Rodnei Santos enters his third season as an assistant coach for the Ohio volleyball program under sixth-year head coach Deane Webb in 2019.
Santos helped put four on the All-MAC team with three - Vera Giacomazzi, Tia Jimerson and Lizzie Stephens - making the first team while Jamie Kosiorek made the second team. Giacomazzi was fourth in the league in assists per set at 9.44 but led the MAC in assists in a conference match with 11.25. Jimerson was third on the team in kills with 193 and had double-digit kills 10 times. Stephens was fourth in the MAC in service aces with 50 while averaging 2.86 kills per set. Santos helped place seven - Vera Giacomazzi, Meredith Howe, Sara Januszewski, Jamie Kosiorek, Stehpanie Olman, Macy Reihing and Lizzie Stephens - on the Academic All-MAC team. Kosiorek became the all-time leader in service aces in 2018 during the rally scoring era with 173 during the season after posting 53, the third-highest total for a season during the rally scoring era at Ohio. Kosiorek also put up 1,380 kills in her career, good for seventh all-time. Ohio finished 13-18 overall and 7-9 in MAC play during the 2018 season.
In Santos' first season on the bench in Athens, the Bobcats battled through numerous injuries in 2017 to finish 17-15 -- including a 10-6 mark in MAC play. Ohio earned the No. 4 seed in the 2017 MAC Championship and a bye to the tournament quarterfinals. Ohio topped Eastern Michigan, 3-1, to advance to the league tournament semifinals for the 16th year in a row. The non-conference schedule was highlighted by an exciting 3-2 come-from-behind win over Big 12 Conference foe Oklahoma on Sept. 1 in the 2017 Bobcat Invitational presented by Texas Roadhouse. Ohio overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Sooners. Ohio saw eight matches go to five sets and pulled out wins in five of those contests. The signature win of MAC play was a 3-2 thriller over eventual regular season and league tournament champion Miami on Sept. 29 at the Convocation Center.
As a team, the 2017 squad's 183 service aces rank as the fourth-most in the rally scoring era in program history while its 1.50 service aces per set and 4,531 attacks both rank sixth, its 1,940 digs rank seventh and its 15.90 digs per set rank 10th.
Ohio was well represented on the 2017 All-Mid-American Conference awards list. Freshman setter Vera Giacomazzi was named MAC Setter of the Year, freshman middle blocker Tia Jimerson was named MAC Freshman of the Year and sophomore outside hitter Lizzie Stephens was named First Team All-MAC. Giacomazzi and Jimerson joined Stephens in garnering First Team All-MAC laurels and also represented the Bobcats on the All-MAC Freshman Team. Giacomazzi became the second player in program history to be named MAC Setter of the Year, joining Abby Gilleland (2013, '14). She ranked second in the MAC and 30th in the country with 1,278 assists (10.56 per set; fourth in the MAC) -- the most assists in a single season by an Ohio freshman in the rally scoring era in program history, the ninth-most assists by any player in the rallying scoring era and the 10th-most by any player in overall history of the program. Jimerson became the fourth player in program history to be named MAC Freshman of the Year, joining Amanda Andersen (2005), Ellen Herman (2006) and Meredith Ashy (2012). She ranked fourth in the MAC and 59th in the country with a .358 attack percentage (409 kills-112 errors-829 total attacks), which tied for the third-best hitting percentage in a single season in the rally scoring era and tied for fifth in the overall history of the program. Her 409 kills ranked as the fourth-most in the MAC. Her 25 solo blocks tied for the seventh-most in the rally scoring era of the program. Stephens led the MAC and ranked 66thin the country with 443 kills, which ranks as the eighth-most in a single season in the rally scoring era of the program's history. Her 1,437 attacks rank as the third-most in both the rally scoring era and overall history of the program, and her 85 attacks against High Point on Sept. 2 in the 2017 Bobcat Invitational presented by Texas Roadhouse rank as the second-most in a match in program history. She set a rally scoring era program record with 60 service aces (fourth-most overall in program history), which led the MAC and ranked fifth in the nation. Her 0.49 service aces per set ranked as the best in the rally scoring era in program history, first in the MAC and sixth in the country.
Giacomazzi and Jimerson weren't the only rookie Bobcats to enjoy strong debuts at Ohio. Freshman libero Macy Reihing compiled 484 digs, which ranks as the eighth-most in a single season in the rally scoring era and 10th-most overall in program history. Her 4.14 digs per set rank as the ninth-most in a single season in the rally scoring era of the program's history.
Outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek tallied her 1,000th career kill in Ohio's 3-0 sweep of Murray State in the 2017 season opener on Aug. 25 at the Courtyard By Marriott Invitational in Birmingham, Ala. Unfortunately, she suffered a season-ending injury on Aug. 29 at Dayton. Kosiorek received a medical redshirt, however, and is expected to return to the court for the Bobcats for one final season in 2018. She will enter 2018 ranking ninth in the rally scoring era in program history with 1,038 kills (3.02 kills per game; seventh in the rally scoring era in program history). Her 120 career service aces rank third in the rally scoring era and ninth overall in program history while her 0.35 service aces per set rank second in the rally scoring era.
Redshirt senior middle blocker Ali Lake wrapped up her Ohio career with a .263 career hitting percentage (586 kills-227 errors-1,364 total attacks), which ranks as the seventh-best hitting percentage in the rally scoring era of the program.
The Bobcats placed five student-athletes on the 2017 Academic All-MAC Team -- junior setter/outside hitter Stephanie Olman, redshirt sophomore outside hitter Carley Remmers, sophomore libero Meredith Howe, sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Sara Januszewski and sophomore outside hitter/libero Allyson Vaughn. Olman received Academic All-MAC recognition for the second year in a row while Remmers, Howe, Januszewski and Vaughn all earned honors for the first time in their careers. Howe also garnered MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete distinction for the first time in her career.
Santos spent the 2016 season on the Oregon State coaching staff. He arrived in Corvallis after spending three seasons as an assistant coach at Bowling Green. He helped mentor three players who earned First Team All-Mid-American Conference honors. The Falcons tallied 17 Academic All-MAC selections during his time at Bowling Green. Santos joined the Bowling Green program after two seasons as a volunteer assistant and graduate assistant at Central Michigan. In his first season with the Chippewas, the school made its first ever NCAA Championship appearance in 2011. Santos has also served as a head coach of the CT Impact Volleyball Club and as an assistant coach with John Jay High School.
Santos played two seasons at Pepperdine, averaging 2.21 kills and 1.27 blocks per set over 52 career matches. He was named to the MPSF All-Academic Team both seasons. He transferred to Pepperdine after one season at BYU in 2007. Appearing in 25 matches, he averaged 1.63 kills per set and hit .402 on the year. In 2009, Santos ranked fourth in the nation with 1.45 blocks per set.
Santos graduated from Pepperdine in 2010 with a bachelor of arts in psychology and sociology. He also has a master of arts in sport administration from Central Michigan in 2013.
Santos is married to the former Laura Debruler, who is entering her first season as director of operations on Webb's staff in 2017.