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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball team will go up against three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opponents this week. The Bulldogs square off against their archrival the nationally-ranked Grand Valley State Lakers this Tuesday (Oct. 2) in a 7 p.m. (EDT) contest at Allendale, Mich. FSU’s four-match conference homestand starts this Friday (Oct. 5) as the Bulldogs host Gannon Golden Knights at FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Opening serve is set for 7 p.m. (EDT). Ferris then concludes the week’s play Saturday (Oct. 6) entertaining the Mercyhurst Lakers at 1 p.m. (EDT). Grand Valley State moved up one place into ninth in this week’s (Oct. 1) CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll as the Lakers earned 633 points.
Last Time Out: Ferris State split a pair of four-game conference road matches last weekend (Sept. 28-29) in Ohio as the Bulldogs are presently 12-6 overall and 4-3 in GLIAC match play. Ferris suffered a 3-1 loss to 14th nationally-ranked Ashland last Friday (Sept. 28) at Ashland, Ohio, but bounced back to register a 3-1 triumph over Findlay last Saturday (Sept. 29) in Findlay, Ohio.
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 747-422 (.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. Gannon and Mercyhurst were tabbed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 2007 conference poll.
Ferris State's Head Coach: Tia Brandel-Wilhelm - (Alma, 1990), 12th season, 245-121 (.669); Career: 15th season, 363-141 (.720). 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 258-67 (.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 111-27 (.804) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris State’s 17 service aces at Findlay last Saturday (9/29) marked a 2007 season high, bettering the suqad’s 13 aces versus Michigan Tech (9/15). The Bulldogs have generated 74 more aces (158-84) than the opposition this season to date . . . Redshirt freshman libero Whitney Rupp (West Bloomfield/Mercy) has posted double-figure digs in two of her last three matches. Rupp, who compiled a combined 29 digs in the three-match span, totaled a personal season-best 12 digs at Findlay (9/29) to exceed her 10 digs at Saginaw Valley State (9/22) Sophomore middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist’s (Macomb/Anchor Bay) six service aces in the Bulldogs’ 3-1 conference win at Findlay (9/29) marked a career match best, eclipsing her five aces versus Chadron State, Neb. last season (9/1) at the Alamo City Classic in San Antonio, Texas . . . Junior setter Andrea Rich (New Baltimore/Anchor Bay) is 47 assists away from notching her 1,000th career assist and presently has generated 953 assists in 42 career matches to rank 12th on the school’s all-time leaders list . . . Gilchrist and freshman middle hitter Arielle Goodson (Grand Rapids/Central) are the only two Bulldogs to have at least one block in all but two matches this season. The two have combined for 48.6% (119-245) of the team’s blocks production this fall . . . Kristy Gilchrist is hitting a squad-high .281 with 50 kills in 114 attempts over FSU’s last four matches . . . Lindsay Tye has totaled 106 more kills this season (309 total) in her first 18 matches than a season ago (203 total) at this juncture . . . Jamie Palazzolo has improved her season digs total by 82 (332 in 2007) in comparison to the 2006 18-match total (250) . . . Lindsay Johnson is one service ace shy of attaining her 75th career ace . . . Junior outside hitter Emily Nemmers (Caledonia/East Kentwood) needs eight more kills to reach the 100-career mark.
1,000 Kills Milestone Alert: Lindsay Tye is 36 kills away from recording the 1,000th kill of her career and would become the 15th player in Ferris State history to reach the milestone joining Danielle Baucher (2003-06; 1,492 career kills) as the club’s newest members. Tye, who presently has amassed 964 career kills in 97 matches, currently is 15th among the Bulldogs’ career kills leaders and needs 120 more to tie Erin Minnis (1998-01; 1.084 career kills) for 14th-place honors.
Digging It: Jamie Palazzolo continues to anchor Ferris’ backline for 2007 as she has compiled double-digit digs the last 16 Bulldog matches to date, which includes seven 20 or more plus match efforts this campaign. Palazzolo is averaging 19.63 digs a match during the 16 contests. She garnered 29 digs at Ashland (9/28) and then claimed 20 at Findlay (9/29) this past weekend.
Better Than Before: Kristy Cilchrist has recorded a team second-best 13 double-digit kill match outings in 65 games this year after posting eight matches with double-figure kills in 111 games last season. Gilchrist is 15 kills shy of equalling her 220 kills output in 30 matches a season ago.
NCAA Rankings: Ferris State is ranked 35th in kills per game (15.43 avg.) in the most recent (9/23) NCAA-II national statistics. The Bulldogs are listed 48th in assists (13.62), 67th in hitting percentage (.215), 70th in service aces (2.31), and 75th in blocks (2.22). Individually, Lindsay Tye is eighth in kills (4.48) and 64th in hitting percentage (.325) while Jamie Palazzolo is listed 70th in digs (4.88). Arielle Goodson ranks 111th in blocks (1.05) while Kristy Gilchrist is 122nd in hitting percentage (.295) and Candice Marut is 129th in assists per game (9.13).
A Look At This Week's Opponents:
Grand Valley State: Ferris State and GVSU will be meeting for the 90th time with the Lakers having a 49-40 series advantage. Grand Valley State won all three meetings last season – winning 3-2 in Big Rapids (10/3) and 3-1 in Allendale (10/27) during the regular season before recording a 3-0 triumph in the 2006 GLIAC Tournament Semifinals (11/3) at Hillsdale, Mich. GVSU, which has won 14 of the last 20 series meetings, holds a 31-25 all-time record against the Bulldogs in Allendale and a 17-15 edge at Big Rapids. The Lakers, who are coached by 13th-year head coach Deanne Scanlon, are currently 17-2 overall and 7-0 in the GLIAC this campaign following a 3-2 conference decision at nationally-ranked Ashland last Saturday (9/29). GVSU claimed the 2005 NCAA-II National Championship title. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. GVSU – 8-17
Gannon: Ferris and Gannon meet for the 18th time in their all-time series with the Bulldogs owning an 11-6 series advantage. FSU has won six of the last 10 outings in the series, which included a 3-1 triumph in Big Rapids a season ago (9/30). Gannon, which is presently 4-11 overall and 0-7 in the GLIAC, is midst a seven-match losing streak after dropping a 3-0 league contest to Wayne State last Saturday (9/29) in Erie, Pa. GU’s last win was a 3-2 decision over Point Park (Pa.) at the Point Park Tournament (9/9) in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Bulldogs are presently 5-2 versus the Golden Knights at home and 6-4 in road/neutral site encounters. Gannon, coached by first-year head coach Matt Darling, visits rival and crosstown foe Mercyhurst this Tuesday (10/2) in conference action prior to battling Ferris State. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. GU – 10-4
Mercyhurst: FSU has a 13-1 advantage over Mercyhurst to date in the all-time series and claimed a 3-0 home win over the Lakers last season (9/29) in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs sport a 6-0 home ledger against MC, which is under the direction of third-year head coach Ryan Patton. The Lakers are presently 14-6 overall and 2-5 in the GLIAC following a 3-1 home setback to nationally-ranked Hillsdale last Saturday (9/29) in Erie, Pa. Mercyhurst is 2-5 in its last seven appearances to date. The Lakers host Gannon this Tuesday (10/2) and visit Grand Valley State this Friday (10/5) before facing the Bulldogs. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. MC – 12-1