Weekly Release #2: Ferris Headed To The Alamo City Classic

August 28, 2006

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    FSU Volleyball FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team continues the non-conference portion of its schedule by taking part in the Incarnate Word (Texas) Alamo City Classic this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 1-2, in San Antonio, Texas. FSU will face Chadron State (Neb.), tourney host Incarnate Word, Midwestern State (Texas) and Western Oregon in the event. Ferris was not ranked but was listed among others receiving votes with three points in the 2006 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Preseason Poll released Aug. 21.

    Recent Results: Ferris State kicked off the 2006 campaign by winning four of five matches at home inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena last week. FSU defeated St. Joseph’s (Ind.) 3-1 in its season opener last Thursday (Aug. 24) before winning three of four outings in the annual Ferris State Invitational held Friday and Saturday (Aug. 25-26) in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs dropped their opening match of the event to California (Pa.) 3-2, but bounced back to defeat Lees-McRae (N.C.) 3-0 Friday. FSU beat West Virginia State and Augustana (S.D.) by scores of 3-0 and 3-1, respectively, on Saturday.

    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.

    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.

    The 34th Season: The 2006 campaign represents Ferris State’s 34th season of women’s volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 718-408 (.638) 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 334-127 (.725) career mark, is 216-107 (.669) 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 the GLIAC’s Coach of the Year in 2002. She registered her 200th win at the Bulldog helm with a victory last year (Sept. 10) over Edinboro (Pa.) at the Findlay (Ohio) TownPlace Suites Classic.

    Back To School Night: Ferris held its second annual “Back To School” night in conjunction with its season-opening match versus St. Joseph’s (Ind.) last Thursday. Fans attending the match earned free admission by providing a new school supply, which will soon be distributed by the department for use in local elementary classrooms.

    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 183-70 (.723) over the past eight 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 244-63 (.795) 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 97-23 (.808) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

    Hitting The Road: Ferris State is 630-297 (.680) overall since 1981 and sports a 404-237 (.630) 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.

    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) have been named 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.

    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.

    Homecoming Of Sorts: Thursday’s contest marked the debut of first-year SJC head coach Jill (Behrns) Schopieray, who served two seasons each as both a player (1998-99) and the second assistant coach (2000-01) at Ferris before spending the last two campaigns as an assistant coach at NCAA-I Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. The Bulldogs posted a 38-18 (.679) record in GLIAC action in her two-year FSU playing career.

    The Alamo City Classic: The Alamo City Classic will be held in the Alice P. McDermott Center on the campus of the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio. Six teams are slated to take part in the event. In addition to Ferris, the field also includes the host Cardinals, Northern Michigan, Chadron State (Neb.), Midwestern State (Texas) and Western Oregon. The Bulldogs will not face fellow GLIAC member NMU. Action will take place on a single court Friday along with two courts Saturday. Ferris will depart for the event Thursday (Aug. 31) morning and return Sunday (Sept. 3).

    FSU Invitational Recap: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher and junior outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea) both were named to the FSU Invitational All-Tournament Team. Twelve individuals were selected to the all-tourney team. Eleven teams took part in the annual event. Both Hillsdale and California (Pa.) finished with 4-0 marks while the Bulldogs along with Saginaw Valley State compiled 3-1 ledgers.

    The Starting Point: After last Thursday’s victory, Ferris is now 28-6 (.824) all-time in season-opening encounters, including a 10-1 mark under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. FSU is 10-0 (home), 6-2 (road) and 12-4 (neutral) all-time it its first match of the year. The Bulldogs have won 15 of their last 17 season openers to date. The 2006 campaign marks the third-straight season in which the Bulldogs have opened the year at home. Prior to the 2004 season, FSU had not played its season opener at home since 2001. The Bulldogs registered their best start in school history (10-0) in 2000.

    Streak Snapped: Friday’s (Aug. 25) home loss to California (Pa.) was FSU’s first non-league home setback in 11 seasons under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs had compiled a 29-0 cumulative mark in non-conference home outings prior to the loss.

    Baucher Reaches Century Club: Ferris’ Danielle Baucher 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 last Thursday’s season-opening home win over St. Joseph’s. Baucher garnered second-team Daktronics All-Great Lakes Region kudos along with honorable mention AVCA All-Great Lakes Region recognition last campaign. The 5-10 Baucher was also a first-team All-GLIAC honoree last year after claiming second-team laurels in 2004.

    What’s On Tap: Ferris State opens GLIAC action by hosting Northwood Friday, Sept. 8, starting at 7 p.m. (EDT) inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena at Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs conclude the weekend homestand with a league encounter Saturday, Sept. 9, versus Saginaw Valley State beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT) in Big Rapids. After opening conference play with the two home tilts, Ferris will play five consecutive GLIAC matches on the road.

    A Look At The Opponents:

    Chadron State: Ferris and Chadron State of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) have never faced each other before heading into Friday’s tilt. The Eagles dropped all four of their matches at the Mile High Classic this past weekend (Aug. 25-26) in Denver, Colo. Among the four losses was a 3-2 setback versus Midwestern State (Texas), which is also in this weekend’s field. First-year head coach Amy Spruiell’s squad compiled only a 3-26 mark during the 2005 campaign and lost 19 of their matches in three-straight games before she took the head coaching reigns.

    Incarnate Word: Friday evening’s meeting against tourney host Incarnate Word represents the first-ever series’ encounter. The Cardinals posted a 2-2 mark at the Nova Southeastern (Fla.) Shark Classic this past weekend (Aug. 25-26) in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Last season (2005), UIW recorded a 17-17 overall record and advanced to the Heartland Conference Tournament. Head coach Jennifer Montoya is in her fourth season at the Cardinal helm.

    Midwestern State: The Bulldogs and Mustangs have met once before with Ferris posting a 3-0 triumph in the 2004 FSU Invitational (8/27) at Big Rapids, Mich. Midwestern State, which hosts Wayland Baptist (Texas) this Tuesday (Aug. 29) prior to the event, also took part in last weekend’s (Aug. 25-26) Mile High Classic in Denver and recorded a 3-1 record. Third-year head coach Venera Flores-Stafford’s squad was picked to finish second in the 2006 Lone Star Conference (LSC) Preseason Poll after notching a 26-12 overall mark last campaign.

    Western Oregon: The two teams will square off against each other for the first time ever on Saturday. The Wolves lost four of five matches in the California-San Diego Invitational last week (Aug. 24-26) in San Diego, Calif. WOU, which visits St. Edward’s (Texas) for a non-league match Wednesday (Aug. 30), tallied an 11-15 overall mark in 2005 and finished 9-9 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Head coach Joe Houck is in his second season at Western Oregon.

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