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Pawprints: The Week Ahead in Ohio Athletics 

Pawprints: The Week Ahead in Ohio Athletics 

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ATHENS, Ohio – It's an action-packed week for Ohio Athletics with eight teams in action over the course of six days.

The week includes the celebration of the 150th anniversary of college football with a 'Battle of the Bricks' matchup between longtime Mid-American Conference rivals Ohio and Miami on Wednesday (Nov. 6) at 8 p.m. ET inside Peden Stadium. The men's and women's basketball teams begin their 2019-20 regular seasons, while the soccer and field hockey teams will both be competing in their respective MAC tournaments. The volleyball team returns to Athens, while the swimming & diving and wrestling teams compete in front of home fans for the first time this year.  

The eyes of the college football universe will be on Athens, Ohio, on Wednesday as the football team (4-4, 3-1 MAC) begins MACtion by welcoming East Division archrival Miami (4-4, 3-1 MAC) to Peden Stadium for a nationally televised showdown on ESPN2. Kickoff for the 'Battle of the Bricks' is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. If you have yet to purchase them, you can get your tickets here

Ohio will be joining the MAC, the NCAA and ESPN in celebrating the 150th anniversary of college football in 2019, as the contest against the RedHawks is being played on the 150th anniversary of the first-ever college football game. Ohio will look to make history that day with a call to students and fans to create the first-ever sellout of a MAC midweek game. The celebration will include one enrolled Ohio University student in attendance winning free tuition for the spring 2020 semester as well as a pregame student tailgate inside Walter Fieldhouse.

Matt Barrie, Desmond Howard and Holly Rowe will have the call of Wednesday's game on ESPN2. The contest can also be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 12th season as the "Voice of the Bobcats." Ohio Alum Rob Cornelius has been a part of the broadcasts for two decades. WXTQ (Power 105) in Athens returns as the 11-station network's flagship. The broadcasts are also available online through TuneIn.com/OhioBobcats and on the TuneIn app.

The men's basketball team officially opens the 2019-20 season under first-year head coach Jeff Boals on the road on Tuesday (Nov. 5) when the Bobcats head to St. Bonaventure, N.Y. to take on St. Bonaventure. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN+. Ohio then returns to Athens on Saturday (Nov. 9) to face off with Heidelberg. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. ET inside the Convocation Center. If you can't catch either game, they can be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 12th season as the "Voice of the Bobcats" and will be joined by Ohio Alum Rob Cornelius. WXTQ (Power 105) in Athens returns as the 11-station network's flagship. The broadcasts are also available online through TuneIn.com/OhioBobcats and on the TuneIn app. Fans can purchase tickets here.

The women's basketball team also opens the 2019-20 season on Tuesday (Nov. 5) when it heads to Syracuse, N.Y. to take on No. 21 Syracuse. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET inside the Carrier Dome. The Bobcats return to Athens on Sunday (Nov. 10) to take on American. Game time is set for 1 p.m. ET inside the Convocation Center and can be seen on ESPN+. Fans can purchase tickets here.

The field hockey team (8-7) opens play in the 2019 MAC Tournament on Thursday (Nov. 7). The third-seeded Bobcats will take on either No. 6-seeded Appalachian State (9-8, 1-5 MAC) or No. 7-seeded Central Michigan (2-16, 0-6 MAC) in the 2019 Mid-American Conference Championship Quarterfinals on Thursday (Nov. 7) at 1:30 p.m. ET at Miami University Field Hockey Field in Oxford, Ohio.

The volleyball (13-12, 5-7 MAC) team is back in Athens on Thursday (Nov. 7) when it hosts Kent State (12-12, 5-7 MAC) at 7 p.m. ET inside the Convocation Center. The Bobcats will then be back in action on Saturday against Central Michigan (20-4, 10-2 MAC). Game time is set for 6 p.m. ET inside the Convocation Center. Fans can purchase tickets here.    

The No. 6-seeded soccer team (11-8-1) heads to Bowling Green, Ohio, for the 2019 MAC Championship Semifinals. Ohio will take on No. 7-seeded Eastern Michigan (6-11-2) on Friday, Nov. 8. With a victory, Ohio would move to the finals to take on Bowling Green (12-5-2) or Buffalo (8-7-3) on Sunday.

