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Aug. 9, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s volleyball team begins its 35th season Aug. 10 when 14 student-athletes report to being preseason practice. The Buckeyes open practice in St. John Arena on Aug. 11 in preparation for the season opener against Toledo on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. Ohio State was 30-4 overall last season and finished tied for second in the Big Ten Conference with a 17-3 mark. The Buckeyes advanced to the NCAA Regional Championship match and finished ranked sixth in the USA TODAY/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll.

A LOOK AT OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are coached by Jim Stone, the 2004 Big Ten Coach of the Year and the American Volleyball Coaches Association Mideast Region Coach of the Year. Ohio State has four starters returning from last year’s 30-4 squad. Returning starters include setter Marisa Main (Jr., Louisville, Ky.), outside hitters Briana McCarthy (Jr., Beaver Dam, Wis.) and Ami Stevens (So., Centerburg, Ohio) and middle blocker Danielle Meyer (So., Cincinnati, Ohio). Also returning is libero starter Rebecca Kastein (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.).

BUCKEYES ADD A TRANSFER ANDJUNIOR COLLEGE ATHLETE
The Buckeyes have three new student-athletes reporting to camp. These include outside hitters Ashley Kiel (Jr., Allenton, Wis./Northern Michigan) and Felicia Jones (Jr., Concord, Ontario/Southwest Missouri State-West Plains) and libero/defensive specialist Caitlin Slevin (Fr., St. Joseph, Mich.).

OSU RANKED 12TH IN CSTV/AVCA COACHES PRESEASON POLL
The CSTV (College Sports Television/AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll released this week by the AVCA has Ohio State ranked 12th nationally. The Buckeyes received 728 votes in the preseason poll. OSU finished the 2004 season with a 30-4 overall record and was ranked sixth in the final 2004 poll. The Buckeyes are one of four Big Ten squads ranked in the top-12 of the preseason poll. Others include Penn State at fifth, Minnesota sixth and Wisconsin 10th.

BUCKEYES TO HOST SPORTS IMPORTS CLASSIC
St. John Arena will play host to the Sports Imports Volleyball Classic on Sept. 2 and 3. Action begins with Michigan facing 24th-ranked Long Beach State at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 3. Ohio State will face top-ranked Nebraska at 7 p.m. Saturday’s matches have Michigan playing Nebraska at 5:30 p.m. and Ohio State hosting Long Beach State at 7:30 p.m.

BUCKEYE CLASSIC FEATURES OFF-CAMPUS MATCHES
Ohio State’s Buckeye Classic featuring Brigham Young, Duke and Pittsburgh will begin play in St. John Arena on Friday, Sept. 16 with Brigham Young playing Duke at 5 p.m. and Ohio State hosting Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. The Saturday, Sept. 17 consolation match at 5 p.m. and the championship match a 7 p.m. will be played at Centerburg High School in Centerburg, Ohio. The change is necessary because the Ohio State-San Diego State football game has been moved to 3:30 p.m. and will be telecast by ABC-TV.

STEVENS SPENDS THE SUMMER WITH US JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM
Outside hitter Ami Stevens was selected to the 12-player United State Junior National Team that traveled to Turkey to play in the FIVB Junior Women’s U-20 Volleyball World Championship, July 23-28. The squad finished 1-4 in pool play. She had been in training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. since July 8. Stevens was also selected to the team in 2004.

MEET THE BUCKEYES
#1 Rebecca Kastein (Libero/Defensive Specialist, 5-8, Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) – started 22 matches at libero and three at defensive specialist in 2004 – averaged 3.27 digs per game with 18 matches with double-figure digs – career-high 29 digs at Minnesota in the NCAA Regional Championship match.

#11 Amanda Miller (Outside hitter, 5-11, Sr., Littleton, Colo.) – played in 27 matches in 2004 – had 16 starts in 2003.

#16 Jackie Schardt (Setter, 5-10, Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) – played in six matches in 2004 – had nine starts at middle blocker in 2003 – career-high 62 assists at Michigan State in 2002.

#8 Briana McCarthy (Outside hitter, 6-2, Jr., Beaver Dam, Wis.) – started 26 matches in 2004 – averaged 1.33 kills, .58 digs and .88 blocks per game in 2004 – started 26 matches at setter and two at outside hitter in 2003 – averaged 11.53 assists per game in 2003 with a career-high 66 assists against Temple.

#13 Marisa Main (Setter, 5-9, Jr., Louisville, Ky./Xavier) – 2004 second-team AVCA All-American – first team AVCA Mideast All-Region – All-Big Ten – started 34 matches in 2004 averaging 14.88 assists, 2.35 digs and .46 blocks per game – career-high 85 assists against Tennessee in the NCAA Regional Semifinals in Minneapolis – Ohio State season assist leader with 1,785 – Big Ten statistical champion at 14.68 assists per game and finished second nationally in NCAA statistics at 14.88 – double-figure digs in 13 matches – played at Xavier University in 2003 – named to the Atlantic-10 All-Conference and All-Rookie teams.

