Dec. 12, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State setter Katie Virtue (Sr. Charles, Ill.) injured her left knee during OSU’s Wednesday’s practice at Stanford in preparation for Thursday’s Pacific Regional Semifinal against Stanford. Virtue tore her anterior cruciate ligament and has a probable lateral meniscus tear. Upon returning to Columbus, she will have an MRI to further evaluate her condition.

A four-year starter, Virtue is Ohio State’s all-time assist leader with 5,648 and is the OSU leader in career assists per game at 13.88. She was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection this season. Virtue missed seven matches earlier this season when an on-court collision with a teammate at Illinois-Chicago (Sept. 10) that resulted in a broken right hand.

As a sophomore, Virtue missed three matches late in the season after playing seven matches with a stress fracture of her left foot.

OSU’s Heather Whalen (Jr., Kalamazoo, Mich.) is expected to start in place of Virtue. Whalen had three starts earlier this year when both Virtue and Jackie Schardt (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) (concussion) were injured and unavailable for competition. She started against Miami (Ohio) (W, 3-1, 51 assists), at Indiana (L, 1-3, 49 assists), at Penn State (L, 2-3, 56 assists). In 2000 Whalen started three matches when Virtue was held out with a foot stress fracture. She started at Michigan State (l, 1-3, 49 assists), at Indiana (W, 3-1, 54 assists, later recorded as a forfeit) and at Penn State (L, 0-3, 38 assists). Whalen averaged 12.36 assists per game for the six matches.