The swimming & diving team will be in Athens for the first time during the 2019-20 regular season on Saturday when it takes on defending MAC champion Akron. The meet is set to begin at 1 p.m. ET at the Ohio University Aquatics Center. 

The wrestling team also makes its home debut on Sunday when its hosts Campbell. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on ESPN+.

FOOTBALL
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 | vs. Miami | 8 p.m. EST | Peden Stadium | Athens, Ohio. | ESPN2 | Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College | TuneIn | Live Stats | Game Notes | Tickets

Wednesday's game marks the 96th meeting on the gridiron between the Bobcats and the RedHawks. Miami holds a 53-40-2 lead in the all-time series, but Ohio has won 11 of the last 13 matchups, including six in a row at Peden Stadium. The Bobcats will be looking to avenge a 30-28 loss to the RedHawks in the previous meeting, which took place Nov. 7, 2018, in Oxford, Ohio. The winner of Wednesday's matchup will take control of the first place in the MAC East Division.

Frank Solich is 110-79 during his tenure as head coach of the Bobcats. His 110 victories are the second-most in program history behind behind Don Peden (1924-46; 121). With one more win, Solich will pass Herb Deromedi (110, Central Michigan, 1978-93) for the most by a MAC head coach. Ohio has gone 73-43 in conference play since Solich's arrival in Athens. His 73 MAC wins rank second to Deromedi's 90.

In its last game, Ohio piled up a season-high 316 rushing yards to beat Ball State, 34-21, in a battle of MAC leaders that was played in a driving rain on Oct. 26 at Scheumann Stadium in Muncie, Ind. The Bobcats boasted a pair of 100-yard rushers, with senior quarterback Nathan Rourke (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) leading the way with a season-high 127 and two rushing touchdowns. He recorded his eighth career 100-yard rushing game and has now scored 44 career rushing touchdowns, which is good for third-most in program history. Rourke was named the MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week for week nine of the 2019 season after his performance at Ball State. He was recognized with weekly conference honors for the second week in a row, third time this season and ninth time in his career. Rourke was also recognized as the MAC Male Scholar Athlete of the Week for the second time this season. 

MEN'S BASKETBALL
Tuesday, Nov. 5 | at St. Bonaventure | 7:30 p.m. ET | Reilly Center | St. Bonaventure, N.Y. | Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College | TuneIn | Live Stats | ESPN+ 
Saturday, Nov. 9 | vs. Heidelberg | 1 p.m. ET | Convocation Center | Athens, Ohio | Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College | TuneIn | Live Stats | ESPN3 | Tickets

The 113th season of Ohio men's basketball tips off on Tuesday (Nov. 5) at St. Bonaventure under first-year head coach Jeff Boals. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. inside the Reilly Center.  

This is the 13th all-time meeting between the Bobcats and St. Bonaventure, with the Bonnies holding the all-time series lead, 8-4. Ohio and St. Bonaventure last meet on Dec. 5, 2015 at St. Bonaventure, with the Bonnies winning, 81-68.

The Bobcats finished last season with a 14-17 record and a 6-12 Mid-American Conference mark. Ohio fell in the first round of the MAC Tournament to No. 7 seed Northern Illinois. 

 St. Bonaventure enters the 2019-20 season after finishing last year with an 18-16 overall record and a 12-6 MAC in the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies finished last season in the A10 Championship game, falling to St. Louis, 55-53. Last season, St. Bonaventure averaged 66.2 points per game, while shooting .429 from the field, .328 from three-point range and .742 from the free throw line. St. Bonaventure averaged 34.8 rebounds per game, while dishing out 12.3 assists per game, tallying 5.9 steals per game and 5.8 blocks per contest. The Bonnies return sophomore Kyle Loften who averaged 14.4 points per game, while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from three-point range. The Bonnies look to replace leading scorer Courtney Stockard who averaged 15.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. 

St. Bonaventure is coming off of a 90-45 victory over Alfred in an exhibition match up on Oct. 30.  Alejandro Vasquez scored a game-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor. Bobby Planutis (11 points), Robert Carpenter (10) and Alpha Okoli (10) all scored in double figures as well.

