Dec. 27, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State women’s volleyball head coach Jim Stone has announced the signing of five recruits for the 2002 season. They include Bri Hagerty (Defiance, Ohio), Stephanie Higgins (Biggsville, Ill.), Amanda Miller (Littleton, Colo.), Marie Pongonis (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Jackie Schardt (Colorado Springs, Colo.).

Hagerty, a 6-0 middle blocker, was All-Ohio at Defiance High School. Higgins, a 5-11 outside hitter, helped Union High School win back-to-back undefeated seasons. Miller, a 5-10 outside hitter, was the Colorado 5-A Player of the Year from Heritage High School. Pongonis, a 5-11 outside hitter, was All-Ohio at Cincinnati McNicholas High School. Schardt, a 5-10 setter at Colorado Springs Christian High School, was the Colorado 3-A Player of the Year and a member of the USA Youth National Team.

Ohio State closed out the 2001 season with a 27-4 overall record and was 17-3 in the Big Ten Conference, finishing second in the league. The Buckeyes received an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship and advanced to the regional semifinals.

Eight players will be available for the 2002 season from last year’s squad. They include four starters: setter Katie Virtue (Jr., St. Charles, Ill.), middle blocker Suzie Stiling (Jr., Glenview, Ill.) and outside hitters Shelly Draeger (Jr., Milwaukee, Wis.) and Stacey Gordon (Fr., Oshawa, Ontario). Also returning from last season are setter Heather Whalen (So., Kalamazoo, Mich.), outside hitter Trine Melsether (Fr., Aalesund, Norway) and defensive specialists Ashley Adamczyk (Fr., Evergreen Park, Ill.) and Tamika Drake (Fr., Euclid, Ohio). Outside hitter Anne Botica (Sr., Windsor, Ontario), middle blocker Erin Baker (Sr., Elmhurst, Ill.) and defensive specialist Nikki Cisco (Sr., Dublin, Ohio) have concluded their careers with the Buckeyes.