Weekly Release #2: Undefeated Ferris State Heads To The Rocky Mountains For Oredigger Classic Tournament

August 29, 2007

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    FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team will play in its second tournament of the 2007 season this weekend (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) as the Bulldogs participate in the 2007 Days Inn-Denver West Oredigger Classic at Lockridge Arena in Golden, Colo. Ferris will go up against Adams State (Colo.), Western New Mexico, Mesa State (Colo.), and Western State (Colo.) in the two-day tourney.

    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 own an all-time mark of 739-416 (.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, 237-115 (.673); Career: 15th season, 355-135 (.724). 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.

    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 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.

    On The Road: Ferris State is 636-300 (.679) overall since 1981 and sports a 413-242 (.631) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. The Bulldogs were 6-3 in road matches a season ago and notched a 3-2 mark in neutral site encounters.

    The Days Inn-Denver West Oredigger Classic: The Bulldogs will be competing in the 10-team 2007 Days Inn-Denver West Oredigger Classic, which will be held at Lockridge Arena on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. Along with the host Colorado School of Mines and Ferris State, the tourney field includes Adams State (Colo.), Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.), Merrimack (Mass.), Mesa State (Colo.), Montana State-Billings, Missouri-Rolla, Western New Mexico, and Western State (Colo.). Action will take place on two courts both Friday and Saturday. Ferris will depart for the tournament Thursday (Aug. 30) morning and return Sunday (Sept. 2).

    Ferris State Invitational Recap: Ferris State’s Lindsay Tye and Candice Marut were named to the 12-member Ferris State Invitational All-Tournament Team. Tye, a 2006 All-GLIAC Second-Team pick, registered a squad-best tying 37 kills and had a .333 attack percentage in the tourney while Marut compiled 24 kills to go with team highs in hitting percentage (.458) and assists (103). Tye received all-tourney team honors at the 2006 Ferris State Invite. Ferris State along with Grand Valley State and Northwood all posted 4-0 marks among the 12 teams in the tournament field.

    A Fine Start: The Bulldogs’ 4-0 start this fall represents the program’s best since 2005 when Ferris won its initial six matches of the season and went on to finish with a 22-10 overall record. All four of FSU’s matches this campaign were decided in three games as the Bulldogs held their opponent to a combined .112 hitting percentage for the tournament.

    Return To Sender: Ferris is currently outblocking the opposition 2.00-to-1.17 this season. The Bulldogs have outblocked their foe in three of their four initial matches and have a combined 10 more total blocks (24.0 to 14.0) than their opponent.

    Moving Up The Charts: Lindsay Tye currently ranks 27th among Ferris’ all-time kills leaders with a 692 total and is 13 away from tying Kris Johnson (1982-85; 705) for 26th place. Jamie Palazzolo is presently 18th all-time on FSU’s career digs leaders list. She has accumulated 801 digs in 280 career games and is 24 shy of tying Gretchen Galloway’s (1992-94) 825 career digs in 326 games.

    Productive Return: Sophomore outside hitter Katie Edwards (Cedar Springs), who played in last season’s first five matches before suffering a season-ending injury, has compiled a team-high tying 37 kills and a .256 hitting percentage in 12 games to date this season. She produced 30 kills and had a .024 attack percentage in the Bulldogs’ first four matches a season ago.

    The Century Mark: Lindsay Tye recorded her 100th career service ace last Saturday (8/25) in FSU’s win versus Colorado School of Mines. Tye, who has played in 83 matches and 260 games, is now three shy of tying Gretchen Galloway’s (1992-94) 24th-place 103 service aces total.

    A Look At The Opponents:

    Adams State: Ferris State and Adams State have never faced each other prior to this Friday’s matchup. The Grizzlies, under third-year head coach Lindy Mortensen, are currently 2-2-0 overall this season with the two victories coming in a 3-0 win over Grand Canyon (Ariz). and a 3-1 decision versus Dixie State (Utah) last weekend (Aug. 23 & 25) at the Best Western Alamosa Inn/Grizzly Inn Volleyball Classic in Alamosa, Colo. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. ASC – 0-0

    Western New Mexico: The two teams have never met. The Mustangs posted a 3-1 mark at last weekend’s (Aug. 24-25) Best Western Alamosa Inn/Grizzly Inn Volleyball Classic in Alamosa, Colo. WNMU dropped its season opener before recording wins against Texas-Permian Basin (3-1), Grand Canyon (3-0) and Winona State (3-0). Head coach Jim Callendar was named the 2006 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s (RMAC) Coach of the Year. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. WNMU – 0-0

    Mesa State: First-ever meeting. The Mavericks are 2-2-0 overall to date this campaign as a result of a pair of 3-1 victories over Incarnate Word (Texas) and Oklahoma Panhandle State at the West Texas A&M Lady Buff Classic last weekend (Aug. 24-25) in Canyon, Texas. Head coach Dave Fleming is in his third year at Mesa State. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. MSC – 0-0

    Western State: The two teams will square off against each other for the first time ever this Saturday. Western State will bring a 1-3-0 mark into this weekend’s tournament with the lone triumph occurring in a 3-2 triumph over Colorado Christian (Aug. 25) at the Colorado Christian Invitational in Lakewood, Colo. The Mountainers are coached by Shawn Back, who’s in his eighth year at the helm. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. WSC – 0-0

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