15 series outings, but dropped a 3-1 decision to Ferris in the last meeting (10/22/05) at Big Rapids, Mich. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 9-15 career coaching mark against the Timberwolves. NU is presently 7-2 overall and 1-0 in the GLIAC this year after posting a 3-0 conference home win over Saginaw Valley State Tuesday (Sept. 5) night. 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 won their last four outings this season, are directed by third-year head coach Tim Koth. Ferris is currently 13-7 versus NU all-time in home tilts. The two teams split two matches in 2005 as NU recorded a 3-0 triumph at Midland (9/16/05).
Saginaw Valley State: Ferris and Saginaw Valley State will square off for the 53rd time Saturday with FSU holding a 44-8 series advantage. In the last meeting (10/21/05), the Bulldogs recorded a 3-0 home win at Big Rapids. Ferris’ Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 17-3 career coaching record against the Cardinals. FSU, which has won 11 of the last 12 series’ contests, holds a 24-2 all-time record versus SVSU in home 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 7-2 overall and 0-1 in league play as a result of Tuesday’s (Sept. 5) 3-0 loss at NU. SVSU, which also visits Grand Valley State this Friday (Sept. 8), had won five consecutive matches this season prior to Tuesday’s loss.