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Dec. 1, 2001

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State (27-3 overall) women’s volleyball team, with a 3-1 (30-16, 22-30, 30-27, 30-20) victory over Cincinnati (23-8), advances to the NCAA regional semifinals behind a match-high 24 kills from Stacey Gordon (Fr., Oshawa, Ontario). The Buckeyes will face Southern California (24-3), a 3-0 (30-18, 30-19, 30-22) winner over Duke (23-5), in Region Two at a site to be determined Sunday. OSU’s Anne Botica (Sr., Windsor, Ontario) added 19 kills and Suzie Stiling (Jr., Glenview, Ill.) 13 as the Buckeyes advance to the regional level of competition for the ninth time in the last 13 years. Julie DuPont (Fr., Muskego, Wis.) had a team-high 13 kills for Cincinnati with Becky Stahl (Fr., Austin, Texas) and Trish Ladusaw (Jr., Louisville, Ky.) adding 11 each.

Ohio State opened the match with kills by Stiling and Botica for a 2-0 lead in game one. At 4-2, Ohio State scored five straight points to go ahead, 9-2. The run had three kills from Gordon, an ace by Stiling and a Bearcat error. OSU continued to build its lead to a final 30-16 score. Ohio State hit .368 for the game to .105 for Cincinnati. Botica had five kills in the game with Gordon adding four. UC’s Julie DuPont had a team-high four kills.

Cincinnati came out for game two and scored the first four points with a Bonita Wise (Jr., Riverside, Calif.), two OSU errors and a UC block by Tobi Kirchenwitz (Sr., Jamesville, Wis.) and Tobi Stahl (Fr., Austin, Texas). At 5-3, Cincinnati, the Bearcats scored the next five points off three OSU errors and blocks by Kirchenwitz and Stahl and Kirchenwitz and DuPont to build a 10-3 lead. At 16-12, OSU closed the gap to 16-15 with two kills from Gordon and one from Botica. At 17-16, UC, the Bearcats opened up a 21-16 lead with two DuPont kills, a Stahl kill and ace serve. Cincinnati closed out the game with a DuPont kill for a 30-22 win, tying the match at one game each. The Bearcats hit .200 for the game to .021 for Ohio State. UC had eight total blocks in the game with Kirchenwitz and DuPont collecting four assists each. Game three was close for the entire game. OSU broke a five-all tie to lead at 7-5 with kills by Botica and Gordon. Cincinnati tied the game at 10 with an OSU service error and a Stahl kill. A Stahl kill and a Stahl-Kirchenwitz block put Cincinnati ahead 13-11. At 17-all, back-to back kills by Gordon opened up a 19-17 Buckeye lead as UC called timeout. At 23-22, OSU, the Buckeyes had a five-point run with kills by Erin Baker (Sr., Elmhurst, Ill) and Botica, a Baker-Shelly Draeger (Jr., Milwaukee, Wis.) block and two Bearcat errors to give Ohio State a 28-22 lead. A Buckeye service error made the score, 28-23. DuPont’s kill cut the lead to 28-24 as OSU called timeout. Draeger’s kill set game point at 29-24. Blocks by Kirchenwitz and DuPont and Wise and Ladusaw and an OSU error cut the Buckeye lead to 29-27 as Ohio State called timeout. Botica’s kill ended the game at 30-27. Ohio State hit .200 for the game to .089 for Cincinnati. OSU’s Gordon had a game-high eight kills with Botica adding four. UC’s Stahl had a team-high four kills.

Ohio State opened game four with a Botica-Stiling block and an ace serve by Nikki Cisco (Sr., Dublin, Ohio) for a 2-0 lead. A Stiling kill and two by DuPont made it 4-2, OSU. Two Gordon kills and an ace serve from Botica made it 7-2, Buckeyes as UC called timeout. OSU held the lead the rest of the game to win, 30-20, and capture the match, 3-1. The Buckeyes hit .432 for the game to .211 for Cincinnati. OSU’s Stiling and Gordon had six kills each in the game with UC’s DuPont recording a game-high four kills.

For the match, Ohio State hit .237 to .149 for Cincinnati. The Buckeyes had a 73-47 advantage in kills and had a six-two edge in ace serves. Each squad had nine service errors. OSU had a season-best 75 digs in the match to 57 for Cincinnati. Both Gordon and Botica had a match-high 15 digs, with Stiling adding 14 and Cisco and Katie Virtue (Jr., St. Charles, Ill.) with 11 each. UC’s Ladusaw had a team-high 14 digs with Stahl adding 10. Cincinnati had a 14-nine margin in blocks with DuPont having a match-high six assists with Wise adding five. OSU’s Baker also had a match-high six assists in the contest. Virtue collected 58 assists in the match and now has a per game average of 14.18 for the season.. She was the leading the country at the end of the regular season with a 14.12 average.