Weekly Release #11: Ferris To Close Regular Season This Weekend With Two Home Matches

October 31, 2007

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    FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team will close out the regular-season portion of its 2007 schedule this weekend (Nov. 2-3) with a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home matches at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs face the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals this Friday (Nov. 2) in a 7 p.m. (EDT) contest before going up against the Northwood Timberwolves this Saturday (Nov. 3) at 5 p.m. (EDT) in the regular-season finale.

    Last Time Out: Ferris State suffered a 3-1 conference loss to nationally-10th-ranked and West Michigan archrival Grand Valley State last Friday (Oct. 26) at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids. The contest represented the Bulldogs’ only match last week.

    Another Winning Season: Ferris State’s current 18-9 mark this season with two regular-season matches remaining assures the Bulldogs of registering the program’s 10th consecutive winning campaign. FSU is two victories away from producing the school’s ninth 20-win campaign in the last 10 seasons. The Bulldogs have recorded at least 20 victories in a season 19 times prior to this 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 753-425 (.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.

    2007 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. 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. This weekend's opponents, Saginaw Valley State and Northwood were picked seventh and fourth, respectively, in the preseason poll.

    Ferris State Head Coach: Tia Brandel-Wilhelm - (Alma, 1990), 12th season, 251-124 (.669); Career: 15th season, 369-144 (.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.

    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 262-68 (.794) 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 115-28 (.804) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

    Bulldog Bites: Ferris State has tallied 53 kills in each of its last three matches to date – at Northern Michigan (10/20), at Lake Superior State (10/21) and against Grand Valley State (10/26) . . . Junior outside-middle hitter Emily Nemmers (Caledonia/East Kentwood) has compiled a combined 13 service aces in her last three matches after generating nine aces in her previous 24 outings this season. She has produced a career match-high six aces at Lake Superior State (10/21) and then followed with four aces against Grand Valley State last Friday (10/26) . . . Jamie Palazzolo’s team-high 489 digs in 27 matches this campaign currently represents the fourth-best ever single-season digs output in school history. She’s four away from moving into a fourth-place tie with Wendy McCann (1987; 493 digs) and is nine shy of tying Sheri (Maus) Harris’ 498-digs total set in 1998 . . . The Bulldogs are 1-6 (.143) in their regular-season finale matches dating back to 2000. The lone triumph was a 3-0 home decision over Grand Valley State in 2005 (11/4) . . . Lindsay Tye needs 35 more kills to tie for 13th place on FSU’s all-time leaders chart with Lisa Haan (1988-91; 1,141 career kills). Tye has currently accumulated 1,106 career kills in 106 matches, which includes a career season-best 451 kills in 27 contests this season.

    November Matches: Ferris State has registered a 14-16 overall record (.467) in November encounters dating back to the 2000 campaign. The Bulldogs are 7-3 at home and 7-13 in road/neutral site contests during that period. Ferris was 0-2 in November encounters last season with both being neutral-site matches. FSU’s most successful November performance since the new millennium was in 2004 when the Bulldogs produced a 5-2 record.

    Senior Day Match: This Saturday’s (11/3) home outing against Northwood will be the program’s annual Senior Day contest as Lindsay Johnson, Jamie Palazzolo and Lindsay Tye will be honored prior to the Bulldogs’ final 2007 regular-season home match. The trio have guided Ferris State to an 86-35 record (.711) during their careers (2004-present).

    Double-Double: Lindsay Tye continues her dominance in her final collegiate season as she recorded her 13th double-double of the season against Grand Valley State last Friday (10/26). She finished the league contest with a match-leading 19 kills and a team-best 21 digs. Tye’s digs total in the match marked a season high, eclipsing her 18 digs versus Hillsdale (10/12).

    The Quarter Mark: Jamie Palazzolo extended her double-digit digs match streak to 25 consecutive after tallying 15 digs in the Grand Valley State match (10/26). This season, Palazzolo has garnered at least 20 or more digs a match on 10 occasions. She presently ranks seventh on FSU’s all-time digs leaders list with 1,245 digs in 113 matches and is 59 shy of tying Stephanie Chaffin (1989-92; 1,304 career digs) for sixth place.

    Pair of Aces: FSU’s top leaders in service aces this season, sophomore middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) and Lindsay Tye have currently combined for 36.1% (83-230) of the team’s output. Gilchrist has compiled a squad-best 46 aces and Tye has served up 37 aces this fall.

    2007 GLIAC Tourney Info: FSU has clinched a GLIAC Tournament berth. The tournament quarterfinals will be held Wednesday, Nov. 7, at campus sites still to be determined with the semifinals/finals set for Nov. 10-11 at the site of the highest remaining seed. The official brackets will be announced by the conference office after regular-season action concludes this Saturday (Nov. 3). The Bulldogs’ appearance in the conference tourney represents the 10th consecutive year in which FSU will be a participant.

    NCAA-II National Rankings: Ferris State is listed 38th in kills per game (15.32 avg.) among this week’s (10/28) NCAA Division II national statistical leaders. The Bulldogs are 43rd in assists (13.7), 54th in service aces (2.32), 79th in hitting percentage (.205), 125th in blocks (1.99), and 142nd in digs (16.46). Individually, Lindsay Tye ranks 11th in kills (4.7) and 102nd in hitting percentage (.301) while Jamie Palazzolo is 81st in digs (4.94). Junior setter Andrea Rich (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) ranks 149th in assists per game (8.78) and Kristy Gilchrist is 161st in service aces (0.48).

    A Look At This Week's Opponents:

    Saginaw Valley State: Ferris State holds a commanding 46-9 lead over Saginaw Valley State in the all-time series and recorded a 3-0 win on the Cardinals’ home court earlier this season (9/22) in University Center, Mich. The Bulldogs have won 13 of the last 15 meetings between the two teams and are 24-3 all-time in home matches against SVSU. Ferris suffered a 3-2 loss to Saginaw Valley State last season (9/9) in its most recent home apperance versus the Cardinals. SVSU, which is coached by fifth-year head coach Will Stanton, improved to 20-9 overall and 9-7 in the GLIAC with a 3-1 conference home win over Michigan Tech last Sunday (10/28). The Cardinals have won five of their last six matches to date and are 16-5 in road/neutral site matches this season. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. SVSU – 19-4

    Northwood: Ferris State is 26-20 in its all-time series versus Northwood although the Timberwolves have prevailed in 12 of the last 18 contests to date. Northwood handed the Bulldogs a 3-0 conference loss earlier this campaign (9/21) in Midland, Mich. Ferris is 14-7 at home against the Timberwolves, which includes a 3-0 setback on the Bulldogs’ home floor last season (9/8). Northwood is currently 18-10 overall and 6-10 in GLIAC action under fourth-year head coach Tim Koth. The Timberwolves started out the season with a 12-match winning streak, but have dropped three of their last four contests to date. NU suffered a 3-2 home loss to Lake Superior State last Sunday (10/28) in its most recent action. The Timberwolves sport a 15-5 record in away/neutral site matches this campaign. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. NU – 11-16

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