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Volleyball Opens 2013 Season At Oregon Classic

Junior Chelsea Bilger is one of three Ohio preseason All-MAC selections.

Aug 29, 2013


vs. Bryant (Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m. ET) | vs. EWU (Aug. 31, 4 p.m.) | No. 8 Oregon (Aug. 31, 10 p.m.)

EUGENE, Ore. – The Ohio University volleyball team will begin the 2013 season on the West Coast with a trip to Eugene, Ore., to compete in the Oregon Classic.

The Bobcats tip the campaign Friday at 7:30 p.m. (ET) against Bryant University. Ohio then wraps up the round-robin tournament with contests against Eastern Washington (4 p.m.) and host No. 8 Oregon (10 p.m.) on Saturday.

All three matches will be streamed live via a video feed on the Oregon website. Live match statistics also will be available by clicking here.

The Bobcats were picked to finish second in the MAC East Division in the Mid-American Conference Preseason Poll released on Wednesday. Three student-athletes garnered preseason All-MAC honors, including junior outside hitters Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) and Chelsea Bilger (Fishers, Ind.), and sophomore setter Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.)

Difficult Non-Conference Slate
The ‘Cats non-conference schedule includes four teams ranked in the AVCA Coaches preseason poll. In addition to Saturday’s contest against No. 8 Oregon, the Bobcats will host 22nd-ranked Dayton on Sept. 7 and face road tests against No. 21 Western Kentucky (Sept. 14) and No. 7 Michigan (Sept. 21).

Key ‘Cats Return
The Bobcats return three members of last season’s All-MAC First Team, including 2012 MAC Player of the Year Kelly Lamberti. The trio also includes Chelsea Bilger and MAC Co-Freshman of the Year Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.).

Ohio brings back a wealth of experience from the 2012 squad, as five of the team’s starters (including libero) and nine letter winners from a year ago are back. The Bobcats return 63 percent of their kill production (938/1490 kills), 84.3 percent of their 2012 dig total (1506/1786) and 73 percent of their service aces (84/115).

Scouting The Bulldogs (0-0, 0-0 NEC)
Bryant finished the 2012 campaign with a 12-24 record, including a 6-10 mark in the Northeast Conference. The Bulldogs return one of their offensive leaders in sophomore outside hitter Claire Van Dyk, who paced the Bulldogs in kills (310), kills per set (2.61) and service aces per set (0.35) on the season. Senior middle blocker Alexandria Clyburn led the Bulldogs in blocks (123) in 2012, while junior libero Elena Lohr returns after leading the team in digs (325) and digs per set (2.88) a year ago. The Bulldogs were picked to finish fifth in the NEC preseason poll. This will be the first ever meeting between the Bulldogs and Bobcats.

Scouting The Eagles (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
The Eastern Washington Eagles posted a 5-26 record last season, including a 5-15 mark in Big Sky Conference play. Junior middle blocker Talia Fermantez returns after leading the team in attack percentage (.268) and total blocks (88) in 2012. The Eagles have revamped their roster and will feature nine newcomers, including four freshmen and five transfers. Eastern Washington and Ohio have never met on the volleyball court.

Scouting The No. 8 Ducks (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
Oregon returns nine letter winners from a 2012 squad that posted a 30-5 record and earned a berth in the national title match, where the team fell to NCAA champion Texas. Despite losing AVCA Player of the Year Alaina Bergsma to graduation, the 2013 squad returns AVCA All-Americans Liz Brenner and Lauren Plum. Plum was named to the All-America First Team after leading the nation in assists (1618) and assists per set (13.37), both of which rank second in the Oregon single-season record books. Brenner was named to the All-America Second Team, ranking second for the Ducks in kills (466), points (522.5) and digs (308). Oregon is ranked No. 8 in the AVCA preseason poll. The Bobcats fell to Oregon last season, 3-1, in Athens.