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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team hits the road for a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches this weekend (Sept. 21-22). The Bulldogs square off against the nationally-ranked Northwood this Friday (Sept. 21) in a 7 p.m. (EDT) contest at Midland, Mich. The Bulldogs then face Saginaw Valley State this Saturday (Sept. 22), starting at 2 p.m. (EDT) in University Center, Mich. Northwood is listed 24th nationally in the latest CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with 95 points. The third 2007 regular-season national poll was released Monday (Sept. 17).
Last Time Out: The Bulldogs opened GLIAC action last weekend (Sept. 14-16), going 2-1 in play at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. FSU recorded a 3-1 league-opening win over Lake Superior State last Friday (Sept. 14) and then knocked off Michigan Tech by a 3-2 count Saturday (Sept. 15) after winning the opening two games of the match. The Bulldogs downed the Huskies 15-10 in the decisive fifth game. Ferris then suffered a 3-2 loss to Northern Michigan Sunday (Sept. 16) despite rallying from a 2-1 deficit to win game four (30-23). The fifth game was close all the way with the Wildcats squeaking out a 15-13 decision.
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 745-420 (.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, 243-119 (.671); Career: 15th season, 361-139 (.722). 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 on FSU's Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports. Just click on the B2 Networks icon.
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 657-309 (.680) overall since 1981 and sports a 417-245 (.629) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. The Bulldogs were 6-3 in road matches last season and notched a 3-2 mark in neutral site encounters.
Bulldog Bites: Candice Marut needs 45 more assists to reach the 1,600-career plateau and is 34 helpers away from tying Emily Clouse;s (2002-05) eighth-place 1,589 career assists total . . . Ferris improved to 13-5 (.722) overall in conference openers since 1990 with last Friday’s 3-1 decision over Lake Superior State and is now 8-2 at home in those matches during that period . . . FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm improved her career head coach record against Lake Superior State to 24-1 overall with last Friday’s triumph . . . Freshman middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) compiled a team match-best eight blocks (seven block assists) against Lake Superior State (9/14). Goodson’s eight blocks eclipsed her previous high of seven set twice this season – versus Mesa State (9/1) at the Days Inn-Denver West Oredigger Classic and against Northern Michigan (9/16) . . . The Bulldogs have compiled 33 more kills this season than in their initial 14 matches a season ago. Ferris has accumulated 799 total kills (15.37 avg.) this year compared to 766 kills (15.02 avg.) last season. Lindsay Tye, who presently leads this season’s squad in kills with 237 (4.74 avg.), has produced 95 more kills in this fall than compared to her 142 kills total (2.84 avg.) in 2006 at this time . . . Junior setter Andrea Rich (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) is seven service aces shy of attaining her 50th career ace . . . Lindsay Tye, who has 111 career service aces in 93 matches, is within two of tying Erin Minnis (1998-01) for 23rd place on the school’s all-time leaders chart.
Double-Digit Wins: Ferris State’s 10 victories to date this campaign represents the 27th consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have posted double-figure wins. The last time FSU failed to record at least 10 victories was in 1980 (5-21 overall record). Since 2000, Ferris has averaged 22.7 (159 total wins) per season to date.
Double Digs Streak: Jamie Palazzolo has presently posted double-figure digs in her last 12 matches and is averaging 18.9 digs (227 total) during that span. Palazzolo’s career match-high 31 digs against Michigan Tech last Saturday (9/15) tied her for the fifth-highest single-match digs total in FSU’s all-time annals. Wendy McCann totaled 31 digs versus Northwood (10/23/86) as did Tracie Henne (10/20/92). Palazzolo, a 2006 All-GLIAC Honorable Mention pick, is currently 12th among Ferris’ career digs leaders with 1,001 total and is 53 shy of tying Sarah Vandermolen (1997-00; 1,054 total digs) for 11th place.
Impressive Sophomore: Sophomore outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs) has a team third-place best 145 kills in 14 matches this season. The output already repesents a personal career high, bettering her combined 50 kills in her previous two seasons (2005-06) over 16 matches. Edwards saw action in the Bulldogs’ opening five matches last season before suffering a
season-ending injury and was granted a medical redshirt.
On The Attack: Ferris State has registered more kills than its opponent in 12 of the team’s 14 matches this season. The Bulldogs are averaging 15.37 kills per game (799 total) to the opposition’s 12.12 average (630 total) in 52 games this campaign. A season ago in its first 14 matches, Ferris also held the kills advantage in 12 of its initial 14 and averaged 20.70 kills (766 total) in 37 games during that period.
NCAA Rankings: Ferris State was ranked 32nd in kills per game (15.37 avg.) according to the most recent (9/16) NCAA-II national statistics. The Bulldogs are listed 50th in assists (13.50), 77th in service aces (2.23), and 63rd in hitting percentage (.218). Individually, Lindsay Tye is 13th in kills (4.47) while Jamie Palazzolo ranks 79th in digs (4.71). In attack percentage, Lindsay Tye is 80th (.318). Arielle Goodson is 119th in blocks (1.0).
Did You Know?: Lindsay Tye has accounted for 31.9% (128-401) of the team’s kills in seven road/neutral site matches this season. She boasts an .853 service ace percentage (nine aces in 95 attempts) in 26 away games.
A Look At The Opponents:
Northwood: Ferris State maintains a 26-19 lead over the Timberwolves as the teams will battle one another for the 46th time this Friday evening. Northwood, which has won 11 of the last 17 series outings, earned a regular-season series split with the Bulldogs last season as a result of dropping a 3-0 decision in Big Rapids (9/8). NU avenged the setback later in the season (10/14) with a 3-2 win on its home court. Ferris sports a 12-12 record against NU all-time in road/neutral site contests. Northwood is currently 13-2 overall and 1-2 in the GLIAC this fall after starting the campaign with a 12-match winning streak. The Timberwolves, under fourth-year head coach Tim Koth, have dropped two of their last three matches including a 3-0 conference loss at rival Saginaw Valley State Tuesday (9/18). Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. NU – 11-15
Saginaw Valley State: Ferris and Saginaw Valley State will square off for the 55th time on Saturday with FSU having a 45-9 series advantage. The teams split last season’s two-match regular-season series with the Cardinals registering a 3-2 triumph at Big Rapids (9/9) before the Bulldogs posted a 3-1 victory at University Center (10/13). Ferris, which has won 12 of the last 14 matches in the series, holds a 21-6 ledger against the Cardinals in road/neutral site contests and is 24-3 all-time at home. SVSU, who are coached by fifth-year head coach Will Stanton, were 13-3 overall and 2-1 in the GLIAC following a 3-0 home league win over nationally-ranked Northwood. The Cardinals, who host Grand Valley State this Friday (9/22), have won 10 of their last 11 matches to date. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. SVSU – 18-4