ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio volleyball team reported back to Athens for its 2017 preseason on Sunday (Aug. 6) and held its first practices on Tuesday (Aug. 8) at the Convocation Center.
"We're glad to be back in the gym," said fourth-year head coach Deane Webb. "We will have two individual and small group training sessions today, followed by our first team training session this evening. Our team had an outstanding summer, reaching the highest percentage of their summer goals of any year that I've been here. I'm looking forward to seeing the same level of work in the gym as we strive to reach our on-court potential."
The Bobcats return 11 student-ahtletes from the 2016 squad that won 16 matches overall and 11 in Mid-American Conference play. Ohio advanced to the conference tournament semifinal for the 15th year in a row.
Redshirt senior middle blocker Ali Lake (Liberty Township, Ohio) is back after earning First Team All-MAC honors last year. She ranked third on the team with a career-high 293 kills (2.69 per set) and also ranked second with 50 total blocks (six solo, 44 assisted; 0.46 per set). Senior outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) garnered All-MAC Honorable Mention in 2016 after leading the team with 31 service aces (0.28 per set) and ranking second with a career-high 360 kills (3.21 per set). Her 991 kills rank ninth in the rally scoring era in program history while her 115 service aces are tied for ninth overall in program history and tied for third in the rally scoring era. Junior setter/outside hitter Stephanie Olman (Maumee, Ohio) returns after leading the team and ranking third in the MAC with a career-high 1,065 assists. Redshirt junior middle blocker Katie Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan), junior outside hitter Simone Miller (Kalamazoo, Mich.), redshirt sophomore middle blocker Natalie Burchesky (Canonsburg, Pa.), redshirt sophomore outside hitter Carley Remmers (Filley, Neb.), sophomore libero Meredith Howe (Grand Rapids, Mich.), sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Sara Januszewski (Oak Creek, Wis.), sophomore outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Frisco, Texas) and sophomore outside hitter/libero Allyson Vaughn (Glenview, Ill.) are also back for Ohio in 2017.
Ohio welcomes four freshmen for 2017 -- middle blocker Dahlias Bouyer (Brownstown, Mich.),setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy), middle blocker Tia Jimerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) and libero Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.). The class received High Honorable Mention from PrepVolleyball.com.
Ohio has gone 64-28 (.696) in three seasons under the direction of Webb -- including 40-8 in the MAC play. The Bobcats won a MAC regular season title with a perfect 16-0 league year in 2014, then captured the conference tournament title in 2015.
Ohio's 2017 preseason schedule features a scrimmage against Wheeling Jesuit on Aug. 17. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. ET start at the Convo. The Bobcats will also hold their annual Green & White Scrimmage at the Convocation Center on Aug. 19. Action gets underway at 3 p.m. ET. Before the match, the team will host a free clinic for children in kindergarten through sixth grade from 1-2 p.m. ET.