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Nov. 18, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State (10-14 overall, 4-12 Big Ten) women’s volleyball will face 16th-ranked Penn State (24-4, 13-3) and Wisconsin (18-9, 10-6) in home matches this week. OSU faces the Nittany Lions at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 19 and hosts Wisconsin at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21. The Ohio News Network is scheduled to delay broadcast the Penn State match at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22. Arica Robbins will call the play-by-play with Ohio State All-American Audrey DiPronio (Flaugh) providing the color.

A LOOK AT OHIO STATE
Jim Stone coaches the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 10-14 overall and has a 4-12 record in the Big Ten. Last week the Buckeyes lost 3-1 decisions at home to Michigan State and Michigan. Ohio State’s top student-athlete is 2002 first team American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American Stacey Gordon (Jr., Oshawa, Ontario). Gordon has team highs of 6.55 kills, .44 aces and 3.49 digs per game. Amanda Miller (So., Littleton, Colo.) ranks second in kills at 3.12 with Heather Whalen (Sr., Kalamazoo, Mich.), third at 2.15. Starting at setter is Briana McCarthy (Fr., Beaver Dam, Wis.). She has an 11.34 assist per game average. At the net, D’wan Shackleford (5th-year senior, Newark, Ohio) has a team-high 1.26 blocks per game with seven solos and 84 assists. McCarthy ranks second at .96 (11-79) with Katherine Grant (So., Nashville, Tenn.) third at .94 (5-77). Defensively Whalen ranks second in digs at 2.45. As a team, Ohio State is hitting .221 and averaging 15.81 kills per game. The Buckeyes average 1.30 aces, 13.40 digs and 2.64 blocks per game. OSU opponents are hitting .219 and average 13.82 kills per game. Opponents average 1.23 aces, 12.14 digs and 3.13 blocks per game. A LOOK AT PENN STATE
Russ Rose coaches the Nittany Lions. Penn State has an overall record of 24-4 and is 13-3 in the Big Ten. The 15th-ranked Nittany Lions have won six consecutive matches including home wins against Michigan, 3-1 (30-19, 24-30, 30-27, 30-18) and Michigan State, 3-2 (30-28, 24-30, 30-21, 28-30, 15-8) last week. Penn State has Ashley Pederson and Cara Smith hitting 3.96 and 3.86 kills per game, respectively. Erin Iceman ranks third at 3.41. Setter Sam Tortorello has a 13.52 assist per game average. Iceman has a team-high 31 ace serves for a .32 per game average. Defensively, Kaleena Walters has a 4.19 digs per game average with Tortorello ranking second at 2.65. At the net, Cassy Salyer has a team-high 1.39 blocks per game average with 17 solos and 108 assists. Smith ranks second at 1.13 (10-103). As a team Penn State is hitting .281 and averages 16.26 kills per game. The Nittany Lions average 1.42 aces, 16.26 digs and 3.07 blocks per game. PSU opponents are hitting .168 and average 14.79 kills per game. Nittany Lion opponents average 1.04 aces, 16.28 digs and 2.10 blocks per game.

OSU SERIES WITH PENN STATE
Penn State leads the series with Ohio State, 23-12. In Columbus, the Nittany Lions have a 9-7 advantage. Earlier this season, at Penn State, the Nittany Lions won 3-0 (30-18, 30-20, 30-25). Last season OSU lost 2-3 (30-23, 30-22, 26-30, 23-30, 9-15) at Penn State and won 3-0 (30-28, 32-30, 30-25) in Columbus.

A LOOK AT WISCONSIN
Pete Waite is the coach of the Badgers. Wisconsin has an overall record of 18-9 and is 10-6 in the Big Ten. The Badgers lost 3-1 (30-24, 23-30, 33-35, 26-30) at Northwestern and 3-0 (19-30, 26-30, 32-34) at Illinois last week and has lost its last three matches. Leading the Badger attack is Aubrey Meierotto with a 3.62 kills per game average with Jill Odenthal second at 3.60. Setter Morgan Shields has a 13.41 assist per game average. Sheila Shaw is the squads’ top server with 47 ace serves for a .46 per game average. Defensively, Jill Maier leads the team in digs with a 3.39 per game average. At the net, Shaw leads the team in blocking with a .82 per game average with 11 solos and 73 assists. Amy Bladow ranks second at .72 (12-52). Wisconsin is hitting .255 as a team and averages 16.30 kills per game. The Badgers average 1.90 aces, 14.66 digs and 2.06 blocks per game. Opponents are hitting .211 and average 14.27 kills per game. Badger opponents average 1.17 aces, 14.32 digs and 2.34 blocks per game.

