Weekly Release #9: Ferris Back At Home For Three League Matches

October 17, 2006

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    FSU Volleyball FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State women’s volleyball squad returns home for three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches this week inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena at Big Rapids, Mich. FSU hosts Lake Superior State Friday, Oct. 20, for a 7 p.m. (EDT) tilt before squaring off against Michigan Tech Saturday, Oct. 21, in a 4 p.m. (EDT) match. Ferris will battle Northern Michigan in its regular-season home finale Sunday, Oct. 22, starting at 1 p.m. (EDT).

    Last Week: The Bulldogs split a pair of conference road matches last weekend (Oct. 13-14). FSU registered a 3-1 triumph in Friday’s (Oct. 13) match versus Saginaw Valley State in University Center before suffering a 3-2 setback Saturday (Oct. 14) against Northwood in Midland, Mich.

    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.

    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.

    The 34th Season: The 2006 campaign represents Ferris State’s 34th season of women’s volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 731-413 (.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 347-132 (.724) career mark, is 229-112 (.672) 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 this season (9/24) 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.

    What A Run: Ferris has won 20 or more matches seven times under 11th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 196-75 (.723) 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.

    This Is Our Place: The Bulldogs have compiled a 248-66 (.790) 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 101-26 (.795) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

    On The Road Again: Ferris State is 643-302 (.680) overall since 1981 and sports a 413-239 (.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. Presently, Ferris holds a 6-2 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.

    National Rankings: The Bulldogs are not ranked in this week’s (Oct. 16) CSTV/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 year, was listed among other schools receiving votes with four points in this week’s poll. Hillsdale is listed fourth nationally in this week’s poll with Grand Valley State ranked sixth overall. GLIAC member Findlay is also included in the current rankings at 25th nationally.

    Bulldog Success: The Bulldogs’ current 17-6 mark this season with four regular-season matches remaining assures themselves of recording the program’s ninth consecutive winning campaign ......... 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 .......... The Bulldogs are three wins away from notching their eighth 20-win campaign in the last nine years to date. FSU has currently recorded at least 20 victories in a season 18 times. The 1984 FSU squad won a NCAA-II record 46 consecutive matches en route to a school-best 48-3 overall mark.

    Senior Day Match: Sunday’s match versus Northern Michigan will be the school’s annual Senior Day contest as Danielle Baucher and Karla White will be honored prior to their final regular-season home encounters. Baucher has netted 1,474 digs along with 1,376 kills in 430 games entering this week’s action while White has totaled 872 kills and 359 total blocks in 349 games to date.

    New School Record: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher surpassed Janna Biggs’ (1985-88) school-record total of 1,469 digs during Saturday’s match at Northwood. Baucher currently has 1,474 career digs to date along with 1,376 kills, which presently ranks seventh on the school’s career kills leaders list. Baucher, who ranks as Ferris' overall kills (4.30 kpg) leader this season along with second in digs (3.33 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). She’s 14 service aces away from matching Kathy O’Connor’s (1990-93) fifth-place career mark of 171 aces at FSU.

    Bulldog Bites: FSU’s Jamie Palazzolo recorded her 650th career dig at Northwood ....... Sophomore setter Candice Marut (Pinconning) tallied a career-high 64 assists against the Timberwolves while junior outside hitter Lindsay Johnson’s (Cadillac) 16 digs in the same match marked a personal career-best ...... Five of Ferris’ six losses this season have came in five games ...... Karla White’s 13 blocks at Northwood represented the fifth time in her career she’s had 11 or more total blocks in a match ...... Ferris had 19 service aces at Saginaw Valley State, which marked the third time this year the Bulldogs have had 19 or more aces in a single match ........ Ferris needs two more home wins to record its 250th all-time victory at the Ewigleben Sports Arena ..... Ferris has not swept all three Upper Peninsula foes (LSSU, MTU, NMU) at home in the same season since 2002.

    Ferris State Trends: The Bulldogs are currently 9-2 overall in evening matches this season ...... Ferris has recorded a higher hitting percentage than its opponent in 19 of 23 outings this year ........ The Bulldogs have recorded a 9-0 mark to date this season when holding their opponent to a hitting percentage under .100 for the match ....... FSU has not lost to a team holding a losing record prior to the match this campaign (10-0) ...... The Bulldogs have compiled a 83-16 (.838) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 campaign.

