Weekly Release #10: Final Regular-Season Match At Grand Valley Friday

October 24, 2006

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    FSU Volleyball FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State women’s volleyball squad wraps up regular-season action by visiting West Michigan archrival and defending NCAA Division II National Champion Grand Valley State, which is currently ranked sixth nationally, Friday, Oct. 27. Match time is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) inside GVSU’s Fieldhouse Arena at Allendale, Mich.

    Ticket Information: Tickets for Friday evening’s match at Grand Valley State can be obtained at the door. For more information, please contact the GVSU Athletics Ticket Office at (616) 331-3200.

    Media Coverage: Live internet statistics of Friday’s match will be provided free of charge via Gametracker on GVSU’s Athletics Website at www.gvsulakers.com. In addition, the Lakers will provide a live video webcast of the match on a pay-per-view basis at the site.

    Last Week: The Bulldogs swept three conference home matches against Upper Peninsula schools inside FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena at Big Rapids, Mich. FSU topped Lake Superior State 3-0 Friday (Oct. 20) and then beat Michigan Tech 3-0 Saturday (Oct. 21). Ferris concluded the homestand with a 3-1 triumph over Northern Michigan in its final regular-season home match Sunday (Oct. 22).

    GLIAC Tourney Info: FSU has already clinched a GLIAC Tournament berth. The tournament quarterfinals will be held Wednesday, Oct. 31, at campus sites still to be determined with the semifinals/finals set for Nov. 3-4 at the site of the highest remaining seed. The official brackets will be announced by the league office after regular-season play is wrapped up Sunday (Oct. 29). This season will mark the nine consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have taken part in the event.

    GLIAC Tourney Scenario: Entering this week’s action, Ferris is currently second in the North Division with a 12-5 league mark behind Grand Valley State (16-1). Northwood ranks third in the division (9-6) and is the only team that can catch the Bulldogs. Ferris can clinch a quarterfinal-round home match by beating GVSU Friday. If the Bulldogs fall to GVSU, Ferris would need Northwood to drop one of its three conference road matches this weekend (Oct. 27-29) in order to host a first-round match. NU holds the tiebreaker edge over FSU should both teams finish with identical records. GVSU has already clinched a quarterfinal-round home 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 734-413 (.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 350-132 (.726) career mark, is 232-112 (.674) 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.

    What A Run: Ferris has won 20 or more matches eight times under 11th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 199-75 (.726) over the past nine years and have reached the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament four times in that span. This year will be FSU’s ninth consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance.

    This Is Our Place: The Bulldogs have compiled a 251-66 (.792) 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 104-26 (.800) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

    On The Road Again: Ferris State is 646-302 (.681) 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 has compiled a team-high 432 kills along with 331 digs this season. White presently has netted a team-best 119 blocks and has 318 kills while Palazzolo leads the squad in digs (397) to date.

    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.

    Another Big Year: Ferris' current 20-6 overall record this season represents the school's eighth 20-win campaign in the last nine seasons to date ......... The Bulldogs, who have recorded at least 20 victories in a season 19 times, have won at least 10 matches in each of their last 26 campaigns dating back to 1981. The last time FSU failed to record at least 10 victories was in 1980 (5-21) ..... The 1984 FSU squad won a NCAA-II record 46 consecutive matches en route to a school-best 48-3 overall mark ....... 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.

    Key Notes: Sophomore setter Candice Marut (Pinconning) needs 58 assists to notch her 1,000th career assist ..... Jamie Palazzolo compiled her 700th career dig against Northern Michigan ..... Junior outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea) is six digs shy of posting her 500th career dig. She earned her 600th career kills versus NMU.

    National Rankings: The Bulldogs are not ranked in this week’s (Oct. 23) 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 three points in this week’s poll. Hillsdale is listed third nationally in this week’s poll with Grand Valley State ranked fifth overall. Findlay is also included in the current rankings at 25th nationally.

    Great Way To Go Out: Seniors Danielle Baucher and Karla White were both honored prior to their final regular-season home matches last Sunday against Northern Michigan. Both players had productive days for the Bulldogs. Baucher tallied a match-high 25 kills along with 18 digs and five block assists for FSU. White added 15 kills and six total blocks while notching her 900th career kill.

