Oct. 23, 2007
Akron/Buffalo Game Notes (Oct. 26-27)
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ATHENS, Ohio- The No. 19 Ohio volleyball team returns home to the Convocation Center this weekend to play host to Akron and Buffalo. Ohio (17-4, 9-1 MAC) will look to stay atop the MAC East Division standings with matches against Akron (9-14, 1-9 MAC) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Buffalo (2-24, 1-9 MAC) on Saturday at 7 p.m.
This Week at the Convo
-Ohio vs. Akron - Friday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.
-Ohio vs. Buffalo - Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
(Prior to Saturday's match is Ohio's "Trick or Treat at the Convo" beginning at 6 p.m. The Halloween themed event will continue until the start of the match and fans are encouraged to come in costume and bring bags to collect their candy in. There will be a costume contest for kids and all kids dressed up will get to show off their costume on the court during the match).
Live stats for both matches can be viewed at ohiobobcats.com
Akron enters this week with a 9-14 overall record and a 1-9 record in the MAC. The Zips are on a six match losing streak and have lost 12 of the last 13. Sophomore outside hitter Brionna Patterson leads Akron, averaging 3.7 kills and 1.9 digs per game. Head Coach Mike Sweitzer is in his 17th season in charge of the volleyball program. Sweitzer is the winningest coach in school history, entering the season with a career record of 272-241.
The all-time series between the Bobcats and the Zips is tied at 22-22. Earlier this season the two teams met in Akron, with the Bobcats winning in straight games, 30-11, 30-14, 30-23. Melissa Griffin led Ohio in the victory, connecting on 18 kills and a season-high .727 hitting percentage. Stephanie Blackburn posted a double-double for Ohio in the win, finishing with 10 kills and 13 digs, and Meghan Simons and Amanda Andersen each had eight kills. Griffin's play against Akron, combined with her strong outing the night before against Buffalo, earned her AVCA National Player of the Week and MAC East Division Player of the Week. It was just the second time ever that an Ohio player won the national honor. Four years ago, at Akron on Nov. 8, 2003, the Zips handed Ohio one of their only two conference losses under Head Coach Geoff Carlston.
Buffalo enters the week with a record of 2-24 and a MAC record of 1-9. Buffalo has lost seven in a row heading into the week and is currently being out-hit .280 to .106 and out-killed 15.4 to 10.5. Buffalo is led by freshman outside hitter Richelle Bigelow, who is averaging 2.7 kills and 2.6 digs per game. Head Coach Jim Lodes is in his third season at the helm, where he has compiled a 27-64 record.
Ohio is 18-1 all-time versus Buffalo. Earlier this season the Bobcats opened the MAC season with a 3-0 (30-19, 30-18, 30-22) win at Buffalo. Ohio out-hit Buffalo .408 to .120 in the match, led by Stephanie Blackburn and Melissa Griffin. Blackburn had a match-high 15 kills and 10 digs and Griffin had 14 kills on a .480 hitting percentage.
Senior middle blocker Melissa Griffin continued climbing the all-time kills list this past weekend, posting a combined 45 kills against Western Michigan and Northern Illinois to move into second place all-time with 1,507. Griffin begins the week 32 kills away from the Ohio career kills record of 1,539, held by former Bobcat Lori Dyer (93-96). Below is a list of the Ohio career kills list.
All-Time Kill Leaders
1. Lori Dyer (93-96)- 1,539
2. Melissa Griffin (04-)- 1,507
3. Amber Merill (97-00)- 1,497
4. Laura Hageman (00-03)- 1,460
5. Stephanie Blackburn (04-)- 1,363
6. Julia Winkfield (02-05)- 1,336
One For the Record Books
The Bobcats established several new records in their 3-1 win at Northern Illinois Saturday. Ohio connected on 87 kills in the match, the fourth most in school history, hit .447, the fifth-best hitting percentage in Ohio history and had 79 assists in the match, the second most all-time at Ohio. Ohio's .447 hitting percentage is the third best hitting percentage in a conference match in MAC history.
Career Day for Melissa's
Melissa Griffin and freshman Melissa Szkutnik each posted new career-high kill marks in Ohio's win at Northern Illinois. Griffin totaled 26 kills on 34 swings with just two errors for an impressive .706 hitting percentage, topping her previous best of 23 kills. Szkutnik landed seven kills on 10 swings with only one error for a .600 hitting percentage. Szkutnik's seven kills top her previous best of five set earlier this season against Long Beach State. Her .600 hitting percentage was also a career-high.
Sharing the Wealth
With seven regular season matches remaining the Bobcats already have five players with over 100 kills on the season. Melissa Griffin leads the team with 299, followed by Ellen Herman with 274, Stephanie Blackburn with 227, Jane Sytsma with 138 and Meghan Simons with 102. Last year the Bobcats also had five players with over 100 kills. Junior Amanda Andersen and freshman Sue Jacobi are the next closest to 100, with 66 and 55 kills respectively.
The Bobcats had their 64-match winning streak against the MAC come to an end against Miami (Sept. 28), but the `Cats are streaking again, having won seven straight matches entering this week's action. During the streak the Bobcats are dominating their opponents, out-hitting teams .335 to .162 and landing 18.2 kills per game to their opponents 13.2. During that stretch the Bobcats have won 21 of 22 games, winning six of the seven matches in straight games.
To see this week's game notes in their entirety please click on the link at the top of the page.
Wes Liles is the volleyball contact in the Ohio media relations office. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.