Weekly Release #7: Big Week Ahead For Bulldog Volleyball At Home

October 2, 2006

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    FSU Volleyball FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State women’s volleyball squad will play three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches this week at the Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris hosts archrival and defending NCAA Division II National Champion Grand Valley State Tuesday, Oct. 3, in a 7 p.m. (EDT) contest. FSU will then square off against nationally-ranked and currently unbeaten Hillsdale Friday, Oct. 6, starting at 5:30 p.m. (EDT) before taking on Wayne State Saturday, Oct. 7, with match time set for 4 p.m. (EDT).

    Wear Yellow: Bulldog fans are encouraged to wear yellow or gold shirts for Tuesday’s home match against Grand Valley State. Doors will open at 6 p.m. (EDT). Traditionally, a standing room-only crowd has been present for the FSU-GVSU match in Big Rapids. GVSU is presently first (9-0) in the GLIAC North Division with Ferris second (7-2) entering the match. The Lakers are ranked first nationally in this week's (Oct. 2) CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll.

    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.

    Parking Note: Please note that a parking fee of $5 per vehicle will be charged for both Friday’s and Saturday’s home matches due to FSU’s home hockey games versus Union (N.Y.) taking place the same evenings.

    Last Weekend: Ferris State opened its five-match league homestand with two wins this past weekend (Sept. 29-30) in the Ewigleben Sports Arena. FSU beat Mercyhurst 3-0 Friday (Sept. 29) and then defeated Gannon by a 3-1 count in Saturday’s (Sept. 30) match.

    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 729-410 (.640) 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 345-129 (.728) career mark, is 227-109 (.676) 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.

    Great Stretch: Ferris has won 20 or more matches seven times under 11th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 194-72 (.729) 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 247-64 (.794) 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 100-24 (.806) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

    Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 641-299 (.682) overall since 1981 and sports a 412-238 (.634) 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 5-1 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. 2) 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 season, was listed among other schools receiving votes with six points in this week’s poll. Three GLIAC schools were featured in the latest poll including Grand Valley State (1st), Hillsdale (9th) and Findlay (23rd).

    Another Winning Year: The Bulldogs’ current 15-3 mark this season with nine 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.

    Bulldog Bites: The Bulldogs have currently won six of their last seven outings this season ....... Saturday’s triumph over Gannon was FSU’s 100th home court victory in the Tia Brandel-Wilhelm head coaching era .......... Ferris’ .057 attack percentage against Gannon marked the first time the Bulldogs had hit under .100 in a match this season ........ Sophomore setter Candice Marut (Pinconning) needs two digs to record her 200th career dig. She notched her 600th career assist versus Gannon ......... Jamie Palazzolo has 557 career digs to date and is 43 shy of recording her 600th career dig ......... Junior outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea) compiled her 500th career kill versus GU ...... Karla White posted her 800th career kill against Gannon ..... Sophomore setter Andrea Rich (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) notched her 600th career assist against Gannon.

    Ferris State Trends: The Bulldogs are currently unbeaten (8-0) in evening matches this season ...... Ferris has recorded a higher hitting percentage than its opponent in 16 of 18 outings this year ........ The Bulldogs have recorded an 8-0 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 (9-0).

    Baucher Nearing Mark: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher currently has 1,286 career kills and ranks eighth on the school’s career leaders list. Her 1,414 career digs presently is listed third in school history and is five away from matching Brittny Godlewski’s (2002-05) second-place mark of 1,419 digs on Ferris’ all-time chart. She currently needs 55 digs to tie Janna Biggs’ (1985-88) school-record total of 1,469 digs. Baucher, who ranks as Ferris' overall kills (4.36 kpg) leader this season along with second in digs (3.53 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).

    What’s On Tap: Following this week’s three home outings, Ferris hits the road for a pair of conference matches. FSU will visit Saginaw Valley State Friday, Oct. 13, for a 7 p.m. (EDT) tilt in University Center, Mich., and then take on Northwood Saturday, Oct. 14, starting at 4 p.m. (EDT) in Midland, Mich. Both are GLIAC North Division matches.

    GLIAC Rankings: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher ranks second in both kills (4.36 kpg) and points (5.12 ppg) while freshman middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) is listed fifth in blocks (1.15 bpg) according to the latest (Oct. 2) GLIAC overall statistical rankings. Lindsay Tye presently is fifth in service aces (0.58 apg). FSU ranks second as a team in aces (3.08 apg) and opponent’s hitting percentage allowed (.111).

    Ferris State Notes: The Bulldogs have compiled a 82-16 (.837) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 campaign ..... FSU has currently won 14 of its last 17 regular-season outings versus GLIAC South Division opponents dating back to 2003. Ferris posted a 4-2 record against South Division foes last year and is presently 3-1 versus the southern division this campaign.

    A Look At The Opponents:

    Grand Valley State: Ferris and GVSU have met 86 times before with GVSU holding a 46-40 series advantage. The Lakers registered a 3-0 triumph in the most recent meeting (11/9/05) during the 2005 GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals at Allendale, Mich. FSU has won three of the last five meetings, including a 3-0 victory in the 2004 GLIAC Tournament Championship match (11/14/04) at Allendale. Ferris head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 8-14 career coaching record against Grand Valley State. GVSU, which has won 11 of the last 17 series contests, holds a 30-25 all-time record versus FSU in Allendale and a 16-15 edge at Big Rapids, Mich. Grand Valley State compiled a 32-6 overall record in 2005, including a first-place 15-3 GLIAC North Division finish en route to winning the NCAA-II National Championship. The nationally top-ranked Lakers, who are coached by 12th-year head coach Deanne Scanlon, currently are 16-1 overall and 9-0 in the GLIAC this campaign after Saturday’s (Sept. 30) 3-0 home win over Mercyhurst. GVSU’s lone loss this year came to Southwest Minnesota State 3-2 in its season opener (8/25) at the Florida Southern Invite. FSU beat GVSU 3-0 in last year’s (11/4/05) regular-season finale at Big Rapids.

    Hillsdale: FSU maintains a 45-10 series edge heading into this Friday’s 56th series meeting against Hillsdale. The Bulldogs have won four of the last seven series outings, but dropped a 3-0 decision last year (10/14/05) at Hillsdale, Mich. Brandel-Wilhelm has a current 11-3 career coaching mark against the Chargers. HC is presently 19-0 overall and 10-0 in league action this season after Sunday’s (Oct. 1) 3-0 league home win over Michigan Tech. Last season, Hillsdale posted a 19-12 overall record and a third-place 11-6 mark in the GLIAC’s South Division. The Chargers, who were picked to finish first in the GLIAC South Division Preseason Poll this year, are directed by 11th-year head coach Chris Gravel. Ferris holds a current 21-1 overall series’ mark against the Chargers in Big Rapids.

    Wayne State: Ferris and Wayne State will square off for the 68th time this Saturday with FSU holding a 40-27 series advantage. In the last meeting (10/15/05), the Bulldogs recorded a 3-1 win at Detroit, Mich. Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 8-3 career coaching record against Wayne State. FSU, which has won the last eight series contests to date, holds an 18-6 all-time mark against the Warriors in Big Rapids. WSU compiled a 16-10 overall record in 2005, including a fourth-place 8-9 GLIAC South Division finish. The Warriors, under third-year head coach Ernie Gilbert, fell to 1-14 overall and 1-9 in league play this season as a result of a 3-0 conference home loss to Michigan Tech Saturday (Sept. 30). WSU has lost six-straight matches this year and will visit Grand Valley State Friday (Oct. 6) prior to facing FSU.

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