Apolinario joins staff after two seasons at Austin Peay
Ariel Apolinario begins his second season as an assistant coach with the Ohio University volleyball program under second-year head coach Deane Webb in 2015.
Apolinario helped guide the Bobcats to a 23-6 overall record in his first year on the Ohio bench in 2014. He helped direct the program's first 16-0 undefeated Mid-American Conference season since 2006 and fourth in program history. Ohio captured its third straight league regular season title and ninth in program history. The Bobcats ranked No. 24 in Week 12 (Nov. 17) of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Coaches Poll Top 25. The regular season was highlighted by a 3-1 win over Ohio State at the Millennium Hotel Invitational in Cincinnati -- Ohio's first victory over the in-state rival Buckeyes since the 2005 NCAA Championship Second Round and the second in seven tries since the beginning of the NCAA era in 1981.
The 2014 Ohio squad placed among the top 10 in seven program rally scoring era statistical categories, including second in service aces per set (1.67; best in the MAC, ninth in NCAA Division I), fourth in service aces (180; second-best in the MAC, 26th in NCAA Division I), fifth in digs per set (16.73; second-best in the MAC, 38th in NCAA Division I), eighth in hitting percentage (.242; best in the MAC, 58th in NCAA Division I; 1,499 kills-524 errors-4,030 total attacks) and ninth in kills per set (13.88; best in the MAC, 34th in NCAA Division I), assists per set (12.63; best in the MAC, 75th in NCAA Division I) and digs (1,807).
The 2014 campaign saw junior setter Abby Gilleland garner AVCA Honorable Mention All-America, AVCA All-Region, MAC Player of the Year, MAC Setter of the Year and First Team All-MAC accolades for the second year in a row. Junior setter Meredith Ashy became the program's first MAC Defensive Player of the Year selection in addition to earning First Team All-MAC honors for the second in the last three seasons. Senior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti received First Team All-MAC selection for the fourth time in her career, joining Ellen Herman (2006-09) as the only four-time First Team All-MAC pick in program history. Junior middle blocker Karin Bull garnered First Team All-MAC selection for the second straight year while outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek became the seventh Ohio player to earn MAC All-Freshman Team selection in the last five seasons.
Lamberti ranked among the top 10 in program rally scoring history in six statistical categories in her senior season, including fourth in total attacks (1,253), tied for fourth in service aces per set (0.38; second-best in the MAC, 45th in NCAA Division I), fifth in points per set (4.76; second-best in the MAC, 34th in NCAA Division I), sixth in service aces (41; third-best in the MAC, 52nd in NCAA Division I), seventh in kills per set (4.05; third-best in the MAC, 52nd in NCAA Division I) and 10th in kills (437; second-best in the MAC, 64th in NCAA Division I). Gilleland ranked eighth in assists per set (10.67; second-best in the MAC; 63rd in NCAA Division I), ninth in hitting percentage (.334; 159 kills-26 errors-403 total attacks) and 10th in assists (1,145; fourth-best in the MAC, 93rd in NCAA Division I). Ashy ranked second in digs per set (4.89; best in the MAC, 47th in NCAA Division I) and fourth in digs (528; third-best in the MAC, 79th in NCAA Division I). Kosiorek ranked second in service aces per set (0.44; best in the MAC, 13th in NCAA Division I) and fourth in service aces (46; best in the MAC, 24th in NCAA Division I). Bull tied for seventh in hitting percentage (.334; 201 kills-49 errors, 455 total attacks).
The Bobcats also excelled off of the court in 2014-15, with Ashy, Bull, Gilleland, Lamberti, sophomore setter/defensive specialist Brooke Coleman and sophomore outside hitter/libero Mallory Salis earning spots on the Academic All-MAC Team. Ashy, Bull, Gilleland and Lamberti were also named Distinguished Scholar Athletes by the conference. Gilleland represented the MAC at the 2015 NCAA Leadership Forum in Orlando.
Apolinario arrived in Athens following two seasons serving as an assistant coach with Austin Peay State University.
In his two seasons at Austin Peay, Apolinario helped the Lady Govs to 30 overall wins and 19 conference victories. He also coached three players that earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors.
Prior to his arrival at Austin Peay, Apolinario spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Union University, where he assisted with recruiting and planned and implemented preseason training programs. In Apolinario's first season, Union won the TranSouth Conference with a 13-1 league mark while posting a 24-9 overall record.
As a competitor, Apolinario played two seasons at then-NAIA member Newman University before the program was dropped. He then transferred to Division II-member King University, where he was one of the founding members of the Tornado volleyball program. There, he was named the university's 2009-10 Male Athlete of the Year and was a first-team All-Carolinas Conference selection.
In addition to his assistant roles, Apolinario served as a head coach in the Northeast Tennessee Volleyball Club system for three seasons. He taught volleyball skills during summer team camps throughout Florida, Tennessee and Texas.
A native of Matanzas, Cuba, Apolinario earned his degree from King in 2010.