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Ohio Travels to Tobacco Road for NCAA Tournament

OHIOBOBCATS.COM Lexie Hartnett and the Bobcats prepare for the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds this weekend.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Lexie Hartnett and the Bobcats prepare for the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds this weekend.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

Dec. 2, 2010

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ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio (21-12) makes its eighth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament this weekend as it ventures to Durham, N.C., for a first-round matchup against the Ivy League champion Penn Quakers. The match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. from Duke University’s Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Green & White are leading the country with 3.09 blocks per set and Katie Post is leading the way. The junior is leading the MAC and 10th in the nation at 1.42 blocks per set and sits one block assist and 16 total blocks away from being tops on the single-season charts. She already owns both marks for a single season during the rally-scoring era.

Lexie Hartnett is also having a fine season, blocking 1.17 attacks per set, second in the MAC and 55th nationally. Faith Robins, Michelle Jantsch, Mandy Nichols and Sue Jacobi have all registered 75 blocks or more for the most prolific blocking team in the nation. As a team, the ‘Cats have broken their single-season record for block assists (571) and total blocks (386.5).

Jacobi has also been a leader on the offensive side of the net, earning the MAC Tournament MVP and finishing second in the MAC in kills and points. She is currently 18th in the nation in points per set (4.88) and 22nd in kills per set (4.22). Jacobi is 30 kills, but only 12.5 points away, from the single-season records.

Post has also been a standout offensively and she finished sixth in the MAC in hitting percentage (.340) while ranking second on the team in kills and points. She is the only player in the conference to rank among the top 10 in hitting percentage, aces, blocks and points during MAC play.

MAC Tournament
Ohio Volleyball became the first team to sweep through the MAC Tournament since 2001 and captured their third-straight conference championship with a 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-17) win over Northern Illinois.

Sue Jacobi was named the MAC Tournament MVP and Mandy Nichols was named to the All-Tournament Team after their stellar performances. Jacobi registered her 17th double-double of the season and second in a row with an 18-kill (.400), 10-dig performance and Nichols had 12 kills (.360) and three blocks. Her 12 kills was her best performance for a 14-kill effort against Eastern Michigan on October 30.

Katie Post added eight kills and five blocks while Faith Robins added five kills, three blocks and hit .364. The backline of Mollie Geske, Meryl Bender and Kelly Colyar combined for 27 digs and helped the ‘Cats out-dig NIU by 11 for the match. Michelle Jantsch finished her MAC career with an outstanding tournament, hitting .400, amassing 89 assists, 27 digs and 14 blocks.

As a team, the Bobcats also registered 10 total team blocks, their fourth-straight match of 10 blocks or more and ninth in the last 10. As a team, Ohio registered 4.67 blocks per set during the three matches. Ohio’s 42.0 total team blocks also ties the MAC Tournament record set by Western Michigan back in 2000.

Lexie Hartnett finished one block shy of the tournament record of 20 set by Donna Stevenson of Eastern Michigan in 1990 and matched by Angie Sillmon of Western Michigan in 2000. The Bobcats are projected to be the No. 1 blocking team in the nation when the new rankings come out this week with 3.09 rejections per set.

All-MAC Recognition
Ohio Volleyball had four players recognized at the Mid-American Conference Awards Banquet. Sue Jacobi and Katie Post were named First Team All-MAC, Michelle Jantsch was selected to the second team and Lexie Hartnett was named to the All-Freshman squad.

Jacobi was named to the First Team for the second year in row after being named the MAC East’s Offensive Player of the Week twice this season along with being named to the All-Tournament Team at the TCU Nike Invitational. Post earned her first All-MAC honor and has been named the MAC East Offensive or Defensive Player of the Week four times this season.

Jantsch was recognized by the MAC for the third-consecutive year and joined Briana Adamovsky, Stephanie Blackburn, Melissa Griffin and Ellen Herman as the only Bobcats to achieve that feat. Hartnett became the first Bobcat since Jantsch in 2007 to be named to the All-Freshman team.

