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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team continues Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road-match play this weekend (Sept. 28-29) as the Bulldogs prepare for a pair of matches in Ohio. Ferris will go up against the nationally-ranked Ashland Eagles this Friday (Sept. 28) in a 7 p.m. (EDT) tilt at Ashland, Ohio. Following that match, the Bulldogs face the Findlay Oilers this Saturday (Sept. 29) at 4 p.m. (EDT) in Findlay, Ohio. Ashland is ranked 13th nationally in this week’s (Sept. 24) CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with 433 points which is the fourth 2007 regular-season national poll to be released.
Last Time Out: Ferris State was involved in pair of 3-0 conference match decisions last weekend (Sept. 21-22) as the Bulldogs gained a split. FSU suffered a 3-0 loss to then nationally 24th-ranked Northwood last Friday (Sept. 21) evening in Midland, Mich. The Bulldogs rallied to register a 3-0 decision over Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (Sept. 22) afternoon in University Center, Mich.
Last Season: Ferris State advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the 14th time in school history in the 2006 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 registered a 21-9 overall record a season ago and finished second place in the GLIAC’s North Division with a 12-6 mark. Ferris, which compiled the program's ninth consecutive winning campaign in 2006, also made its ninth-straight conference tourney appearance a year ago.
The 35th Season: The 2007 campaign represents Ferris State’s 35th season of women’s volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 746-421 (.639) to date. Since the program’s inception in 1972, the Bulldogs have won nine GLIAC titles, made 14 NCAA-II Tournament appearances and registered 27 winning seasons.
GLIAC Preseason Poll: For the second consecutive season, FSU was selected to place third in the 2007 GLIAC Volleyball Coaches Preseason North Division Poll as released by the league office. The Bulldogs totaled 24 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference’s head coaches. The Bulldogs accumulated a third-place 26 points total in last season’s conference preseason poll and were tabbed fourth in the 2005 poll with 26 points. Defending NCAA Division II National Champion Grand Valley State was voted as the favorite to repeat as regular-season divisional champions for the third consecutive year as the Lakers garnered 36 points along with six of the seven first-place votes. Hillsdale, which captured the South Division title last campaign, received 23 points and had three first-place votes in being selected this year's South Division favorite.
Ferris State's Head Coach: Tia Brandel-Wilhelm - (Alma, 1990), 12th season, 244-120 (.670); Career: 15th season, 362-140 (.721). Brandel-Wilhelm entered the 2007 campaign ranked 19th in career best winning percentage among the NCAA Division II active coaches while her 351 career victories prior to 2007 was 22nd highest on the Division II active coaches wins list. The 2002 GLIAC Coach of the Year guided the Bulldogs to NCAA-II Tournament appearances in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2005. She registered her 200th win at Ferris State last season (Sept. 10) with a non-conference decision 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 2007 yearbook can also be found at the site.
New This Season - Live Video: A live video and audio webcast is available for all 2007 Ferris State volleyball home matches through B2 Networks for a charge of $6 per match on FSU's Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports. Just click on the B2 Networks icon to access.
Live Stats: All statistics for the 2007 Ferris State volleyball home matches can be followed via GameTracker on Ferris State's Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports. GameTracker is a service of Online College Sports and is a real time update of the action. Selected Bulldog road matches are also available by visiting the 2007 Schedule/Results section within the FSU volleyball homepage. If the GameTracker logo is shown for that match then there will be a GameTracker link.
Great Stretch: Ferris has won 20 or more matches eight times under 12th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs were 200-85 (.702) over the past nine years prior to entering the 2007 season and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament five times in that span. FSU has advanced to the GLIAC Tournament nine consecutive years to date.
On The Road: Ferris State is 658-310 (.679) overall since 1981 which includes a 418-246 (.629) record in road/neutral site matches during that period. The Bulldogs were 6-3 in road matches last season and notched a 3-2 mark in neutral site encounters.
Bulldog Bites: Candice Marut is 16 assists shy of attaining her 1,600 career assist and is only five away from tying Emily Clouse’s (2002-05) eighth-place 1,589 career assists total . . . Jamie Palazzolo’s 34 assists in 58 games this season matches her career season best set a season ago in 111 games . . . Sophomore middle hitter Sarah Lark’s (Alma) eight kills at Saginaw Valley State (9/22) matched her career season high which was established earlier this season (9/16) in a home match versus Northern Michigan . . . Sophomore middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) posted her 131st career block assist at Saginaw Valley State (9/22) to currently place her 30th on the school’s all-time block assist leaders chart. Gilchrist, who has a team second-best 42 block assists in 57 games this season, is one shy of tying Dawn Lowe’s (1984-87) 29th-place 132 total block assists in 435 games . . . With a 3-0 triumph at Saginaw Valley State (9/22), the Bulldogs have now won 13 of the last 15 meetings between the two schools.
