Weekly Release #1: Bulldogs Open 2007 Season Hosting Ferris State Invitational

August 22, 2007

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    FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball will open the 2007 season and its 35th year of intercollegiate competition this weekend (Aug. 24-25) as the Bulldogs host the Ferris State Invitational on three courts at the Ewigleben Sports Arena and Jim Wink Arena on the FSU campus in Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris will square off against Alaska Anchorage, West Virginia State, Glenville State (W.Va.) and Colorado School of Mines in the 12-team tournament.

    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.

    Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2007 Ferris home matches will be available at the door. For more information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.

    The 35th Season: The 2007 campaign represents Ferris State’s 35th season of women’s volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time mark of 735-416 (.639) 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.

    The Head Coach: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm - (Alma, 1990), 12th season, 233-115 (.669); Career: 15th season, 351-135 (.722). 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 the Bulldog helm with a victory last year (Sept. 10) 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.

    Live Stats: “Live Stats” of all 2007 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 CSTV GameTracker “Live Stats” feature.

    Great Stretch: Ferris has won 20 or more matches eight times under 12th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs are 200-85 (.702) over the past nine years 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.

    Tough At Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 240-62 (.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 93-22 (.809) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

    Bulldog Captains: A trio of seniors – outside hitter Lindsay Johnson (Cadillac), outside hitter Lindsay Tye (Gregory/Chelsea), and Jamie Palazzolo (Emmett/Yale) along with junior setter-outside hitter Candice Marut (Pinconning) will serve as the 2007 captains.

    The FSU Roster: Ferris’ 2007 active roster includes three seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and eight freshmen. Seven of the 18 players are outside hitters, four are middle hitters, and seven others fill the squad’s setter, defensive specialist and libero roles. All 18 squad members are from the state of Michigan.

    The Ferris State Invitational: The Bulldogs have had previous success in the Ferris State Invitational. From 1998-2001, the Bulldogs opened each of their four campaigns with a 4-0 record after winning consecutive matches in the home event. FSU went 3-1 in the 2006 FSU Invite as the Bulldogs suffered a 3-2 tourney-opening loss to California, Pa. (8/25) before posting a pair of 3-0 decisions over Lees-McRae, N.C. (8/25) and West Virginia State (8/26). FSU wrapped up the tournament with a 3-1 victory against Augustana, S.D. (8/26). The Bulldogs compiled a 4-0 invite mark in each of the previous two years (2004 and 2005). Danielle Baucher and Lindsay Tye represented Ferris State on the 12-member all-tourney team.

    The Starting Point: The 2007 campaign represents the fourth straight season in which the Bulldogs will open a season at home. Prior to the 2004 campaign, FSU had not played it season opener at home since 2001. The Bulldogs, who have won their first four matches seven of the last nine years to date, posted their best start in school history (10-0) in 2000. Ferris State is 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 in its first match of the season. The Bulldogs have won 15 of their 17 season openers to date, which included a 3-1 non-league home triumph over St. Joseph’s (Ind.) last season (8/24) in Big Rapids.

    No Place Like Home: The Bulldogs have posted a 32-1 cumulative record in non-conference home outings during head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm’s tenure. Overall, Ferris is 105-26 (.802) in home matches under Brandel-Wilhelm.

    All-Conference Performers: Outside hitter Lindsay Tye and outside hitter-libero Jamie Palazzolo both earned All-GLIAC recognition a season ago. Tye received second-team laurels while Palazzolo attained honorable mention kudos.

    Tough At Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 252-66 (.792)?record to date in 26 seasons of competition at the Ewigleben Sports Arena since moving from the Health and Physical Education (HPE)?Building in 1981. Ferris, which as enjoyed six undefeated home seasons in the facility, registered a 12-4 home ledger in 2006. Overall, Ferris is 105-26 (.802)?in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

    What Returns For 2007: Below is a look at the 2006 statistical totals of the returnees and what percentage of the team totals they accounted for:
    2006 Total 2007 Returning % Returning
    Kills 1,665 812 48.8
    Aces 310 203 65.5
    Digs 1,802 1,358 75.4
    Blocks 255.0 152 59.6

    Nearing The Century Mark: Outside hitter Lindsay Tye is four service aces shy and nine total blocks shy of attaining the 100 career plateau in both statistical categories. Tye has accumulated 96 service aces and 91 total blocks (86 block assists) in 79 career matches.

    A Look At The Opponents:

    Alaska Anchorage: Ferris has a 4-3 all-time lead over the Seawolves to date. The Bulldogs are 0-2 at home and 4-1 on the road versus UAA. FSU dropped a 3-1 home decision to UAA in 1992 (10/3) at the Ferris State Invite which represents the last meeting between the two teams. Head coach Michelle Earl, who embarks on her third year in 2007, directed the Seawolves to a 5-20 overall mark and a 2-14 ledger in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. UAA – 0-0.

    West Virginia State: FSU holds a 3-0 series advantage versus the Yellow Jackets with all matches taking place in Big Rapids. Ferris claimed a 3-0 home victory last year (8/26) in the most recent meeting between the two schools. The Yellow Jackets went 25-9 overall and 15-1 in the West Virgina Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) in 2006 under head coach Shannon Gerencir, who starts her sixth year in the 200 season. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. WVSU – 3-0.

    Glenville State: First-ever meeting. GSC was 10-17 overall and 9-8 in the WVIAC last season. Jerry Gregg is in his first season as Pioneers’ head coach. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. GSC – 0-0.

    Colorado School of Mines: First-ever meeting. The Orediggers, under fifth-year head coach Shelly Johnson, were 11-17 overall and 7-12 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) action last season. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. CSM – 0-0

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