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Ohio Volleyball Picked Third in MAC East, Places Three on Preseason All-MAC East Team

Ohio Volleyball Picked Third in MAC East, Places Three on Preseason All-MAC East Team

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CLEVELAND – The Ohio volleyball team was selected to finish third in the Mid-American Conference East Division in the league's 2019 preseason coaches' poll, the conference office announced on Tuesday (Aug. 27). Three players – junior setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy), senior outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) and junior middle blocker Tia Jimerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) – were named to the Preseason All-MAC East team.

The Bobcats earned one first place vote and finished with 52 points. Miami received 68 points and was picked t o win the MAC East, while Ball State was picked to win the MAC West after also receiving 68 points. Bowling Green was picked to finish second after earning two first place votes and 57 points. Buffalo was picked fourth with 33 points, Kent State finished fifth with 28 and Akron was selected sixth with 14 points. OU received one vote to win the regular season, and while Miami won the most votes with eight. Miami was also picked to win the MAC Tournament.

Stephens, who is a marketing and sport management major, was First Team All-MAC in 2018. She finished the 2018 season ranked third in the MAC and 18th in the country with 50 service aces (fourth-most in rally scoring era in program history) and fourth in the MAC and 31st in the nation with 0.43 service aces per set (tied for fifth-highest average in rally scoring era in program history). She also ranked second on the team with 335 kills (2.86 per set) and 305 digs (2.61 per set). She recorded double-digit kills 15 times and tied for second on the team with eight double-doubles. In conference play, she tallied 30 service aces and ranked second in the league with 0.50 service aces per set.

Giacomazzi, whose major is undeclared, was First Team All-MAC in 2018. She finished the season ranked third among MAC players with 1,104 assists and 9.44 assists per set. She tallied 40 or more assists in match 14 times and 50 or more four times. She also ranked fourth on the team with 225 digs (1.92 per set) and tallied double-digit digs 10 times. She finished the year tied for second on the squad with eight double-doubles. In conference play, Giacomazzi led the MAC with 675 assists and 11.25 assists per game. She was named MAC East Division Setter of the Week twice this season.

Jimerson, whose major is undeclared, was First-Team All-MAC in 2018. Jimerson played in 21 matches and appeared in 74 sets last season. Despite missing 11 matches, she was third on the team in kills with 193 and averaged 2.61 per set. She had 69 total blocks last year (18 solo, 51 assists) with 42 of those coming during MAC play. Jimerson had a team-high .304 attacking percentage last season.

The 2019 regular season begins on Friday, Aug. 30 in Green Bay, Wisconsin at the Green Bay Invite. Ohio will take on Fresno State at 1 p.m. to open the season and will take on Green Bay that night. The Bobcats will wrap up the Green Bay Invite with a match against Northeastern on Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. OU's first home match is Friday, Sept. 13 against College of Charleston at 12:30 p.m.

#BleedGreen 

EAST Division
1. Miami (9) - 68
2. Bowling Green (2) - 57
3. Ohio (1) - 52
4. Buffalo - 33
5. Kent State - 28 
6. Akron - 14
 
WEST Division
1. Ball State (10) - 68
2. Western Michigan (1) - 57
3. Eastern Michigan (1) - 43
4. Central Michigan - 39
5. Northern Illinois - 24
6. Toledo - 21
 
Regular Season Champions: Miami (8), Bowling Green (2), Ohio (1), Western Michigan (1)
 
Tournament Champions:  Miami (6), Bowling Green (4), Buffalo (1), Western Michigan (1)
 
Preseason East All-MAC Team
Polina Prokudina, Buffalo
Gaby Harper, Miami
Margaret Payne, Miami
Vera Giacomazzi, Ohio
Tia Jimerson, Ohio
Lizzie Stephens, Ohio


Preseason West All-MAC Team
Amber Seaman, Ball State
Sydnee VanBeek, Ball State
Kalina Smith, Central Michigan
Cassie Haut, Eastern Michigan
Zoe Birnbrich, Toledo
Rachel Bontrager, Western Michigan