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FSU Volleyball At A Glance: The Ferris State University women’s volleyball squad ventures to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula this weekend (Oct. 19-21) for three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches. The Bulldogs open the road trip this Friday (Oct. 19) against Michigan Tech at 5 p.m. (EDT) in Houghton, Mich. Ferris then ventures to Marquette, Mich., this Saturday (Oct. 20) to face Northern Michigan in a 4 p.m. (EDT) encounter. FSU concludes the weekend’s action on Sunday (Oct. 21) versus Lake Superior State for a 1 p.m. (EDT) tilt in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Last Time Out: Ferris State won both of its conference matches last week (Oct. 12-13) at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs rallied from a two-game deficit to register a 3-2 come-from-behind upset win over nationally 10th-ranked Hillsdale last Friday (Oct. 12) evening and then won their fourth consecutive match with a 3-0 victory against Wayne State last Saturday (Oct. 13) afternoon.
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 751-423 (.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.
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. 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. Michigan Tech was chosen second with 29 points and one first-place vote while Northern Michigan was tabbed fifth (17 points) and Lake Superior State was selected to place sixth (16 points) of the seven GLIAC North Division teams.
Ferris State's Head Coach: Tia Brandel-Wilhelm - (Alma, 1990), 12th season, 249-122 (.671); Career: 15th season, 367-142 (.721). 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.
On The Road: The Bulldogs are 659-312 (.679) overall since 1981 and sports a 419-248 (.628) record in road/neutral site matches during that span. Ferris State was 6-3 in road matches last season and compiled a 3-2 mark in neutral site encounters.
Bulldog Bites: Sophomore middle hitter Kristy Gilchrist (Macomb/Anchor Bay) has presently compiled a team-high 43 service aces in 23 matches this season which is 23 more than she recorded last season at this time. Gilchrist is seven aces away from moving into a 30th place tie with Kathy O’Connor (1992; 47 aces) among the program’s all-time single-season leaders . . . Ferris has recorded more kills than its opponent in 20 of the team’s 23 matches this fall, which includes the last eight to date. The Bulldogs are averaging 15.6 kills per game to the opposition’s 11.3 average during the eight-match span . . . FSU’s 79 kills against Hillsdale last Friday (10/12) not only represented a team season best, but is the seventh-highest match total in the program’s all-time annals. The 79 kills surpassed the 77 total against North Alabama (9/5/03) . . . Junior outside-middle hitter Emily Nemmers' (Caledonia/East Kentwood) 17 digs versus Hillsdale (10/12) represented a career single-match high, eclipsing her 14 digs at Saginaw Valley State (9/22). Prior to this year, Nemmers’ previous match best was six versus Augustana, S.D. (8/26) at the 2006 Ferris State Invitational . . . Lindsay Tye’s team-high 379 kills in 23 outings this season marks a career single-season high, surpassing her 355 kills in 30 matches last fall. Tye’s 379 kills this year presently ranks 30th on FSU’s all-time single-season leaders chart and she’s three away from tying Milli Holley (1984; 382 kills) for 29th place.
GLIAC Honoree: Kristy Gilchrist was named this week’s (10/15) GLIAC North Division Player of the Week in an announcement made by the conference office. Gilchrist led the Bulldogs with six service aces and 12 blocks (all block assists) in the two matches while averaging a team-best 4.50 points per game. She produced 15 kills and a team-best 11 block assists as Ferris recorded a 3-2 come-from-behind win over nationally-ranked Hillsdale (10/12). Gilchrist tallied a team second-best tying nine kills and hit .375 to go with a match-high five aces in a 3-0 triumph over Wayne State (10/13). The middle hitter averaged 3.00 kills and 1.50 blocks per game with a .232 attack percentage.