NCAA Tournament History
This is the eighth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, matching Western Michigan for the longest string of consecutive appearances. The Bobcats played an Ivy League opponent, Yale, in 2008 and were defeated in five sets. Ohio is 1-0 against teams from the state of Pennsylvania with a three-set win over Pittsburgh during the first round back in 2004.

The ‘Cats have advanced to the second round on three occasions and even made the Sweet 16 back in 2005. Overall, Ohio is 4-7 in NCAA Tournament play, 1-2 under current head coach Ryan Theis. Last year, the Bobcats defeated Notre Dame in five sets before falling to host Michigan in five sets during the second round.

Defending the MAC
In conference play, Ohio is holding their opponents to some of the lowest totals across the league. Ohio opponents have the lowest number of kills (11.83), hitting percentage (.185) and digs (12.23) per set along with the second-lowest amount of assists (10.94).

Aces High
Ohio is tops in the league with 89 service aces during conference play, 1.39 per set. Nicole Staverman is second with 0.33 aces per set and Sue Jacobi is tied for fourth with teammate Katie Post at 19 aces. Jacobi leads the team with 36 aces, Post is second with 30, Michelle Jantsch has 29 and Staverman has 25. Mandy Nichols and Meryl Bender have also each recorded double-digit aces on the season.

Bobcat Program Accolades
Over the past seven years, the Bobcats have been one of the most successful and competitive teams in the nation. Some of the accolades that the team has earned include:

- Six regular-season and seven MAC Tournament titles in the last eight years
- Eight-consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship, tied for the second-longest streak in MAC history
- 27-8 (.771) postseason record since 2003 - NCAA regional semifinalist in 2005, qualified for second round three times
- One of 10 teams nationally to rank among the top 26 in RPI during the last four seasons
- One of 12 teams to qualify for the NCAA Tournament and receive an AVCA Team Academic Award

Rally-Scoring Career Records
Currently five Bobcats are among the top-10 in a statistical category for their careers

Sue Jacobi
74 block solos (third)
1,175 kills (seventh)
1,375.0 points (sixth)
3,013 attacks (fifth)

Michelle Jantsch
4,681 assists (second)
125 service aces (third, two away from second)
940 digs (eighth)
209 block assists (10th)
242 total blocks (10th)

Katie Post
271 block assists (seventh)
312 total blocks (seventh)
62 service aces (10th, three away from ninth
41 block solos (10th, three away from ninth)

Meryl Bender
214 assists (sixth)
862 digs (10th)

Nicole Staverman
62 service aces (10th, three away from ninth)

Penn
Penn has won 13 of 14 and enters the match at 17-10 after clinching the team's second straight Ivy Championship and postseason appearance with a 3-2 victory over Yale. Penn is the only team in the Ivy League to have two players average over 3.00 kills per set during the regular season. Julia Swanson led the team with 3.33 kills per set while Lauren Martin hit 3.00 per set. Amanda Pacheco was third on the team cranking out 2.59 kills per set and hitting a team-high .347.

Duke
Duke will make its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and ACC-leading 16th NCAA postseason trip overall. Led by ACC Player of the Year Kellie Catanach and ACC Coach of the Year Jolene Nagel, the Blue Devils (24-6, 16-4 ACC) won the ACC Championship and own the No. 13 spot in the NCAA RPI. The Blue Devils have advanced into the second round of the NCAA Championship in four of the past five seasons.

High Point
The Panthers advanced to the NCAA Tournament after winning the program's first Big South volleyball title. HPU swept Liberty 3-0 in the championship match with a double-double from Tournament MVP Audie Gonzalez and 12 kills from All-Tournament Team member Megan Smith (Bellbrook, Ohio). Freshman Maddie Simpson contributed 33 assists, seven digs and three blocks and was also named to the All-Tournament Team.

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