OSU SERIES WITH WISCONSIN
Ohio State leads the series with Wisconsin, 25-22. In Columbus, Ohio State has a 12-8 advantage. Earlier this season in Madison, the Badgers won 3-1 (30-15, 26-30, 30-22, 30-22). Last season, Ohio State dropped 1-3 decisions to Wisconsin in Columbus (26-30, 27-30, 30-28, 26-30) and in Madison (18-30, 30-22, 23-30, 30-32). Wisconsin has won the last 13 contests with Buckeyes, including two on-court wins for Ohio State that were later declared forfeits. OSU’s last win came in 1996, at home, a 3-0 (15-3, 15-8, 15-7) decision.

GORDON: 72 CONSECUTIVE DOUBLE-FIGURE KILL MATCHES AND COUNTING
With 30 kills against Michigan State and 28 against Michigan, Stacey Gordon now has recorded double-figure kills in her last 72 matches. The streak began against Minnesota in 2001 and could have been longer but for the previous match against Iowa where she did not play in the front row due to an injury. She only played in the back row against the Hawkeyes, collecting 10 digs. She had double-figure kills in the previous seven matches. Gordon’s only match without double-figure kills was against Evansville in 2001 when she recorded eight kills. Overall, she has had double-figure kills in 85 of 87 matches in her career and has 63 matches with double-figure digs. Gordon has had 50 matches with 20 or more kills and 12 of those had 30 or more.

GORDON ADDS TWO MORE DOUBLE-DIGIT KILL GAMES
Stacey Gordon added two more double-digit kill games last weekend and now has 17 this season. She produced 11 kills in game four against Michigan State, hitting .556 with one error in 18 attempts. Gordon had 10 kills in game four against Michigan. She hit .429 for the game with one error in 21 attempts. Previously she has had 10-kill games against Illinois, Penn State, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, Temple, Rice and Miami. Gordon recorded 11 kills at Purdue (game 3), against Iowa, at Illinois and against Cleveland State, 12 at Michigan State and 14 against Northwestern. Her top game is 17 at Purdue (game 4).

GORDON BECOMES OSU CAREER LEADER IN KILLS
With her 11th kill at Indiana, Stacey Gordon passed Holly O’Leary (1987-90) (1,802) in career kills to become Ohio State’s all-time leader. Gordon’s accomplishment came in 85 career matches where O’Leary played in 122. Currently Gordon has 1,864 career kills.

GORDON TIED FOR 11TH IN CAREER ACES
With two ace serves against Michigan State and one vs. Michigan, Stacey raised her career ace total to 121 and is now tied for 11th on the OSU career list with Holly O’Leary (1987-90). Gordon needs eight aces to move past No. 10 Laura Davis (1991-94) with 128.

GORDON NOW 12TH IN OSU CAREER DIGS
Stacey Gordon recorded 36 digs (15 vs. Michigan State and 21 vs. Michigan) last week and now has 1,070 career digs. She now stands ninth on the OSU career list. Gordon passed No. 10 Kristi Neuman (1983-86) with 1,045 and No. 9 Gabriele Jobst (1992-94) with 1,052. She needs eight digs to pass No. 8 Carrie Leonard (1991-94) with 1,077.

McCARTHY EDGES TO FOURTH IN CAREER ASSISTS PER GAME
Briana McCarthy, in her first season at setter, ranks seventh in OSU career assists with 1,066. Her current per game average of 11.34 has moved her to fourth on the career list passing Jen Boylen (1994-96) at 11.28. McCarthy had 55 assists against Michigan State, adding six kills (.455), five digs and four assist blocks.

MILLER HAS SOLID WEEKEND
Amanda Miller produced double-figure kills in both matches last weekend. She had 16 kills, hitting .257 against Michigan State. She added six digs and one assist block against the Spartans. Miller had 17 kills and three digs against Michigan. She is averaging 3.12 kills per game for the season and 3.15 in conference play.

GRANT HAS SIX BLOCKS AGAINST MICHIGAN STATE
Katherine Grant produced six total blocks (one solo, five assists) against Michigan State last week. She added four kills and three digs. She recorded four kills and three assist blocks against Michigan. Grant ranks third on the team in blocks with a .94 per game average. She has five solos and 77 assists on the season.

SCHARDT RETURNS TO MIDDLE BLOCKER
Setter Jackie Schardt (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) has seen action at middle blocker this season in several matches. She has had six starts at that position this season. Last week she saw spot duty in the middle picking up an assist block against Michigan State and recording a kill against Michigan.