The Streak Continues: Jamie Palazzolo's double-digit digs match streak has reached 21 to date after she dug 24 attempts against Hillsdale (10/12) and a team-high 15 versus Wayne State (10/13). Palazzolo, who has racked up a team-leading 420 digs in 23 matches this year, is 29 shy of matching her career single-season high 449 digs in 30 matches a season ago. Her 420 digs currently ranks 17th on the all-time single-season bests list and she’s five shy of tying Sheri (Maus) Harris (1996; 425) for 16th place.
Approaching A Milestone: Kristy Gilchrist needs 16 more kills to notch her 500th career kill. She presently has accumulated a career single-season best 484 career kills in 53 matches while also generating 15 double-figure kill matches this season to date.
What A Win!: Ferris State rallied from a 2-0 deficit to upset nationally 10th-ranked Hillsdale last Friday (10/12) night at FSU’s Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids. The GLIAC win was the Bulldogs’ first over a nationally-ranked for since 2005 when FSU registered a 3-0 league home decision over 18th-ranked Grand Valley State in the regular-season finale (11/4).
NCAA Rankings: Ferris State ranks 35th in kills per game (15.35 avg.) in the most recent (10/14) NCAA-II national statistics. The Bulldogs are 46th in assists (13.66), 56th in service aces (2.34), 81st in hitting percentage (.204), and 95th in blocks (2.08). Individually, Lindsay Tye is 17th in kills (4.62) and 118th in hitting percentage (.292) while Jamie Palazzolo is 81st in digs (4.94). Kristy Gilchrist is 118th in service aces per game (0.51) and 143rd in attack percentage (.285). Junior setter Andrea Rich is listed 158th in assists per game (8.15).
A Look At This Week's Opponents:
Michigan Tech: Ferris State has a 47-11 lead in its all-time series against Michigan Tech as the teams will meet for the 59th time. In the most recent meeting (9/15), the Bulldogs recorded a 3-2 win at Big Rapids. FSU, which has prevailed in 18 of the last 19 series matches, holds a 24-6 all-time record versus MTU in road/neutral site matches. Ferris registered a 3-2 triumph over the Huskies last season (9/24) in Houghton en route to notching a 3-0 mark against MTU. The Huskies, who coached by ninth-year head coach Krista Mikesch, are presently 6-12 overall and 4-7 in the GLIAC after dropping a 3-0 decision at nationally-ranked Ashland last Sunday (10/14) in Ashland, Ohio. MTU lost its last four matches to date after winning the previous four. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. MTU – 21-4
Northern Michigan: The series is currently tied at 38-all as a result of NMU’s 3-2 victory on the Bulldogs’ home floor earlier this season (9/16). FSU has won six of the last 14 matchups which included a 3-0 decision over the Wildcats last year (9/23) in Marquette. Ferris would claim a 3-1 win at home a year ago (10/22) to sweep the two-match regular-season series. The ‘Cats, who are under first-year head coach Dominic Yoder, are 14-10 overall and 8-4 in the GLIAC to date. NMU is 1-3 in its last four outings after winning seven straight. Northern suffered a 3-2 league loss at Findlay last Sunday (10/14) in its most recent action. Yoder served as Bulldog assistant under Brandel-Wilhelm for the 2000 season. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. NMU – 9-17
Lake Superior State: FSU has a commanding 58-17 advantage over Lake Superior State in an all-time series following a 3-1 home triumph earlier this fall (9/14). Ferris has claimed 38 of the last 39 contests and is 27-13 all-time against the Lakers in road/neutral site matchups. The Bulldogs produced a 3-1 win in its last appearance at LSSU (9/21/06) and swept the 2006 series by securing a 3-0 home decision (10/20/06). The Lakers stand at 6-16 overall with a 2-9 conference ledger as a result of suffering a 3-0 league setback at nationally-ranked Ashland last Saturday (Oct. 13). LSSU, which is directed by 13th-year head coach Mark Engle, is 2-7 in its last nine matches and is midst a current five-match losing streak. Tia Brandel-Wilhelm vs. LSSU – 24-1