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Oct. 1, 2002

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 16th-ranked Ohio State (6-5 overall, 0-2 Big Ten) women’s volleyball team continues conference action this week with road matches at 22nd-ranked Michigan State (9-3, 1-1) and Michigan (7-5, 1-1). OSU faces the Spartans of Michigan State at 7 p.m., Fri., Oct. 4 in a match will be broadcast by Fox Sports Chicago at 4 p.m. EST, Sun., Oct. 6. Dave Loane will call the play-by-play with former Ohio State All-American Audrey DiPronio Flaugh handling the color. The Buckeyes then face the Wolverines of Michigan at 7 p.m., Sat., Oct. 5.

A LOOK AT OHIO STATE

The 16th-ranked Buckeyes, coached by Jim Stone, are 6-5 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten play. Ohio State lost two conference road matches last week. They fell 1-3 (28-30, 26-30, 31-29, 21-30) at Indiana on Wednesday and lost 2-3 (30-23, 30-22, 26-30, 20-30, 9-15) at Penn State. Stacey Gordon leads Ohio State with a 5.95 kills (244) and a 3.54 digs (145) per game average. Suzie Stiling ranks second in kills at 2.61 (107) and is second in blocks per game at .71 (four solos, 25 assists). Freshman Stephanie Higgins (Fr., Biggsville, Ill.) leads the team in blocks with a .88 per game average (three solos, 32 assists). Katie Virtue (Sr., St. Charles, Ill.) is the team leader with an 11.89 assist (214) per game average. Jackie Schardt (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) is second with a 7.53 (143) average. Current setter Heather Whalen (Jr., Kalamazoo, Mich.) is averaging 4.22 assists (156) per game. In her three starts, Whalen has a 12.00 assists (156) per game average. Gordon has a team-high 15 ace serves for a .37 per game average with Stiling and Draeger second with 14 aces (.34) each. Ohio State averages 14.95 kills per game and is hitting .218. The Buckeyes average 1.71 aces, 13.00 digs and 1.90 blocks per game. OSU opponents average 13.10 kills per game and are hitting .216. Buckeye opponents average 1.20 aces, 12.37 digs and 2.28 blocks per game. A LOOK AT MICHIGAN STATE

The Spartans, coached by Chuck Erbe, are 9-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten Conference. Michigan State, ranked 22nd nationally, opened conference play on the road with a 0-3 (23-30, 27-30, 28-30) loss at eighth-ranked Minnesota and a 3-1 (30-26, 30-25, 19-30, 30-27) win at Iowa. Kim Schram is the team leader in kills per game at 3.93 (169). Jenny Rood ranks second at 3.35 (124) and Kyla Smith is third at 3.13 (124). Angela Morley is the top percentage hitter at .380. Nikki Colson runs the offense and is averaging 13.77 assists (592) per game. Emily Engel is the team leader in aces per game at .35 (15) with Smith second at .32 (13). Defensively, Emmy Miller has a team-high 3.00 digs (105) per game average with Smith second at 2.78 (111). At the net, Morley has a team-high 1.33 blocks per game on six solos and 42 assists. Second at 1.00 is Rood with nine solos and 28 assists. As a team Michigan State averages 16.30 kills per game and is hitting .267. The Spartans average 1.63 aces, 13.84 digs and 2.74 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.47 kills per game and are hitting .213. They are averaging 1.26 aces, 13.35 digs and 2.07 blocks per game.

OHIO STATE – MICHIGAN STATE SERIES

Ohio State has a 30-21 lead in the series with the Spartans. In East Lansing, the Buckeyes have won 13 of 24 matches. The Spartans have won five of the last seven played in Jenison Field House. Ohio State won 3-1 (30-24, 24-30, 30-18, 30-26) last year in East Lansing.

A LOOK AT MICHIGAN

The Wolverines, coached by Mark Rosen, are 7-5 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten. Michigan split conference road matches last weekend. They defeated Iowa 3-1 (28-30, 30-22, 30-23, 30-18) and lost to eighth-ranked Minnesota 0-3 (26-30, 23-30, 29-31). Jennifer Gandolph leads the Wolverines in kills per game at 3.80 (167). Erin Moore is second at 3.34 (147) and Chantel Reedus third at 3.05 (134). Katrina Lehman leads the team in hitting percentage at .275. Lisa Gamalski runs the offense and averages 12.75 assists (561) per game. Lehman has a team-high .41 aces (18) per game average with Gamalski second at .25 (11). Defensively, Gandolph is the team leader in digs per game at 3.45 (152) with Gamalski second at 2.75 (121). At the net, Moore has a team-high 1.27 blocks per game average with five solos and 51 assists. Lehman is second at 1.25 with six solos and 49 assists. The Wolverines average 16.20 kills per game and are hitting .248. Michigan averages 1.36 aces, 15.55 digs and 2.84 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.36 kills per game and are hitting .184. UM opponents average 1.32 aces, 13.73 digs and 2.42 blocks per game.