SETTER WHALEN ATTACKS AT OUTSIDE HITTER
After starting the first two matches at setter, Heather Whalen switched to outside hitter and ranks third for the Buckeyes in kills per game at 2.15 with 202 kills. Defensively, she ranks second in digs per game at 2.45 with 230 digs. Last week against Michigan State, Whalen had seven kills, four digs and three assist blocks. Against Michigan, she had six kills and 12 digs. She ranks 19th in the Big Ten in digs at 2.61 for league matches.

SHACKLEFORD TOPS OSU IN BLOCKING
D’wan Shackleford a four-year basketball player for Ohio State, is a starting middle blocker for the women’s volleyball team. Despite not having played volleyball since her sophomore year in high school, she leads Ohio State in blocks per game with a 1.26 average overall and 1.10 in conference play. Last week Shackleford had a team-high seven assists against Michigan State and added two kills. Against Michigan she had two kills and an assist block. She ranks 10th in conference matches and is fourth in overall statistics for blocks.

KASTEIN AT DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST
Rebecca Kastein (So., Mt. Lebanon, Pa.) had started at the libero position for the last 10 matches. Previously, she had been playing as a backrow defensive specialist. Kastein returned to the defensive specialist position last week. She had four digs, two ace serves and a kill against Michigan State and recorded nine digs against Michigan.

TENGNAS HANDLES THE LIBERO DUTIES
Anna Tengnas (Fr., Torsaberga, Sweden), returned to the libero position last weekend. She started the season at libero for the first 12 matches and then played defensive specialist the next 10 matches. Last weekend against Michigan State, Tengnas equaled her career-high of 17 digs against the Spartans. She previously had 17 against Rice. In the Michigan match, Tengnas had nine digs and added three assists. She is averaging 2.08 digs per game.

CRAM SERVING UP ACES
OSU’s Holly Cram (So., La Mirada, Calif.), playing as a back row server, collected a career-high two ace serves against Indiana. She also picked up digs against Purdue, at Northwestern and at Indiana. Cram has seen action in 10 matches this season. In 2001, Cram started 13 of 16 matches for the Ohio State women’s soccer team as a midfielder.

GORDON LEADS BIG TEN OVERALL STATISTICS IN KILLS PER GAME
In the overall statistics released by the Big Ten Conference this week, Stacey Gordon leads the conference in kills per game at 6.55, is third in aces at .44, 17th in hitting percentage at .281 and fifth in digs at 3.49. D’wan Shackleford ranks fourth in blocking with a 1.26 per game average. Briana McCarthy is 10th in assists at 11.34 per game.

GORDON TOPS THE BIG TEN CONFERENCE STATISTICS IN KILLS
After eight weeks of Big Ten Conference play, the conference-only statistics have Stacey Gordon leading the Big Ten in kills per game at 6.71. She is sixth in digs at 3.37 per game, fifth in aces (.34) and 13th in hitting percentage (.287). Setter Briana McCarthy ranks eighth in assists per game at 12.32. D’wan Shackleford stands 10th in blocking at 1.10 with Heather Whalen is 19th in digs per game at 2.61.

GORDON RANKS SECOND IN KILLS IN NCAA RANKINGS
In the NCAA Division I volleyball statistics released this week, Stacey Gordon ranks second in the country in kills per game with a 6.55 average. Kim Willoughby of Hawaii leads the country with a 6.59 average.

OHIO STATE EQUALS SEASON-HIGH BLOCK MARK AGAINST MINNESOTA
The Buckeye, with 16 team blocks against Minnesota, equaled their season-high set at Northwestern. In both matches, OSU recorded three solos and 26 assists. The 26 block assists also is a team high that was set at Michigan State.

OSU HAS SEASON-HIGH 71 DIGS AGAINST THE WILDCATS
With 71 digs against at Northwestern, Ohio State established a new season high for 2003. OSU’s previous best was 67 against Cleveland State. In that match, three players had double-figure digs (Stacey Gordon-18, Heather Whalen-15 and Anna Tengnas-11).

BUCKEYES RECORD SEASON-HIGH HITTING PERCENTAGE AGAINST INDIANA
Ohio State hit a season-high .443 against Indiana last weekend. The Buckeyes recorded 64 kills with 13 errors in 115 attempts. Previously, the best mark for Ohio State was .309 (71-24-152) against Ball State.

NEXT FOR THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State closes out the regular season with road contest at Iowa and Minnesota. OSU plays at Iowa at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 28 and will face Minnesota at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 29. The Minnesota match will be delayed broadcast by ESPN2 at 2 p.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 30. Chris Marlowe and Tammy Blackburn will call the action.