Aug. 29, 2004
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s volleyball team will begin the 34th season for the Buckeyes by hosting Dayton, Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena. OSU will then travel to Philadelphia, Pa. to play in the Hampton Inn/Kaepa Temple Classic. Ohio State plays host Temple at 6 p.m., Fri., September 3 and North Carolina at 9:30 a.m. and Western Michigan at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4.
A LOOK AT OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are coached by Jim Stone. Ohio State had an 11-17 overall record last season and was 5-15 in the Big Ten Conference.
A LOOK AT DAYTON
The Flyers are coached by Tim Horsmon. Dayton had a 26-10 overall record last season and was 12-2 in the Atlantic-10 Conference. The Flyers have a 9-8 lead in the series with Ohio State. The squads last played in 1999 with OSU winning on the court, 3-0 (15-9, 15-3, 15-4), but the match was later forfeited.
A LOOK AT TEMPLE
The Owls are coached by Bob Bertucci. Temple had a 22-8 overall record last season and was 13-1 in the Atlantic-10 Conference. The Owls lead the series with Ohio State, 2-1. The Buckeyes are 0-1 at Temple. The squads played last season in the Buckeye Classic with Ohio State winning, 3-1 (30-25, 30-25, 22-30, 30-21).
A LOOK AT NORTH CAROLINA
The Tar Hells are coached by Joe Sagula. North Carolina had a 20-12 overall record last season and was 11-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The series with the Tar Hells is tied, 1-1. The teams last played in the 1991 Buckeye Invitational with the Buckeyes winning, 3-1 (15-3, 15-1, 11-15, 15-5).
A LOOK AT WESTERN MICHIGAN
The Broncos are coached by Cathy George. Western Michigan had an overall record of 17-14 last season and was 8-8 in the Mid-American Conference. Western Michigan has a 4-1 lead in the series with Ohio State and have won the last four contests. The teams played last season in the Buckeye Classic with the Broncos winning, 3-1 (28-30, 30-28, 30-28, 30-23).
RETURNING FOR THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State has six letter winners returning from last year’s 11-17 squad. The top returning player is three-time All-American Stacey Gordon (Sr., Oshawa, Ontario). The outside hitter is OSU’s career leader in kills (1,956), kills per game (5.79) and digs per game (3.34). Joining Gordon on the outside is Amanda Miller (Jr., Littleton, Colo.). Miller played in 25 matches last season and had 16 starts. She averaged 3.26 kills per game and hit .227 as a sophomore. At setter Briana McCarthy (So., Beaver Dam, Wis.) started all 28 matches last year, 26 at setter. Named to the Big Ten All-Freshmen team, McCarthy averaged 11.53 assists, 1.44 digs and .92 blocks per game. Setter Jackie Schardt (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) saw action in 26 matches last season with nine starts at middle blocker. Libero/defensive specialists Anna Tengnas (So., Hyltebruk, Sweden) and Rebecca Kastein (Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) round out the returning student-athletes. Tengnas had six starts at defensive specialist and was the starting libero in 17 matches. She averaged 2.50 digs per game and recorded 13 ace serves. Kastein started six times as a defensive specialist and had 11 starts at libero. She averaged 2.15 digs per game and collected 14 ace serves.
MAPP ADDS DEPTH IN THE MIDDLE
Middle blocker Maya Mapp (Sr., Washington, D.C.) joins the women’s volleyball team after three seasons at North Carolina State. A two-year starter, Mapp averaged 2.32 kills and .71 blocks per game while hitting .268 at NC State.
ALL-CONFERENCE MAIN, A LATE SQUAD ADDITION
Atlantic-10 All-Conference setter Marisa Main (So., Louisville, Ky.) joined the Buckeyes in the early days of fall practice. Main played last season at Xavier where she earned Atlantic-10 All-Conference honors and was named to the A-10 All-Rookie Team. She averaged 11.47 assists per game last season while starting 29 of 30 matches. Main ranked second on the squad in kills with 259 and third in digs with 242.
INCOMING FRESHMAN CLASS IS OUTSTANDING
The Buckeyes have one of the finest freshman classes in the country this year. Ranked fourth best by Prep Volleyball.com, the class has four of five members hailing from Ohio. The class consists of middle blockers Nicole Britenriker (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Danielle Meyer (Cincinnati, Ohio), outside hitters Brandie Molnar (Springboro, Ohio) and Ami Stevens (Centerburg, Ohio) and libero/defensive specialist Brittany Dahms (Byron, Ill.). Britenriker and Meyer played for the USA Youth National Team to add valuable international experience. Molnar trained with the USA High Performance Training Team while Stevens comes to camp after playing for the United States Junior National team earlier this month. Dahms’ club team won the 2003 17-club division national championship.