    School Record Holder: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher surpassed Janna Biggs’ (1985-88) school-record total of 1,469 digs in FSU’s recent match (Oct. 14) at Northwood. Baucher currently has 1,512 career digs to date along with 1,430 kills, which presently ranks sixth on the school’s career kills leaders list. Baucher, who ranks as Ferris' overall kills (4.41 kpg) leader this season along with second in digs (3.38 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 eight service aces away from matching Kathy O’Connor’s (1990-93) fifth-place career mark of 171 aces at FSU.

    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.

    Bulldog Bites: Five of Ferris’ six losses this season have came in five games. FSU has not lost to a team holding a losing record prior to the match this campaign (11-0) ....... The Bulldogs have now claimed 37 of the last 38 series’ meetings against Lake Superior State and 18 of the last 19 matchups against Michigan Tech following last weekend’s action ......... FSU’s home wins last weekend marked the first time the Bulldogs had swept all three Upper Peninsula foes at home in the same season since 2001 ....... Ferris notched its 250th all-time win inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena against Michigan Tech .............. FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm recorded her 350th collegiate career coaching victory in Sunday’s match ..... The Bulldogs are listed 10th nationally in aces per game (2.92) according to the latest (Oct. 16) NCAA-II National Statistical Rankings ........ The Bulldogs have recorded a 10-0 mark to date this season when holding their opponent to a hitting percentage under .100 for the match ....... Ferris has compiled a 85-16 (.842) overall record in three-game matches since the start of the 2000 campaign.

    League Stats: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher ranks second in both kills (4.41 kpg) and points (5.18 ppg) while Karla White is listed third in blocks (1.24 bpg) according to the latest (Oct. 23) GLIAC overall statistical rankings. Lindsay Tye presently is fifth in service aces (0.55 apg) while Danielle Baucher and junior outside hitter Lindsay Johnson (Cadillac) are tied for sixth (0.51 apg) in the same category. Freshman middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) ranks sixth in blocks (1.06 bpg) while Jamie Palazzolo is listed 10th in digs (4.05 dpg). FSU ranks first as a team in aces (2.95 apg) and second in opponent’s hitting percentage allowed (.119) along with third in blocks (2.43 bpg).

    Key League Marks: Ferris has recorded 19 or more aces in a single match three times this year. No other GLIAC school has more than 16 aces in a match this campaign ...... FSU’s 21 total blocks at Northwood (10/14) represents a conference single-match high this year. Karla White’s 13 total blocks in the same outing is tied for the league’s single-match top effort this season ...... Lindsay Tye’s 35 kills at Michigan Tech (9/24) ranks tied for the GLIAC’s top individual single-match kills total this season. FSU holds three of the top four individual league performances this year as Danielle Baucher netted 27 kills and 26 kills versus Saginaw Valley State (9/9) and at Michigan Tech (9/24), respectively.

    A Look At The Opponent:

    FSU vs. Grand Valley State: Ferris and GVSU have met 87 times before with GVSU holding a 47-40 series advantage. The Lakers registered a 3-2 triumph in the most recent meeting (10/3/06) earlier this year at Big Rapids, Mich. FSU has won three of the last six meetings, including a 3-0 victory in the 2004 GLIAC Tournament Championship match (11/14/04) at Allendale, Mich. Ferris head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm currently has a 8-15 career coaching record against Grand Valley State. GVSU, which has won 12 of the last 18 series contests, holds a 30-25 all-time record versus FSU in Allendale and a 17-15 edge at Big Rapids, Mich. The Lakers recorded a 3-0 home win over FSU in the 2005 GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals (11/9/05) at Allendale after posting a 3-2 regular-season home win (10/11/05) over the Bulldogs a year ago.

    About The Lakers: 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 23-2 overall and 16-1 in the GLIAC this campaign after Saturday’s (Oct. 21) 3-0 home win over Northern Michigan. GVSU’s two losses this year have came to Southwest Minnesota State 3-2 in its season opener (8/25) at the Florida Southern Invite and a 3-0 conference home setback versus Hillsdale (10/7).

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