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Volleyball Heads South For WKU Invitational

Sophomore Karin Bull is hitting .360 this season while contributing 1.0 blocks/set.

Sept. 12, 2013


Weekend Schedule: 
- Friday vs. UNLV (5:30 p.m.) - Live Stats Link
- Saturday vs. No. 21 Western Kentucky (Noon) - Live Stats Link
- Saturday vs. Virginia (6 p.m.) - Live Stats Link

ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University volleyball team (5-1) will continue non-conference play this weekend at the Western Kentucky University Invitational in Bowling Green, Ky.

The Bobcats will battle UNLV on Friday (5:30 p.m.) before taking on No. 21 Western Kentucky (noon) and Virginia (6 p.m.) on Saturday. #BobcatNation can follow the action using the live stats links included above, or through WKU's live video feed (additional fee) on its website. 

The Bobcats are 5-1 for the first time since 2009 after posting a 2-1 mark last weekend at the Baymont Inn Invitational. The 'Cats received 58 votes in this week's AVCA poll, good for No. 29 in the nation.

Ohio has registered a stellar 17-3 set record during the 2013 season. In the Baymont tournament, Ohio defeated Cincinnati (Sept. 6) and Dayton (Sept. 7) in straight sets and fell to No. 24 North Carolina in five (Sept. 6).

Middle blockers Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Karin Bull (Bloomington, Minn.) garnered Baymont Inn Invitational All-Tournament honors after outstanding performances over the weekend. Pinson also was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week after averaging 1.3 blocks/set and 3.48 points/set in the tournament's three matches. Her 14 total blocks against the Tar Heels were the most by a Bobcat in more than four seasons.

The 'Cats have jumped out to their 5-1 start in large part due to an accurate offensive output. Ohio leads the MAC with a .286 hitting percentage, which also ranks 24th in the country. Against Bryant on Aug. 30, the 'Cats hit an astounding .521 as a team, which stands as the best mark in more than four seasons.

UNLV enters the WKU Invitational with a 3-3 record. The Rebels are coming off a 1-2 weekend in Spokane, Wash. with losses to host Gonzaga (3-0) and Arizona State (3-0). The Rebels also defeated Seattle in straight sets. Vegas was picked to finish third in the Mountain West after posting an 18-11 record (10-6 MWC) last season. Junior outside hitter Daryn Glenn is back after leading the team in kills (311) in 2012. She's averaging 3.25 kills/set this season, while senior outside hitter Sekola Falemaka paces the team with 3.67/set. Leading the Rebels in assists (200; 10.0/set) is another senior, setter Stephanie Thelen. This will be the first meeting between UNLV and Ohio on the volleyball court.

Western Kentucky is ranked No. 21 in the Sept. 9 AVCA Coaches Poll. The Hilltoppers were picked to win the Sun Belt after finishing 15-0 in the conference last season. Senior setter Melanie Stutsman will key WKU's attack. The 2012 AVCA All-American is once again leading the team in assists (250; 9.26/set). Senior outside hitter Paige Wessel is hitting at a .455 clip with a team-high 62 kills. Wessel and Stutsman are part of a talented unit, as the balanced Hilltoppers' offense features five players with more than 40 kills. Senior defensive specialist Ashley Potts leads the team in digs (4.04/set). Ohio and WKU have split their previous four meetings.

After finishing last season 9-22 (3-17 ACC), the Cavs were picked to finish 11th in the ACC, but are off to a good start after bringin in the No. 12 recruiting class according to PrepVolleyball.com. Freshman outside hitter Haley Kole was named the ACC Freshman of the Week this week and is second on the team in kills (3.78/set). Junior outside hitter Tori Janowski is tops on the team with 4.04/set. Sophomore setter Lauren Fuller is leading the team with 11.74 assists/frame, while senior libero Emily Rottman has tallied a team-leading 98 digs (4.26/set). 

The Bobcats finish up their preseason tournament schedule with a berth in the Michigan Invitational. The Bobcats open the event against Maryland (1 p.m.) and Marshall (5:30 p.m.) on Sept. 20. The `Cats then take on No. 7 Michigan Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. in Ann Arbor.