Weekly Release #8: Bulldogs Prep For Two GLIAC South Division Foes

October 10, 2007

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    FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team concludes its two week homestand this weekend (Oct. 12-13) with a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs square off against the nationally-ranked Hillsdale Chargers this Friday (Oct. 12) in a 7 p.m. (EDT) encounter before entertaining the Wayne State Warriors this Saturday (Oct. 13) at 4 p.m. (EDT). Hillsdale is ranked 10th in this week’s (Oct. 8) CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll with 552 points after being listed 11th in the previous poll (Oct. 1).

    Last Time Out: Ferris State came close to upsetting nationally ninth-ranked and conference archrival Grand Valley State last Tuesday (Oct. 2) as the Bulldogs won the match’s first two games before suffering a 3-2 setback to the host Lakers in Allendale, Mich. However, FSU came back with a pair of 3-0 league home victories over Gannon and Mercyhurst last weekend (Oct. 5-6) in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs are currently 14-7 overall and 6-4 in the GLIAC for the 2007 season.

    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 boast an all-time 749-423 (.639) record 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. Wayne State tied Gannon for fourth place in the 2007 conference south division poll.

    Ferris State's Head Coach: Tia Brandel-Wilhelm - (Alma, 1990), 12th season, 247-122 (.669); Career: 15th season, 365-142 (.719). 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 per match on FSU's Athletics Website at www.ferris.edu/sports. Just click on the B2 Networks icon to access.

    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.

    No Place Like Home: Ferris is currently 260-67 (.7954) in 25-plus seasons at the Ewigleben Sports Arena since 1981. FSU, which has six undefeated home seasons in the facility, was 12-4 at home last fall. The Bulldogs are 113-27 (.807) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

    Bulldog Bites: Sophomore middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) posted a team-high .303 hitting percentage in the Bulldogs’ three matches last week with a squad second-best 35 kills on 76 attempts. She also produced six services aces, six digs, and a team-leading eight blocks (six block assists) . . . The Bulldogs are hitting .237 in their nine home matches this fall compared to the opposition’s .111. FSU has also recorded 147 more kills (495-348) and 51 more service aces (87-36) than its opponent in Bulldog home encounters this season . . . Ferris .326 attack percentage versus Gannon last Friday (10/5) marked a team season high, bettering the squad’s .312 hitting clip against Colorado School of Mines (8/25) at the Ferris State Invitational . . . Lindsay Johnson registered her 75th career service ace at Grand Valley State (10/2) . . . Junior outside hitter Emily Nemmers (Caledonia/East Kentwood) is five kills away from attaining the 100th kill in her career. She presently has produced 95 career kills in 82 matches to date . . . Lindsay Tye is three services aces shy of tying Janna Biggs (1985-88; 132 career aces) for 16th place and five away from matching Kim McDowell’s 15th-place 134 total (1988-91) . . . Sophomore middle hitter Sarah Lark (Alma) posted her 100th kill of this season against Mercyhurst (10/6). Lark, who has played in 21 matches this fall, had 13 kills in 18 matches for the 2006 campaign . . . Frosh middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) notched a .643 hitting percentage vs. Gannon (10/5) with 10 kills on 14 attempts. Her season-best is .692 (10 kills-13 att.) vs. Adams State, Colo. (8/31) at the Days Inn-Denver West Oredigger Classic.

    Tye Reaches 1,000 Kills Mark: Lindsay Tye became the 15th player in Ferris State’s volleyball history to register 1,000 career kills as she notched a team-leading 10 total in the Bulldogs’ 3-0 conference home win over Mercyhurst last Saturday (10/6). Tye, who has presently amassed 1,003 career kills in 100 matches, needs 81 more to tie Erin Minnis (1998-01; 1,084 career kills) for 14th place among the program’s all-time leaders. Tye, a 2006 All-GLIAC Second-Team selection, joins Danielle Baucher (2003-06; 1,492 career kills) as the newest members of the exclusive club.

    It’s Great To Be Rich: Junior setter Andrea Rich (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) tallied her 1,000th career assist at Grand Valley State (10/2) with a career match-tying 54 helpers to equal her 54-assists total at Michigan Tech last season (9/24/06). Rich earns the distinction of becoming the 12th individual in Ferris State annals to garner 1,000 assists and currently is 12th place on the school’s all-time charts with 1,061 in 45 career contests.

    Backrow Stopper: Jamie Palazzolo is making the most of her senior season this fall as she has accumulated double-figure digs in the Bulldogs’ last 19 matches to date and is averaging 17.29 digs a match during that period. Palazzolo, who has totaled a team-high 381 digs in 21 matches this season, is 68 digs shy of equalling her career single-season 449 digs total in 30 matches last season. The 2006 All-GLIAC Honorable Mention honoree posted 16 digs at Grand Valley State (10/2) before garnering 13 and 20 digs, respectively in home outings against Gannon (10/5) and Mercyhurst (10/6).

    Regional Rankings: Ferris State is listed ninth of 10 teams in the latest NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region rankings, which were released this Wednesday (Oct. 10) by the NCAA-II Women’s Volleyball Committee. The Bulldogs are one place behind Northern Michigan and one spot in front of 10th-place Saginaw Valley State. Indianapolis is ranked number one while Grand Valley State is rated second through Oct. 7 matches.

    NCAA Rankings: Ferris State ranks 37th in kills per game (15.25 avg.)?in the most recent (10/7) NCAA-II national statistics. The Bulldogs are 48th in service aces (2.4), 52nd in assists (13.52), 82nd in hitting percentage (.203), and 103rd in blocks (2.04). Individually, Lindsay Tye is 15th in kills (4.7) and 116th in hitting percentage (.296) while Jamie Palazzolo is listed 74th in digs (4.95). Arielle Goodson ranks 180th in blocks (0.91)and Kristy Gilchrist is 130th in hitting percentage (.291). Candice Marut ranks 145th in assists per game (8.6). Gilchrist’s 0.49 aces per game is good for 141st place.

    A Look At This Week's Opponents:

    Hillsdale: Ferris State has a 45-11 series advantage over Hillsdale as the two teams will meet for the 57th time this Friday. The Bulldogs have won four of the last eight series outings, but have dropped the last two including a 3-2 home decision last season (10/6) in Big Rapids. Ferris is 21-2 overall versus Hillsdale in home matches. The nationally-ranked Chargers, who are presently 19-4 overall and 10-0 in the GLIAC’s South Division, have a current 12-match winning streak after registering a 3-0 home league triumph over Lake Superior State last Saturday (10/6) in Hillsdale, Mich. HC has prevailed in 14 of its last 17 contests to date. The Chargers, under 12th-year head coach Chris Gravel, were picked to finish first in the GLIAC South Division Preseason Poll for the second consecutive year. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. HC – 11-4

    Wayne State: Ferris State’s contest against Wayne State will represent the 69th matchup between the teams with the Bulldogs holding a 41-27 lead in the all-time series. In the last meeting (10/7) a season ago, Ferris registered a 3-0 home triumph over the Warriors in Big Rapids. FSU, which has won the last nine series contests to date, holds a 19-6 all-time mark against Wayne State in Big Rapids. The Warriors, under fourth-year head coach Ernie Gilbert, improved to 8-10 overall and 3-7 in GLIAC action following a 3-1 home league decision against Lake Superior State last Sunday (10/7) in Detroit, Mich. Wayne State, which sports a 3-7 ledger in its last 10 outings, visits Grand Valley State this Friday (Oct. 12) prior to facing Ferris State. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. WSU – 9-3

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