    What’s On Tap: Ferris visits archrival and defending NCAA Division II National Champion Grand Valley State for its regular-season finale Friday, Oct. 27, in Allendale, Mich. Match time for the league encounter inside GVSU’s Fieldhouse Arena is set for 7 p.m. (EDT).

    League Stats: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher ranks second in both kills (4.30 kpg) and points (5.04 ppg) while Karla White is listed third in blocks (1.22 bpg) according to the latest (Oct. 16) GLIAC overall statistical rankings. Lindsay Tye presently is fifth in service aces (0.56 apg). FSU ranks first as a team in aces (2.92 apg) and second in opponent’s hitting percentage allowed (.120) along with third in blocks (2.41 bpg).

    GLIAC Tourney: The 2006 GLIAC Tournament remains on campus sites this season for the third-straight year. The top three teams in each division plus the next two best overall teams will qualify for the postseason tournament. The top four teams will host quarterfinal-round action Tuesday, Oct. 31, with the top remaining seed selected to host the semifinals/finals Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3-4.

    Regional Information: Three automatic and five at-large bids will be awarded in the region, which consists of the GLIAC, Great Lakes Valley (GLVC) and West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conferences (WVIAC), for the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament set to be held Nov. 9-11 at a campus site to be determined. The official tournament parings and site are slated to be released Sunday, Nov. 5. FSU was ranked fifth in the most recent (Oct. 11) regional rankings this year. Hillsdale and Grand Valley State were listed first and second, respectively, in the regional poll followed by Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Findlay.

    A Look At The Opponents:

    Lake Superior State: FSU holds a 56-17 advantage entering this Friday’s 74th series meeting with Lake Superior State. Ferris’ Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 22-1 career coaching mark against LSSU and guided the Bulldogs to a 3-1 win in the last meeting (9/21/06) earlier this year at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. LSSU, which has dropped its last six outings this campaign to date, is presently 5-18 overall and 2-12 in conference play after Saturday’s (Oct. 14) 3-0 league loss at Northern Michigan. Last season, the Lakers compiled a 9-22 overall record and placed tied for fifth (6-12) in the league’s North Division. The Bulldogs, who have won 36 of the last 37 meetings, are 29-4 all-time versus Lake Superior State in matches at Big Rapids. LSSU is coached by 12th-year head coach Mark Engle. LSSU visits Grand Valley State Thursday (Oct. 19).

    Michigan Tech: Ferris and Michigan Tech will square off for the 56th time this Saturday with FSU holding a commanding 44-11 series advantage. In the last meeting (9/24/06), the Bulldogs recorded a 3-2 win at Houghton, Mich. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 18-4 career coaching record against the Huskies. FSU, which has won 17 of the past 18 contests, holds a 20-5 all-time record versus MTU in home matches. MTU compiled an 10-18 overall record in 2005, including a fifth-place tying 6-12 GLIAC North Division finish. The Huskies, who are coached by eighth-year head coach Krista Mikesch, improved to 13-10 overall and 9-5 in league play this season as a result of their 3-0 conference home win over Lake Superior State Friday (Oct. 13). MTU has won its last five outings this campaign to date. MTU visits Minnesota-Duluth for a non-league match Tuesday (Oct. 17) and then takes on Grand Valley State Friday (Oct. 19) before facing FSU.

    Northern Michigan: The series’ between the two teams is tied at 37 wins apiece entering Sunday’s 75th meeting. FSU’s Tia Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 8-16 career coaching mark against the Wildcats and led FSU to a 3-0 victory in the last matchup (9/23/06) at Marquette, Mich. NMU is presently 14-8 overall and 6-8 in the GLIAC’s North Division following Saturday’s (Oct. 14) 3-0 home win over Lake Superior State. Northern Michigan recorded a 15-12 overall record and a third-place tying 12-6 mark in the GLIAC’s North Division last season. The Wildcats are directed by Qi Wang, who is midst his second season at NMU. NMU, which has lost four of its last five outings to date this campaign, has claimed seven of the last 12 series’ victories versus FSU. Ferris holds an 18-14 all-time advantage over the Wildcats in meetings at Big Rapids. Northern Michigan will visit GVSU Saturday (Oct. 21) before squaring off against FSU.

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