Dominating and difference making

Senior captain Lisa Tobiczyk leads nationally-ranked FSU volleyball team

In the world of Division II women’s volleyball, there are not many teams which have shown the dominance that FSU has.

Probably because in the world of Division II women’s volleyball, there are not many teams with a player like FSU senior captain Lisa Tobiczyk on their roster.

“Lisa is a fantastic leader, she has diligently worked to hone her natural leadership instincts,” FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm said.

The nationally-ranked Ferris State University women’s volleyball team, which has shutout the majority of its opponents, currently boasts an 18-2 record. According to Tobiczyk, her team’s being ranked nationally is a “compliment to the team’s hard work”.

During her senior year of high school, Tobiczyk was unsure of where she wanted to play college volleyball. Her search for the right school included several small Division I institutions as well as a few NAIA schools.

“Ferris was my pick, I came up here for a visit and fell in love with the team,” Tobiczyk said. “Everyone was so welcoming and I loved the coaching staff. I [also] had people on the team I knew from back home which really helped my decision.”

The FSU volleyball program picked up a star in Tobiczyk. After redshirting her freshman year, the Bulldogs saw the impact Tobiczyk made on the court.

“Lisa redshirted her freshman year and spent the year working on her passing and defense techniques,” Brandel-Wilhelm said. “Throughout her past five years, Lisa has never let up in her quest to improve.”

In her first season as the team’s libero, she accumulated a team high 374 digs.

“A libero is a different position. As a libero, I don’t have to rotate; I always stay in the back row and wear a special colored jersey for the refs to basically keep track of me,” Tobiczyk explained.

Throughout her volleyball career at FSU, Tobiczyk has competed in lots of big-time matches. According to her, the match which stands out most in her mind is her first appearance in a game. “Getting out there for the first time” is her most memorable FSU volleyball moment.

Now in her senior season as a Bulldog, Tobiczyk has recorded many accomplishments as a volleyball player including trying out for the USA Olympic Women’s volleyball team in 2011. There was a competitive application process, but being invited to the tryouts made the experience very worthwhile, according to Tobiczyk.

“I got to travel to Colorado Springs. I got to work and train with some of the best players and coaches in the world,” Tobiczyk said.

Tobiczyk has undoubtedly had a major impact on the volleyball culture at FSU and will be greatly missed. Following graduation this spring, Tobiczyk plans to take her bachelor’s degree in human resource management, move to Spain and live abroad.

However, her work in Big Rapids is not over just yet as the volleyball team concludes its regular season Nov. 5 against Lake Superior State University. The nationally-ranked team has high expectations as they head into the postseason.

“Obviously I would love to have a GLIAC championship ring around my finger and a national title,” Tobiczyk said. “But I want our team to realize their full potential, and if that happens, I will leave with no regrets.”