The Bobcats return seven from last season, including redshirt senior guard Jordan Dartis – who missed all of last season due to an injury - and MAC Freshman of the Year, Ben Vander Plas. Ohio also returns Jason PrestonNate SpringsConnor MurrellJohn Tenerowicz, and Mason McMurray. Bobcat fans will also see seven new faces on the court this season, grad transfer from Georgia Tech, Sylvester Ogbonda (Part Harcourt, Nigeria) and six freshman including Michael Brown, Jr. (Rochester, N.Y.), Ben Roderick (Powell, Ohio), Lunden McDay (Akron, Ohio), Nolan Foster, (Mattawan, Mich.), Miles Brown (Rochester, N.Y.), and Marvin Price (Baltimore, Md.).

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Tuesday, Nov. 5 | at #21 Syracuse | 8 p.m. ET | Carrier Dome | Syracuse, N.Y. | Live Stats | Audio | ESPN+
Sunday, Nov. 10 | vs. American | 1 p.m. ET | Convocation Center | Athens, Ohio | Live Stats | Audio | ESPN+Tickets

The Ohio Women's Basketball - who received one vote in the preseason AP Poll - will open the season at No. 21 Syracuse on Tuesday before hosting the home opener against American on Sunday. Ohio took down Walsh in an exhibition, 83-77 on Saturday. 

Cece Hooks and Erica Johnson were named preseason All-MAC East. Hooks appears on the preseason All-MAC East team for the second-straight season. Hooks was the MAC Defensive Player of the Year last season and was also first-team All-MAC, MAC All-Defensive team and MAC All-Tournament team. Hooks broke her own single season steals record last season when she finished with 112, and is Ohio's 16th 1,000-point scorer, becoming the second-fastest to hit that mark. Last week, she was named to the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year watch list. Johnson was the 2018-19 MAC Freshman and Sixth Player of the Year and was also third-team All-MAC and a member of the MAC All-Freshman team. Johnson averaged 13.9 points per game last year and shot 41.9 percent. Johnson had a career-high 26 points and a career-high 16 rebounds against Northern Illinois on the road.

Preseason Coaches' Poll. OU was selected as the regular season, east division and tournament champion. Ohio earned all 12 of the MAC East Division first place votes and finished with 72 points. Ohio received all 12 votes to win the 2020 MAC regular season title and 10 votes to win the 2020 MAC Tournament. Buffalo and Northern Illinois also received one vote to win the MAC Tournament.

FIELD HOCKEY
Thursday, Nov. 7 | vs. Central Michigan or Appalachian State | Mid-American Conference Quarterfinals | 1:30 p.m. ET | Miami University Field Hockey Field | Oxford, Ohio | Live Stats | Watch

Ohio field hockey (8-7, 4-2) heads to Oxford, Ohio to take part in the MAC Field Hockey Championship, with their first match against the winner of Central Michigan and Appalachian State on Thursday, Nov. 7. The Bobcats have wins over both the Chippewas and Mountaineers, winning 6-1 and 6-5, respectively.

With Ohio's win against Ball State in the MAC Tournament last season, the Bobcats look to win at least one MAC Tournament games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2008-2009. A victory on Thursday teams puts the Bobcats in the MAC semi-finals against host Miami on Friday, Nov. 8 at 2:30 p.m. 

VOLLEYBALL
Thursday, Nov. 7  | vs. Kent State | 7 p.m. ET | Athens, Ohio | Convocation Center | Live Stats | ESPN3 | Tickets 
Saturday, Nov. 9 | vs. Central Michigan | 6 p.m. ET | Athens, Ohio | Convocation Center | Live Stats | ESPN+ | Tickets

Ohio volleyball returns home to face Kent State and Central Michigan after spending six of the last eight weeks on the road. The Bobcats dropped two matches on the road last weekend. 

Sophomore libero Emma Tupa (Brecksville, Ohio) was named MAC East Co-Defensive Player of the Week after an impressive weekend. Tupa averaged 7.43 digs per set and totaled 52 digs in seven sets. Tupa had her career-high in digs with 31 against Miami, and then followed it up with 21 scoops–her second-highest total of her career–in three sets against Bowling Green. Tupa did not commit a reception error over the weekend and also added an ace against Miami.

