Aug. 10, 2004
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s volleyball team will report for practice Aug. 11 to begin the 34th season for the Buckeyes. OSU has three starters back in the six returning letterwinners. The Buckeyes will welcome five freshmen and a transfer to begin practice Aug. 11. Ohio State will have three weeks to prepare for the season opener against Dayton at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 1 in St. John Arena.
RETURNING FOR THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State has six letterwinners 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.
TRANSFER 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.
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.
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 and the 2002 Big Ten Player of the Year, Gordon has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week a conference record 11 times.
MAPP JOINS OSU FOR HER FINAL SEASON
A transfer from North Carolina State, middle blocker Maya Mapp joins the Buckeyes after three seasons with the Wolfpack. A two-year starter at NC State, Mapp averaged 2.32 kills and .71 blocks per game while hitting .268.
KASTEIN STRONG FOR THE DEFENSE
Libero/defensive specialist Rebecca Kastein had six starts at defensive specialist and 11 as the libero last season. She averaged 2.15 digs per game as a sophomore and saw action in all 28 matches.
MILLER IMPROVES OFFENSE POTENTIAL
Outside hitter Amanda Miller stepped up her play last season. She averaged 3.26 kills, .65 digs and .27 blocks per game. A scholar-athlete, Miller had 16 starts last season and ended her sophomore season with a streak of 10 matches with double-figure kills.
SCHARDT PROVES TO BE VERSATILE
Setter Jackie Schardt saw most of her court time at middle blocker last season including nine starts. Playing in 26 matches, Schardt recorded a career high eight assist blocks at Northwestern last season.
MCCARTHY EARNS BIG TEN ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM HONORS
After starting the first two matches last season at outside hitter, Briana McCarthy started the final 26 matches at setter. Named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, McCarthy averaged 11.53 assists, 1.29 kills, 1.44 digs and .92 blocks per game.
TENGNAS PART OF DEFENSIVE DUO
Libero/defensive specialist Anna Tengnas, along with Rebecca Kastein, shared backrow duties last season for the Buckeyes. She had six starts as a defensive specialist and started at libero 17 times while playing in all 28 matches last season. Tengnas averaged 2.50 digs per game last season and had 12 matches with double-figure digs.
WELL-TRAVELED BRITENRIKER BEGINS BUCKEYE CAREER
Middle blocker Nicole Britenriker played high school volleyball in Ohio and Florida and has gained international experience by playing with USA Volleyball. Twice a member of the Junior Olympic National Championship team, Britenriker, a Volleyball Magazine “Fab 50” selection, has played on several USA Volleyball teams including the 2003 USA Youth National Team that played at the World Championships in Poland.
DAHMS IS THE ONLY NON-OHIOAN IN OUTSTANDING FRESHMAN CLASS
Libero/defensive specialist Brittany Dahms, who hails from Byron, Ill., joins four Ohioans in OSU’s freshman class. Playing outside hitter and setter, was a 2001 honorable mention all-state selection, advancing to the elite eight. Playing for Club Fusion, coached by former men’s volleyball player Ray Gooden, Dahms team won the 2003 17-club national championship and was an All-American.
“FAB 50” MEYER HAS PROVEN TO BE A WINNER
Middle blocker Danielle Meyer was named to the Volleyball Magazine “Fab 50” and was a member of the 2000 state championship team for Mount Notre Dame High School. An all-state selection as a senior, Meyer joined Nicole Britenriker on the 2003 USA Youth National Team that played at the World Championships in Poland.
VERSATILE MOLNAR PLAYED BOTH MIDDLE AND OUTSIDE
Outside hitter Brandie Molnar set the match, season and career records for kills at Springboro High School. A four-year starter, Molnar can play both in the middle and outside. Her Team Z club team won national championships in 16-open and 17-open play with OSU teammates Nicole Britenriker and Danielle Meyer.
STEVENS COMES TO PRACTICE FROM USA JUNIOR NATIONAL PLAY
Outside hitter Ami Stevens joins the Buckeyes’ preseason practice from play with the USA Junior National Team that won gold at the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Junior Continenal Championships played recently in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A two-time all-state selection, Stevens 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 final 2003 American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll. These include No. 4 Minnesota, No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Georgia Tech, No. 15 Illinois and No. 21 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 round 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.
OHIO STATE OPENS SEASON AGAINST DAYTON
The 2004 season will open Wednesday, Sept. 1 against Dayton at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena. Dayton leads the series with Ohio State, 9-8. The last meeting between the teams came in 1999 on Sept. 1.
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.
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 hold 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).