OHIO STATE – MICHIGAN SERIES

Ohio State leads the series with Michigan, 38-9. The Buckeyes have won 16 of the 20 matches played in Ann Arbor. OSU has lost three of the last five played in Cliff Keen Arena. Last season in Ann Arbor, Ohio State won 3-0 (30-27, 30-26, 30-23).

INDIANA 3, #11 OHIO STATE 1

With five Buckeye players injured, including three starters, unranked Indiana opened the Big Ten Conference season with a 3-1 (30-28, 30-26, 29-31, 30-21) win over No. 11 Ohio State. Buckeye Stacey Gordon had a team-high 24 kills for Ohio State with Suzie Stiling adding 10. IU’s Melissa Brewer had a team-high 24 kills for the Hoosiers with Christina Archibald adding 21 and Katie Pollom 12. Indiana had a 74-57 advantage in kills and out hit OSU, .266-231. Each squad had five ace serves with OSU’s Shelly Draeger and IU’s Archibald recording three aces each. The Hoosiers had a 61-52 advantage in digs with IU’s Hillary Toivonen recording a match-high 17 and Nikki Hill adding 10. OSU’s Draeger had a team-high 13 digs with Heather Whalen adding 10. Indiana had a 10-9 margin in blocks with Brewer (0-5) and Archibald (1-4) collecting five each for the Hoosiers. OSU’s Stephanie Higgins had a team-high five blocks with one solo and four assists. IU’s Victoria Zimmerman recorded 59 assists to OSU’s Whalen’s 49.

#9 PENN STATE 3, #11 OHIO STATE 0

With Ohio State leading 2-0 in the match, No. 9 Penn State rallied to win 3-2 (23-30, 22-30, 30-26, 30-20, 15-9). OSU’s Stacey Gordon scored a match-high 27 kills with Suzie Stiling adding 16 and Shelly Draeger 11. PSU’s Ashley Pederson recorded a team-high 14 kills with Syndie Nadeau and Mishka Levy adding 11 each. Ohio State had a 69-57 advantage in kills while Penn State out hit the Buckeyes, .196 to .168. OSU had a nine-seven margin in aces with Gordon serving up a match-high three. The Buckeyes gave up 15 serving errors to nine for Penn State. Each squad had 63 digs with PSU’s Hilary Sexton collecting a match-high 18 for the Nittany Lions. OSU’s Gordon recorded a team-high 12 digs for the Buckeyes. Penn State out blocked Ohio State, 14-9. Levy (1-6) and Guokas (2-5) had a match-high seven blocks each. OSU’s Heather Whalen had a career-high 56 assists in the match while PSU’s Sam Tortorello recorded 50.

BUCKEYES HURT BY INJURIES

Ohio State, in the first four weeks of the season, has been hit hard by injuries. The Buckeyes returned from Hawaii to find out that outside hitter Maria Pongonis (Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio) had a stress fracture in her left foot. Two weeks later setter Katie Virtue (Sr., St. Charles, Ill.) suffered a fracture to her right hand during the road match at Illinois-Chicago. The day prior to the Miami (OH) match, setter Jackie Schardt (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) suffered a concussion in practice. The next day outside hitter Katherine Grant (Fr., Nashville, Tenn.) suffered a dislocated elbow during the match with the RedHawks. The following Friday in practice, Anna Andersson (Fr., Angelholm, Sweden) suffered a knee sprain. The five student-athletes are currently unavailable for competition. Ohio State has had nine difference lineups in the 11 matches this season and has had 13 different student-athletes start at least one match. Pongonis started all three matches in Hawaii while Virtue had six starts prior to her injury. Schardt, who replaced Virtue, had started two matches as had Grant. Andersson had four starts prior to her injury. The starting setter position has been taken over by starting libero and former setter Heather Whalen (Jr., Kalamazoo, Mich.)

GORDON CONTINUES DOUBLE-FIGURE KILLS STREAK

Stacey Gordon continued her consecutive streak of double-figure kill matches with 24 at Indiana and 27 at Penn State. She now has recorded double-figure kills in her last 27 matches. For her career, Gordon has double-figure kills in 40 of 42 matches and has 16 matches with 20 or more kills. Defensively, Gordon has 26 matches with double-figure digs in her career and recorded a season-high 20 digs against Miami (Ohio). She has had 25 double-doubles (kills-digs) in her career.

GORDON RANKED FOURTH NATIONALLY IN KILLS PER GAME LAST WEEK

Stacey Gordon, with a 6.03 kills per game average prior to the past week, was ranked fourth nationally in the national statistics release by the NCAA. Including last week’s matches, Gordon is currently averaging 5.95 kills per game. The NCAA national leaders will be released later this week on the NCAA web site at http://goomer.ncaa.org:8080/stats/reports’sportCode=WVB&rpt=wkly. National leaders from last week are listed below:

WHALEN HAS CAREER-HIGH 56 ASSISTS AGAINST PENN STATE

With injuries to Katie Virtue and Jackie Schardt, Heather Whalen has produced good number for Ohio State. She had a career-high 56 assists at Penn State and had 49 at Indiana. Her previous career-high was 54 at Indiana in 2000. In her three starts, Whalen is averaging 12.00 assists (156) per game. Whalen has 339 career assists and has moved to 13th in OSU career assists and is ninth in career assists per game at 4.58.

