Aug. 23, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State (0-0) women’s volleyball team opens its 35th season by hosting Toledo (0-0) 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. The Rockets were 16-14 overall last season and were 5-11 in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference. Toledo opens its season Friday at Cleveland State.

The Buckeyes are coached by Jim Stone, the 2004 Big Ten 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.). Main averaged 14.88 assist per game to rank second nationally. McCarthy averaged 1.33 kills and .88 blocks per game while Stevens averaged 2.78 kills and 3.02 digs per game. Meyer had a team-high 1.10 blocks per game average and a 2.91 kills per game mark. Kastein had a team-high 373 digs for a 3.27 per game average. Newcomers Ashley Kiel (Jr., Allentown, Wis./Northern Michigan) and Felicia Jones (Jr., Concord, Ont./Southwest Missouri State-West Plains Junior College) have joined the squad this season. Kiel averaged 2.58 kills, 3.24 digs and 1.10 blocks per game for Division II Northern Michigan. Jones, a junior college transfer, averaged 4.12 kills and 3.68 digs per game last season.

The Rockets are coached by Kent Miller. Toledo begins play Friday at Cleveland State. In 2004 the Rockets were 16-14 overall and were 5-11 in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference. The Rockets have five starters returning from last season. They include outside hitters Kate Bean (Jr., 5-9) and Chelsey Poquette (Sr., 5-11), middle blockers Kelsey Culver (Sr., 6-2) and Corrie Magnus (Sr., 6-1) and setter Emi Holsclaw (So., 5-11). Also returning is starting libero Lora Sarich (Jr., 5-10). Bean is the top returning hitter with a 3.31 kills per game average. Culver ranks second at 2.83 with Magnus third at 2.15. Magnus averaged 1.05 blocks per game last season. Sarich averaged 4.02 digs per game with Bean at 2.69. Holsclaw contributed 11.71 assist per game last season.

The Buckeyes have a 6-1 record against Toledo dating back to 1977. The lone loss was an on-court victory that was a later forfeit. Ohio State is 1-1 in matches played in St. John Arena against Toledo. OSU won 3-0 (15-0, 15-0, 15-7) in the 1990 Buckeye Invitational and had a 3-1 (15-12, 15-7, 11-15, 15-7) win in the 2000 Buckeye Invitational that was forfeited.

Ohio State has a 28-6 record in home openers including a 10-match, on-court, winning streak in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes have a 25-9 mark in season opening matches. OSU’s last opening loss came in 2002, an 0-3 loss at Hawaii.

The Big Ten Conference announced that Ohio State setter Marisa Main (Jr., Louisville, Ky.) and outside hitter Ami Stevens (So., Centerburg, Ohio) have been named to the 2005 Preseason All-Big Ten Volleyball Team by a vote of the conference coaches. The Buckeyes were picked to finish fourth in the coaches’ preseason poll. Penn State was picked to finish first with Minnesota second and Wisconsin third. Ohio State, ranked 12th nationally in the CSTV (College Sports Television)/AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll, opens the 2005 season Saturday, Aug. 27 hosting Toledo at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena.

Main was a 2004 All-Big Ten selection and a second team AVCA All-American. The Big Ten statistical champion with a 14.68 assist per game average, she ranked second nationally with a 14.88 average. Main played her freshman season at Xavier where she was an Atlantic-10 All-Conference selection and a member of the A-10 All-Rookie Team.

Stevens, named to the 2004 All-Big Ten Freshman Team, started all 34 matches last season. She averaged 2.78 kills and 3.02 digs last season, recording 18 double-figure kill matches and 16 double-figure dig matches. Stevens has trained and played with the United States Junior National Team during the summers of 2004 and 2005.

Ohio State will face Wisconsin at home on Oct. 29. The match will be carried by ESPN2 on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 3 p.m. The Buckeyes will appear in a live cablecast on CSTV at Penn State, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.

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.

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.

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.

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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

#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) – 2005 Preseason All-Big Ten Selection – 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.

#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.

#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.

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

#13 Marisa Main (Setter, 5-9, Jr., Louisville, Ky./Xavier) – 2005 Preseason All-Big Ten Selection – 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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

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.

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).