ATHENS, Ohio -- Senior outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and redshirt junior middle blocker Katie Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) have been named the Ohio volleyball team's 2017 team captains, as announced by fourth-year head coach Deane Webb on Wednesday (Aug. 23).
"Jaime and Katie are off to a good start as captains of our team," said Webb. "They lead in very different ways, with each being effective. They hold each other to a high standard, and that helps our team achieve higher levels of accountability."
Kosiorek garnered All-Mid-American Conference 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). She ranked fourth in the MAC in both service aces (38; 83rd in the NCAA) and service aces per set (0.33; 120th in the NCAA; tied for ninth-most in a single season in the rally scoring era of the program) as a sophomore in 2015. Kosiorek garnered MAC All-Freshman Team selection in 2014 after leading the MAC and ranking 13th in NCAA Division I with 0.44 service aces per set (second-best in a single season in program rally scoring history) and leading the MAC and ranking 24th in NCAA Division I with a career-high 46 service aces (fourth-most in a single season in program rally scoring history). Her 991 career 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.
"Obviously, the title commands some pretty high things," said Kosiorek. "I don't really think of it as anything different. I try to lead by example and just do the best that I can and know that people are going to follow. My team's really great about my leadership style and how I lead, so it's good. I have their full support. I just know that I have to do what I do best and everything else will follow."
Nelson led the team with a career-high 91 total blocks (17 solo, 74 assisted; 0.89 per set) and ranked fourth on the team with a career-high 201 kills (1.97 per set) in 2016. She earned All-MAC Freshman Team selection in 2015 after ranking fourth on the team with 63.0 total blocks (13 solo, 50 assisted; 0.81 per set). Her 0.86 total blocks per set is tied for ninth in the rally scoring era in program history.
"It's an honor," said Nelson. "There's been some great people that have led in front of me. Being chosen and being one of the people that everybody kind of looks up to and follows, it shows that, not only do they respect me, but I respect them so much. The biggest thing I've learned is to stay true to who I am, and who I am is a big, loud, fun person that loves to goof around but can get the work done when needed."
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. Kosiorek and Nelson were members of both of those championship teams.
The Bobcats won 16 matches overall and 11 in MAC play in 2016. Ohio advanced to the conference tournament semifinal for the 15th year in a row.
Ohio opens the 2017 season in Birmingham, Ala., at the Courtyard By Marriott Invitational this weekend (Aug. 25-26) where it will take on Murray State, host Samford and Southeastern Louisiana. The Bobcats will return to the friendly confines of the Convocation Center Sept. 1-2 to play host to the annual Bobcat Invitational presented by Texas Roadhouse, welcoming Georgia, Oklahoma and High Point to Athens. Ohio's 30-match regular season slate is highlighted by four non-conference tournaments, 12 home matches at the Convocation Center and 16 MAC matchups. The Bobcats will battle five teams that ranked in the top-100 of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) in 2016 and eight 2016 NCAA Championship qualifiers.