Ohio Volleyball Selected to Win MAC

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20130906_Volleyball_BocatsvsDayton_01The Ohio volleyball team was selected to return as the Mid-American Conference regular season favorite and preferred tournament champions in the conference’s preseason coaches’ poll Thursday.

After receiving ten first-place votes, the Bobcats are tabbed as the favorite to win the MAC East division. Miami followed, receiving two votes to win the division.

The ‘Cats are also the preferred pick to win the MAC regular season title with ten first-place votes.

Northern Illinois received seven votes for first place to win the MAC West division and one vote for regular season championship honors. Western Michigan, defending MAC tournament champion, came in second with five of the votes.

Ohio, the 2014 regular season champions, will host the MAC championship for the second consecutive season at the Convocation Center.

Deane Webb returns as head coach of the Bobcats for his second year. Last year Webb guided the ‘Cats to a perfect 16-0 in the MAC, and an overall record of 23-6.

Three student-athletes were placed on the 2015 Preseason All-MAC East Division Team: senior libero Meredith Ashy, senior middle blocker Karin Bull and senior setter Abby Gilleland.

Ashy is the first Bobcat in program history to earn MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors. Last year, she led the MAC in digs per set (4.89) and recorded 528 total digs. Ashy’s 1,597 career digs ranks third in program history, and she tops program history with 4.70 digs per set.

Bull was named First Team All-MAC for the second year after previously tying her career high in total blocks with 125 (1.16 per set).  Her .332 attack percentage led the ‘Cats.

Gilleland, two-time reigning MAC Player of the Year, became the third player in program history to win two consecutive conference player of the year awards, and she is also the only player in program history to tab back-to-back MAC setter of the Year awards. Last year, she led the team with 1,149 assists (10.64 per set) and her .332 hitting percentage was recorded as the eighth-best attack percentage in a single season in program history. She will be a captain on the court for the Bobcats this year.

The Bobcats have qualified for the NCAA Championship nine of last 12 years, and they have won a MAC title in eleven of the past twelve seasons.  The Bobcats resume includes 12 East Division titles, nine MAC regular season championships and eight tournament wins over a 12-year span.

The 2015 regular season begins Friday with a 4 p.m. face-off against Austin Peay at the Mortar Board Premier Invitational hosted by Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.