Good News: Freshman middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) has recorded a team-leading 15 block solos to date this season and is seven shy of equaling last season’s team block solos leaders in Karla White and Kristy Gilchrist, who each netted 22 block solos in 30 matches apiece.
Approaching 1,000 Kills: Lindsay Tye, who has accumulated 928 career kills in 95 matches at Ferris State, is 72 kills away from notching the 1,000th kill of her career. Tye would become the 15th player in the program’s history to reach the milestone with the most recent being Danielle Baucher (2003-06; 1,492 career kills). Tye, a 2006 All-GLIAC Second-Team pick, presently ranks 17th among the Bulldogs’ all-time kills leaders and is two shy of moving into a 16th-place tie with Jamie Kowalkowski (1995-98; 930 career kills).
This Month: Ferris State sports a 67-32 record (.677) in September matches dating back to the 2000 season, which includes a 15-15 road ledger (.500). The Bulldogs have registered a program-best 11-2 mark in September matches twice (2002 and 2006) since 2000. FSU’s 5-1 road record a season ago represented its best in the last six seasons.
The Streak Continues: Jamie Palazzolo extended her current double-figure match digs streak to 14 consecutive with a match-high 22 digs at Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (9/22) after garnering 16 at Northwood last Friday (9/21). Palazzolo, a 2006 honorable mention all-conference honoree, began the string with 13 digs against Glenville State (W.Va.) at the 2007 Ferris State Invitational (8/25). Palazzolo currently has racked up 1,039 career digs in 102 matches and represents the 12th individual in Ferris State volleyball history to attain 1,000 career digs. She needs 15 more digs to tie Sarah Vandermolen (1997-00; 1,054 career digs) for 11th place on FSU’s charts.
Three And Out: The Bulldogs have compiled a 93-20 (.823) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 campaign, which consists of a 7-2 mark in such matches this fall.
Potent Hitting Attack: Ferris State has hit over .200 in a match nine times this season and boasts a 9-0 record in those contests. The Bulldogs hit a season-best .312 (52 kills in 109 attempts) in a non-conference home match victory over the Colorado School of Mines (8/25) at the 2007 Ferris State Invitational in Big Rapids, Mich.
NCAA Rankings: Ferris State is ranked 35th in kills per game (15.43 avg.) in the most recent (9/23) NCAA-II national statistics. The Bulldogs are listed 48th in assists (13.62), 67th in hitting percentage (.215), 70th in service aces (2.31), and 75th in blocks (2.22). Individually, Lindsay Tye is eighth in kills (4.48) and 64th in hitting percentage (.325) while Jamie Palazzolo is listed 70th in digs (4.88). Arielle Goodson ranks 111th in blocks (1.05) while Kristy Gilchrist is 122nd in hitting percentage (.295) and Candice Marut is 129th in assists per game (9.13).
A Look At The Opponents:
Ashland: The Bulldogs own a 12-3 series advantage against Ashland as the teams split a pair of matches last season. Ferris State claimed a 3-1 win at Ashland during the regular season (9/15) before dropping a 3-0 season-ending decison to the Eagles in the 2007 NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional (11/9) at Hillsdale, Mich. Ashland is presently 15-2 overall and 4-1 in the GLIAC following a 3-0 victory over Wayne State last Saturday (9/22) in Detroit, Mich., as the Eagles have prevailed in 13 of their last 14 contests. AU, which is coached by fifth-year head coach Connie Surowicz, had its 12-match winning streak snapped in a 3-2 loss at nationally-ranked Hillsdale last Friday (9/21). Ferris has won nine of the last 11 meetings and is 7-2 all-time in road/neutral outings against the Eagles. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. AU – 10-3
Findlay: Ferris holds a 6-4 series edge over Findlay and dropped a 3-0 decision to the Oilers last season (9/16) in Findlay, Ohio. The Bulldogs are 2-3 in the last five meetings to date between the two teams and FSU has dropped its last three matches on UF’s home court. FSU is 2-4 all-time in road/neutral encounters versus Findlay. Ferris’ most recent win over the Oilers occurred in the 2005 season (9/24) with a 3-0 home decision. Findlay, under 10th-year head coach Wick Colchagoff, was 14-4 overall and 3-1 in the GLIAC prior to this Friday’s (Sept. 28) home match against Grand Valley State. The Oilers have presently won eight of their last 10 matches, which includes a 3-1 loss at nationally-ranked Hillsdale last Saturday (9/22) in Hillsdale, Mich. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UF – 6-4