Junior setter Vera Giacomazzi is No. 2 in the nation total assists with 1,102. Giacomazzi is No. 11 in the country in assists per set with 11.36.

SOCCER
Friday, Nov. 8 | vs. No. 7 Eastern Michigan | Mid-American Conference Semifinals | 7 p.m. ET | Cochrane Soccer Stadium | Bowling Green, Ohio | Live Stats | Watch

The Ohio soccer team (11-8-1) continues postseason play in the 2019 MAC Tournament Semifinals. No. 6 Ohio is set to take on No. 7 Eastern Michigan (7-11-2) at Bowling Green's Cochrane Soccer Stadium on Friday, Nov. 8. First touch for the Bobcats and Eagles is set for 7 p.m.

Ohio played No. 3 Western Michigan on Sunday in the first round of the MAC tournament. The Bobcats defeated the Broncos 2-0, securing their spot in the semifinals.

During the regular season, Ohio was victorious over the Eagles, winning the match 1-0. The Bobcat's Sydney Leckie scored the only point of the game in the 73rd minute. 

Eastern Michigan enters the matchup against the Bobcats with an 7-11-2 overall record and a 5-6-0 record in MAC play. The Eagles defeated No. 2 Ball State in the 2019 MAC tournament quarterfinals on Sunday. This season, Eastern Michigan has scored 28 goals, while allowing 42 goals against. The Eagles have recorded 295 shots, with 148 of them on goal for a .502 shots on goal percentage. 

Individually, Lindsey Shira leads Eastern Michigan with six goals and three assists, totaling 15 points. Sabrina McNeill follows with 14 points from seven goals. In net, Mabel Dunn has seen the most action, playing in 13 games while allowing 29 goals and making 70 saves in 1,149 minutes on the pitch.

SWIMMING AND DIVING
Saturday, Nov. 9 | vs. Akron | 1 p.m. ET | Athens, Ohio | Ohio University Aquatics Center

Ohio swimming and diving hits the pool after a weekend off from competition, as the host the Akron Zips at the Ohio University Aquatics Center. The Bobcats come off a road loss to Bowling Green, 174-126 on Friday, Oct. 25. 

The Bobcats saw impressive finishes from many swimmers, including junior Katherine Garrity (Eagan, Minn.), who took first place in the 1000-yard Freestyle with a time of 10:25.21, and also winning the 500-yard Freestyle with a time of 5:07.29. Senior Emilia Lahtinen (Ylojarvi, Finland) took first-place in the 100-yard Breaststroke, with a time of 1:05.68. Junior Samantha Glass (Villa Hills, Ky.) contributed nine points for Ohio's cause with a first-place finish in the 200-yard Butterfly, clocking in at 2:06.77.

WRESTLING
Sunday, Nov. 10 | vs. Campbell | 4 p.m. ET | Athens, Ohio | Convocation Center | ESPN+

The wrestling team team turned in six top-five finishes as it opened the 2019-20 season at the Michigan State Open last Saturday (Nov. 2) at Jenison Field House in East Lansing, Mich. Four Bobcats earned top three-finishes in the freshman/sophomore division while two others placed in the top five in the open division. Redshirt sophomore Alec Hagan (Eureka, Mo.) earned a fourth-place finish at 149 pounds in the open division. Redshirt junior Mario Guillen (Perrysburg, Ohio) took fifth at 133 pounds in the open division. In his debut as a Bobcat, freshman Carson Brewer (Avon, Ind.) won the 184-pound freshman/sophomore division title. Two Bobcats notched second-place finishes in their respective weight classes in the freshman/sophomore division, with freshman Shawn Mondello (Oxford, Ohio) finishing as the runner-up at 157 and redshirt freshman Jordan Earnest(Wadsworth, Ohio) placing as the runner-up at 285. In the 174-pound freshman/sophomore division, sophomore Logan Stanley (Fredericksburg, Ohio) took third.

The Bobcats faced Campbell in their first dual meet of the 2018-19 season, falling to the Camels by a score of 19-13.

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