The Bobcats have a big weekend on tap to start the 2012 campaign.
Aug. 23, 2012
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Ohio Opens The 2012 Season
Ohio travels to Dayton to participate in the Flyer Classic. The Bobcats will take on No. 11 Pepperdine, No. 7 Illinois and Dayton on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
vs. No. 11 Pepperdine, Friday (8/24) at 4 p.m.
vs. No. 7 Illinois, Saturday (8/25) at 5 p.m.
at Dayton, Sunday (8/26) at 1 p.m. | Live Stats
Fans who want to follow all the happenings of the Ohio volleyball team should follow the squad on its official Twitter page at twitter.com/Ohio_Volleyball.
For the second-straight season, Ohio opens with a nationally-ranked opponent. Last year, the Bobcats faced off against No. 24 Tennessee in its 2011 season opener.
Against The Field
Ohio is 1-0 against Pepperdine, beating the No. 18 Waves in four sets back in 2004 out in Fort Collins, Colo. The Green & White are 0-1 against Illinois, losing in straight sets during the 2009 season to the 14th-ranked Fighting Illini in West Lafayette, Ind. The Bobcats are 9-8 all-time against Dayton, getting swept in their last meeting (Nov. 26, 2010) when the Flyers were ranked No. 12 in the nation.
Theis Entering Fifth Season
Ohio Head Coach Ryan Theis is entering his fifth season with the Bobcats in 2012. In his four years at the helm of the program, the Bobcats have gone 96-38, including a 51-13 record in MAC regular season play. In 2009-10, Theis led Ohio to consecutive NCAA Tournament Second Round appearances for only the second time in program history. The Bobcats have also captured the MAC's Eastern Division title all four seasons under Theis.
Preseason All-MAC Choices
Ohio's Lexie Hartnett, Chelsea Bilger and Kelly Lamberti were all selected to the Mid-America Conference's Preseason All-East Division Team. The All-MAC Teams, voted on by the league's head coaches, featured 12 players with Ohio having the most honorees.
Lamberti finished her first season, second in the league in point scoring behind MAC Player of the Year Lauren Wicinski. The freshman also ranked second in kills, fifth in service aces and led Ohio in double-doubles with 19.
Hartnett received All-MAC honors for a second time last season after helping Ohio rank 19th in the nation in blocks per set. She ranked third in the MAC in blocks per set and placed second with 117.0 total blocks.
Bilger was named to the All-MAC Freshman team last season after recording 13 double-doubles for the Bobcats, eight in conference play. She ranked second on the team in kills and third in points and digs.
Ohio Volleyball enjoyed another successful season with 23 wins, a MAC East title after sweeping everyone in the division, numerous wins over big-name programs and when all was said and done, had four players earn All-MAC recognition. The non-conference portion of the 2011 slate featured eight NCAA Tournament teams from last season with the first six opponents averaging 22 wins apiece in 2010. The Bobcats earned wins over BCS-conference opponents Maryland, Villanova, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh.
Four Bobcats received Mid-American Conference regular season volleyball awards as Katie Post and Lamberti were named First Team All-MAC, Hartnett earned second team honors and Lamberti joined Bilger on the All-Freshman Team. Post earned first-team accolades for a second time after leading the league in blocking and ranking 13th nationally with 1.42 per set. Post also ranked third in the league in hitting percentage (.354) and eighth in total points. She also tied the Ohio record for block assists over a career with 436.
The quartet of freshmen features Karin Bull, a 6-2 middle, Abby Gilleland, a 5-10 setter, and two defensive specialists/liberos in Meredith Ashy and Carley Jones.
Bull was named All-Metro after earning All-Conference honors at Bloomington Kennedy in Minnesota. Over her three years, Bull accumulated over 500 kills, almost 300 blocks and over 350 digs while maintaining a hitting percentage of .370. She was also named as one of PrepVolleyball's Next 100. Gilleland was All-Conference and Academic All-Conference the last two seasons at Marian Central Catholic. She was named all-area by the Northwest Herald, Chicago Sun Times and Daily Gazette and was on PrepVolleyball's Top 100 list.
Ashy was an All-Region, All-Catholic and All-District Tournament team selection during her senior season, helping Sacred Heart Academy in Kentucky to two regional and state runner-up spots. Jones had 488 digs last season at Notre Dame Academy, also in Kentucky, to set the single-season mark, and graduated with 1,049 career digs, another ND record. She was also a two-time all-state selection and three-year regional all-tournament selection.
Ohio also added two transfers in Kellie Turner, an outside hitter from Salt Lake City Community College and Hannah Burkle, a middle/outside hitter from Eastern Kentucky. Burkle was named to the OVC All-Newcomer Team after finishing second on the team with 351 kills and leading the Colonels with 105 blocks. She finished the season ranked eighth in the OVC with an average of 0.87 blocks and 10th with 3.50 points per set. During her two years at SLCC, Turner started 200 games, had 459 kills and ranked fourth in career aces. She also garnered second team All-Region and All-Tournament team honors.
Ohio Volleyball was selected to win the Mid-American Conference's East Division as the league announced the 2012 Preseason Poll as voted on by the league's head coaches. The Bobcats have captured the Eastern Division every year since 2002 and have won the outright league title five times during that span.
USA Developmental Trip for Two Bobcats
This summer, two Ohio Volleyball players, Bilger and Lamberti, traveled to China for the Bring It Promotions/USA Volleyball Global Challenge. The duo were part of a team that played six matches over 13 days against three of China's top professional teams.
The two Bobcats were selected, along with student-athletes from Northern Illinois, Clemson, Minnesota, Villanova, Arkansas and Virginia Tech to comprise the developmental squad (USA Red) for six matches, three in Tianjin and three in Beijing. You can read more about their experience here: Kelly and Chelsea in China
Succeeding in the Classroom
The Ohio University volleyball team was awarded an American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for the 2011-2012 school year. Ohio Volleyball had a cumulative GPA of 3.72 for the 2011-12 academic year and was one of the top schools nationally.
Ohio Volleyball had three student-athletes, Post, Hartnett and Nicole Staverman, named to the 2011 Academic All-MAC team. Leah Petrovich, Faith Robins, Kelly Colyar and Mollie Geske were named Academic Honorable Mention.
Ohio has had at least three players recognized on the MAC All-Academic Team for the past five seasons and had a record four first-team selections back in 2008. Eight different players have been named to a MAC All-Academic team over the last four years.