BUCKEYES ARE 23-10 IN SEASON OPENERS
In the 33 previous years of women’s volleyball at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have won their opening matches 23 times while losing 10. OSU has opened the season at home 12 times and has an 11-1 record in those matches, winning the last 11 season home openers. The lone loss came in the first year, 1971.
GORDON LEADS RETURNING BUCKEYES
As the women’s volleyball teams only three-time All-American, outside hitter Stacey Gordon begins her final season with the Buckeyes. She is the school-career leader in kills (1,956), kills per game (5.79) and digs per game (3.34). Gordon enters her senior season with a 76 match streak of double-figure kills. A three-time All-Big Ten selection, Gordon was the 2002 Big Ten Player of the Year.
GORDON TOP RETURNING STUDENT-ATHLETE IN KILLS PER GAME NATIONALLY
With a 6.62 kills per game average last season, Stacey Gordon finished the year ranked second nationally in the final NCAA Division I statistics. 2003 national statistical champion Aline Pereira of George Mason (6.66) has graduated. Gordon’s 6.62 kills per game average set a Big Ten record for all matches and she was the Big Ten statistical champion in conference matches with a 6.77 per game average.
GORDON SELECTED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM
By a vote of the conference coaches, Stacey Gordon was a unanimous selection to the 2004 Preseason All-Big Ten Team for the third consecutive season. Gordon, a three-time Big Ten all-conference selection was on of three student-athletes that were a unanimous choice by the conference coaches. The others were Kim Schram of Michigan State and Sam Tortorello of Penn State.
BUCKEYES PICKED SIXTH IN THE BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL.
In the 2004 coach’s preseason poll, Ohio State was picked to finish in a tie for sixth with Michigan by the Big Ten coaches. Minnesota was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the conference. Penn State was picked for second with Wisconsin third.
STEVENS IS GOLDEN FROM USA JUNIOR NATIONAL PLAY
Outside hitter Ami Stevens, prior to preseason practice, was a member of the USA Junior National Team that won gold at the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Junior Continental Championships played recently in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A two-time all-state selection, her high school squad won the 2003 state championship, finished runner-up in 2000 and 2001 and reached the state semifinals in 2002.
BUCKEYES FACE STRONG SCHEDULE
Ohio State will be tested by a strong schedule in 2004. The Buckeyes will play nine matches against five opponents ranked in the current 2003 USA TODAY/CSTV American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll. These include No. 5 Minnesota, No. 8 Penn State, No. 12 Georgia Tech, No. 19 Illinois and No. 23 Wisconsin. Along with the previously mentioned teams, Ohio State has nine opponents that played in the NCAA Championship in 2003. The additional teams include Dayton, Michigan, Michigan State and Northwestern.
TOURNAMENTS TAKE OSU TO GEORGIA TECH AND TEMPLE
After the season-opening match at home against Dayton, the Buckeyes will take to the road to play two tournaments. Ohio State faces host Temple, North Carolina and Western Michigan in Philadelphia in the Buckeyes’ first road trip. The next week OSU will face host Georgia Tech and Xavier in Atlanta.
OHIO STATE HOSTS THE BUCKEYE CLASSIC AT TWO SITES
Florida International, Northeastern and Montana State will come to Columbus to play in the Buckeye Classic, Sept. 17-18. Two rounds of the Classic will be played Friday in St. John Arena. The final round will be played at Centerburg High School.
BUCKEYES HOST MINNESOTA ON FOX SPORTS CHICAGO
Ohio State’s home match against Minnesota on Friday, Oct. 1 will be broadcast by FOX Sports Chicago on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. The match is one of 11 conference matches that will be carried by FOX Sports Chicago (8) or ESPN2 (3) this season.
VANESSA WOUTERS TO BE INDUCTED INTO OSU ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME
Outside hitter Vanessa Wouters will be inducted this fall into the Ohio State Athletics Hall Of Fame, Friday, Sept. 10. Wouters played two years (1996-97) for the Buckeyes. A first-team All-American as a junior, Wouters also was the Big Ten Player of the Year and the Ohio State Female Athlete of the Year. For her career at Ohio State, she averaged 5.75 kills and 2.45 digs per game. She holds the Ohio State match record for kills (45) and points (50) and the Buckeye season record for kills (765) and points (867.5). 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) and Leisa Wissler (1988-91).
UP NEXT FOR OHIO STATE
Ohio State will travel to Atlanta, Georgia next weekend to play in the Georgia Tech Invitational. OSU will face Xavier at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 11 and play host Georgia Tech at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 12.