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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team will compete in its third consecutive tournament of the 2007 season this weekend (Sept. 7-8) as the Bulldogs play in the 2007 Minnesota Duluth Classic at Romano Gymnasium in Duluth, Minn. Ferris State will participate in three non-conference matches – versus North Dakota, host Minnesota-Duluth and West Texas A&M. Minnesota Duluth is presently ranked fourth nationally with 804 points in the first 2007 CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll while West Texas A&M is listed 15th with 368 points. The first 2007 regular-season national poll was released Monday, Sept. 3.
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 742-417 (.640) 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.
The Head Coach: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm - (Alma, 1990), 12th season, 240-116 (.674); Career: 15th season, 358-136 (.725). 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.
Live Stats: “Live Stats” of all 2007 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 CSTV GameTracker “Live Stats” feature.
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 639-301 (.679) overall since 1981 and sports a 416-243 (.631) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. The Bulldogs were 6-3 in road matches a season ago and notched a 3-2 mark in neutral site encounters.
Another Strong Beginning: The Bulldogs’ 7-1 start this fall resembles 2006 when Ferris State won nine of its first 10 matches en route to a 21-9 overall record. Ferris is 50-14 (.781) in its initial eight matches per season dating back to 2000. FSU started 7-1 or better in four of those seasons.
Days Inn-Denver West Oredigger Classic Recap: Ferris State’s Lindsay Tye earned a spot on the seven-member Days Inn-Denver West Oredigger Classic All-Tournament Team. Tye, a 2006 All-GLIAC Second-Team pick, totaled a team-leading 73 kills along with a squad-best tying six service aces. Tye had a .247 attack percentage, 38 digs and five blocks (three block solos) in 14 games. In the last two seasons, Tye has garnered all-tourney team recognition twice (2006-07) at the Ferris State Invitational and once at the 2006 Alamo City Classic.
Double-Double: Lindsay Tye compiled her 20th career double-double with 17 kills and 11 digs versus Mesa State (Colo.) last Saturday (9/1) at the Days Inn-Denver West Oredigger Classic. Tye, who has two double-double (kills & digs) match performances this season, reeled off a career single-season best 13 such efforts in the 2006 campaign.
Moving Up The Charts: Sophomore middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) has tallied double-figure kills in each of her last five matches. Gilchrist has notched a combined 64 kills in the Bulldogs’ last five matches and is averaging 12.8 kills a match in that period. In 30 matches a season ago, Gilchrist recorded eight double-figure kill match outings.
A Career Best: Senior libero-outside hitter Jamie Palazzolo’s (Emmett/Yale) match-high 28 digs against Mesa State (9/1) represents a career match high, eclipsing her 25 digs set twice last season in back-to-back matches against Gannon (9/30)?and Grand Valley State (10/3). Palazzolo, a 2007 honorable mention All-GLIAC pick, has accumulated double-digit digs in her last six matches to date this season and is averaging 17.8 digs (107 total)?per match in that span.
Double Trouble: Ferris’ top two kills leaders this season, Lindsay Tye (110 kills)?and Kristy Gilchrist (82 kills)?have presently combined for 45.8% (192-419) of the squad’s total kills output this season.
A Season’s Comparison: The Bulldogs are currently averaging 16.1 kills per game in 26 games this season over their first eight matches compared to an average of 15.2 kills a game in 29 games last season in their initial eight matches.
Serving Ace: Senior outside hitter Lindsay Johnson (Cadillac) has presently produced a team-high 15 service aces in 25 games and has at least one ace in every match this season. Last year, the 2006 GLIAC?All-Academic Team selection tallied five aces in 16 games during FSU’s first eight matches. She posted a career single-season high and squad fourth-best 46 service aces in 94 games for 2006.
Diggin’ It: Junior setter-outside hitter Candice Marut (Pinconning) is averaging a squad-best 2.50 digs (65 total)?in 26 games this fall. She amassed a career single-season high 157 digs in 101 games last year.
A Look At The Opponents:
North Dakota: The Bulldogs trail North Dakota by a 2-1 count in the all-time series. The Fighting Sioux posted a 3-2 win over Ferris in the most recent series matchup in 1991 (9/13) at the Central Missouri State Tournament in Warrensburg, Mo. UND sports a 2-6 overall record after the host Fighting Sioux split four matches last weekend (8/30-9/1) at the North Dakota Tournament in Grand Forks, N.D. Second-year head coach Katy Peterson’s squad compiled 3-1 wins versus Minnesota State-Moorhead and Chadron State in UND Tourney. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UND – 0-0
Minnesota Duluth: Ferris maintains a 7-4 lead over Minnesota Duluth in the all-time series. UMD prevailed by a 3-0 margin in the most recent series meeting (9/2)?at the 2005 Amerihost-Grand Valley State Classic in Allendale, Mich. UMD improved to 7-1 overall this season after winning all four of its matches at the Denver Premier Tournament last weekend (8/31-9/1) in Denver, Colo. The only setback for the Bulldogs this fall was a 3-2 loss to nationally-ranked Truman State (Mo.)?at the Concordia-St. Paul Tournament (8/25) in St. Paul, Minn. Sixth-year head coach Jim Boos directed UMD to two NCAA-II Elite Eight appearances (2004 & 2006). Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UMD – 0-1
West Texas A&M: The all-time series is knotted at 1-1-0 to date as the Bulldogs evened the series with a 3-1 victory over the Lady Buffaloes in the 1992 season opener (9/4) at the Northern Michigan Invitational in Marquette, Mich. West Texas A&M is 6-3 overall this season as a result of compiling a 2-2 mark last weekend (8/31-9/1) at the Denver Premier Tournament in Denver, Colo. The Lady Buffs’ two wins were both 3-1 decisions against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and host Metropolitan State (8/31). The Lady Buffs are coached by Tony Graystone, who’s in his ninth year and is a four-time Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year honoree. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. WTA&MU – 0-0