HAGERTY NUMBERS CONTINUE UPWARD

Freshman Brie Hagerty produced nine kills, seven digs and two ace serves at Penn State. All three numbers were career highs. Previously she had three kills at Indiana and five digs and an ace against Miami (Ohio).

DRAEGER HAS IMPROVING NUMBERS

With 20 kills, 23 digs, six blocks and five aces, Shelly Draeger produced improving numbers last weekend. She hit .450 (9 kills, 0 errors, 20 attempts) and equaled her season-high of 13 digs at Indiana. At Penn State, Draeger equaled her season-high of 11 kills, hit .286 (11-5-21) and had a career-high eight assists.

DRAKE CONTINUES PLAY AT LIBERO

Tamika Drake continues to perform at the libero position with Heather Whalen being moved to setter. She equaled her career high of eight digs at Penn State and had five at Indiana.

STILING RECORDS SEASON-HIGH 16 KILLS AT PENN STATE

With 16 kills at Penn State, Suzie Stiling recorded her season high in kills last weekend. Her previous high was 14 at Illinois-Chicago. She also had 11 digs and four blocks (1-3) against the Nittany Lions.

OSU 16TH IN USA TODAY/AVCA POLL

Ohio State was ranked 16th in the USA Today/AVCA Poll released Monday. Last week the Buckeyes were 11th. Southern California (8-0) is ranked No. 1.

OSU 15TH IN VOLLEYBALL MAGAZINE POLL

The Buckeyes are 15th in the Volleyball Magazine poll this week. Ohio State was ranked 15th last week in the poll. Southern California (8-0) tops the poll this week.

OHIO STATE TABBED AS PRESEASON BIG TEN FAVORITE

The Ohio State women’s volleyball squad has been voted as the preseason favorite to win the 2002 Big Ten Conference Championship by the conference coaches. The Buckeyes, who finished second at 17-3 last season, finished ahead of 2001 conference champion Wisconsin in the preseason poll.

THREE BUCKEYES NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM

By a vote of the Big Ten coaches, Ohio State student-athletes Stacey Gordon, Suzie Stiling and Katie Virtue have been named to the 13-player 2002 Preseason All-Big Ten Team. Gordon, an outside hitter, was an All-Big Ten selection as a freshman and was the Big Ten and American Volleyball Coaches Association Freshman of the Year. She also was named a second team AVCA All-American. Stiling has been honored as an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection the last two seasons. Virtue, a two-time All-Big Ten selection, was a Volleyball Magazine honorable mention All-America selection last year. The Buckeyes, with three student-athletes on the team, lead the preseason team. Michigan State, Minnesota and Penn State placed two players each to the squad.

TV MATCHES INCLUDE NATIONAL AND REGIONAL BROADCAST

Ohio State will be featured in a national and regional broadcast this season. The Buckeyes will face Wisconsin in a Saturday, Nov. 2 match that will be cablecast by ESPN2 Sunday, Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. CST. OSU will play at Michigan State Friday, Oct. 4 in a match that will be cablecast by Fox Sports Chicago at 3 p.m. CST Sunday, Oct. 6.

ONN TO CARRY FIVE BUCKEYE CONTESTS

The Ohio News Network will cablecast five Ohio State matches this season. Four matches will be broadcast on a delayed basis while the fifth match against Iowa at 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27 will be carried live. The other contests include OSU’s matches against Cleveland State (Friday, Sept. 6, broadcast Saturday, Sept. 7, 1 p.m.), Loyola-Chicago (Friday, Sept. 13, broadcast Saturday, Sept. 14, 1 p.m.), Miami (Ohio) (Wednesday, Sept. 18, broadcast Saturday, Sept. 21, 1 p.m.) and Minnesota (Friday, Oct. 25, broadcast Saturday, Oct. 26, 1 p.m.)

BUCKEYE HEAD COACH JIM STONE

Jim Stone is in his 21st season at Ohio State. He has a 415-234 record with the Buckeyes and is 236-133 in Big Ten play. His squads have won Big Ten Championships in 1989, 1991 and 1994 and in the last 13 years have finished in the Top 3 in the league 10 times. In the championship years, he was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year and was the 1991 Volleyball Monthly National Coach of the Year. Under Stone, Ohio State has participated in the NCAA championship in 11 of the last 13 years, advancing to the national semifinals in 1991 and 1994. Stone’s coaching career record includes three years at Wyoming (1979-1981). His 23-year career record is 465-276.

NEXT WEEK FOR OHIO STATE

The Buckeyes return home, after four consecutive road matches, to face No. 14 Wisconsin (10-3, 1-1) at 7 p.m., Fri., Oct. 12 and Northwestern (9-5, 2-0) at 7 p.m., Sat., Oct. 13. Ohio State then returns to the road with matches at Purdue (9-5, 0-2) at 7 p.m., Fri., Oct. 18 and Illinois (7-4, 1-1) at 7 p.m., Sat., Oct. 19.

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