#3 Anna Tengnas (Libero/Defensive Specialist, 5-5, Jr., Hyletbruk, Sweden) – played in 16 matches with three starts at libero in 2004 – averaged 1.43 digs per game in 2004 with a season-high of nine against Dayton and North Carolina.

#15 Ashley Kiel (Outside Hitter, 5-11, Jr., Allenton, Wis./Northern Michigan) – Played two seasons at Division II Northern Michigan – 2004 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Conference Selection – averaged 2.58 kills, 3.24 digs and 1.10 blocks per game in 2004 – career-high 23 kills at Ashland in 2004 – career-high 26 digs at Hillsdale in 2004 – second team GLIAC All-Conference selection in 2003 – named the 2003 AVCA Great Lakes Region Freshman of the Year – 2003 Great Lakes All-Region honorable mention selection.

#9 Felicia Jones (Outside Hitter, 5-11, Jr., Concord, Ontario/Southwest Missouri State-West Plains) – played two years at Southwest Missouri State-West Plains Junior College – first team American Volleyball Coaches Association Junior College All-American and a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American in 2004 – averaged 4.12 kills, 3.68 digs and .33 blocks per game in 2004 – a second-team AVCA and NJCAA JC All-American – career-highs of 23 kills against Southern Idaho in 2003 and 27 digs against Tennessee in 2004.

#5 Nicole Britenriker (Middle blocker, 5-11, So., Cincinnati, Ohio) – played in 22 matches with one start in 2004 – USA National experience includes the Youth National Team in 2001 and 2003 and the Junior National Team in 2004.

#2 Brittany Dahms (Libero/Defensive Specialist, 5-5, So., Bryon, Ill.) – started seven matches at libero and three as a defensive specialist – averaged 2.23 digs per game with a career-high 19 against Michigan – double-figure digs in 10 matches.

#6 Danielle Meyer (Middle Blocker, 6-1, So., Cincinnati, Ohio) – started all 34 matches – averaged 2.91 kills, .75 digs and 1.10 blocks per game – career-high 19 kills against North Carolina – career-high nine blocks against Illinois – double-figure kills in 17 matches – five or more blocks in 14 matches – USA National experience includes the Youth National Team in 2003.

#7 Ami Stevens (Outside Hitter, 6-1, So., Centerburg, Ohio) – Started all 34 matches – named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team – averaged 2.78 kills, 3.02 digs and .43 blocks per game – career-high 17 kills against Northwestern and vs. Tennessee in the NCAA Regional Semifinals – career-high 27 digs vs. Tennessee – double-figure kills in 18 matches – double-figure digs in 16 matches – USA National experience includes the Junior National Team in 2004 and 2005.

#4 Megan Blake (Libero/Defensive Specialist, 5-3, Jr., West Jefferson, Ohio) – did not play in 2004 – named to the 2005 Buckeye Power Club for strength and conditioning.

#14 Caitlin Slevin (Libero/Defensive Specialist, 5-5, Fr., St. Joseph, Mich.) – high school team was 2004 and 2005 district champions – honorable mention all-conference in 2005 – also played setter.

COACH Jim Stone BEINGS 24TH SEASON
Jim Stone is in his 24th season at Ohio State. He has a 471-261 record with the Buckeyes and is 263-151 in Big Ten play. His squads have won Big Ten Championships in 1989, 1991 and 1994 and finished tied for second in 2004 being named the Big Ten Coach of the Year. He was the 1991 Volleyball Monthly National Coach of the Year and the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1989, 1991, 1994 and 2004. Under Stone, Ohio State has participated in the NCAA championship in 13 of the last 16 years, advancing to the national semifinals in 1991 and 1994. Stone’s coaching career record includes three years at Wyoming (1979-1981). His 26-year career record is 521-303.

JOBST AND DIPRONIO TO BE INDUCTED INTO OSU ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME
Outside hitter Gabriele Jobst (1991-94) and setter Audrey DiPronio (1988-90) will be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall Of Fame, Friday, Sept. 16 and will be honored at halftime of the Ohio State-San Diego State football game on Saturday, Sept. 17. Previous women’s volleyball players in the Hall of Fame include Karen Alsbrook (1977-79), Lisa Bettio (1982-85), Laura Davis (1991-94), Holly O’Leary (1987-90), Mary Ormsby (1977-80) Vanessa Wouters (1996-97) and Leisa Wissler (1988-91).