Aug. 16, 2011
ATHENS, Ohio - In a vote by the league's coaches, the Ohio University volleyball team has been picked as the favorite to win the Mid-American Conference East Division. Senior Katie Post and redshirt sophomore Lexie Hartnett were also named to East Division's Preseason All-MAC Team.
The Bobcats received 11 of the division's 12 first place votes, with rival Miami pegged to finish second. Akron received the remaining first-place vote, but was selected to finish third. Buffalo, Bowling Green and Kent State rounded out the bottom half of the division.
Northern Illinois was selected to win the Western Division with seven first-place votes. The Huskies were also chosen as the MAC's regular season and tournament favorites, receiving five votes apiece for each selection. Ball State was slotted for a second-place finish in the West with one first-place vote. Western Michigan earned three first-place votes and was selected to finish third with Eastern Michigan pegged for fourth place. Central Michigan was the lowest-ranked team to receive a first-place vote as the Chippewas were predicted to finish fifth and Toledo was last.
Post, an All-MAC selection last year, finished with Ohio's single-season records for block assists and total blocks with 195, leading the MAC in both categories and finishing seventh in the country in blocks per set. Offensively she finished second on the team in kills behind Sue Jacobi, who set the single-season kills mark last year for the Bobcats. Post ended seventh in the MAC in hitting percentage and points and had 10 or more kills in 20 matches for Ohio. In fact, she had only two matches where she failed to register 10 points or more in 2010.
Hartnett, an All-Freshman choice, finished second in the league in blocks, averaging 1.21 per set, registered at least three blocks in every match last season and notched a career-high 12 in the NCAA Tournament match with Duke. She also finished with 190 kills, racking up a career-best 11 in a home win over rival Miami. She finished with 13 matches where she registered 10 or more points for the Bobcats, including consecutive 11-point matches in the NCAA Tournament.
Last season Ohio eclipsed the 20-win mark, captured the East Division title, MAC Tournament title and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. This season the Bobcats face eight NCAA tournament teams from 2010 with their first six opponents having averaged 22 wins last year.
MAC Volleyball Preseason Poll
1. Ohio (11)
3. Akron (1)
5. Bowling Green
6. Kent State
1. Northern Illinois (7)
2. Ball State (1)
3. Western Michigan (3)
4. Eastern Michigan
5. Central Michigan (1)
MAC Regular Season Champion - Northern Illinois with five votes
MAC Tournament Champion - Northern Illinois with five votes
East Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Tina Dimitrijevs, Akron
Paige Penrod, Bowling Green
Abby Niekamp, Buffalo
Cassie Farrell, Miami
Katie Post, Ohio
Lexie Hartnett, Ohio
West Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Kelsey Brandl, Ball State
Kaitlyn Schultz, Central Michigan
Rachel Iaquaniello, Eastern Michigan
Lauren Wicinski, Northern Illinois
Kristin Hoffman, Northern Illinois
Jessica Brown, Western Michigan