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Ohio forward Alexis Milesky falls to the ground while attempting to block a ball kicked by Cleveland State's Allie Sieradzki during a game at Chessa Field on Aug. 30, 2015.

Sports: Athletes to watch

The Post sports staff put together a list of athletes to watch this Fall

Football

Andrew Gillis | Assistant Sports Editor

Player to watch: Wide Receiver: Sebastian Smith

It would have been easy to select linebacker Quentin Poling, but Sebastian Smith might be the most important player on the Bobcats this season.

Named to the preseason Biletnikoff Award watch list, an award given to the nation’s best receiver, Smith is entering his senior season looking to break out on the national stage.

A strong senior season could net a mid-round draft pick for the 6-foot-3 senior, who will be the centerpiece of this year's passing attack.

Volleyball

Nick Kairys | For The Post

Player to watch: Libero: Erica Walker

Although it will be tough to replace the full-extension dives, lighting-quick reflexes and a gritty defensive mind of Meredith Ashy, her competitive spirit will continue through sophomore libero Erica Walker.

As a freshman, Walker appeared in all 33 matches last season and ranked third on the team in assists with 41 and fourth in digs with 270. Just like MAC opponents game-planned to hit away from Ashy throughout her tenure, Walker is becoming a defensive factor worth avoiding. With only one collegiate season under her belt, Walker already has the experience to prove it.

Hockey

Jordan Horrobin | Staff Writer

Player to watch: Matt Rudin

No freshmen impacted Ohio as immediately or as significantly last season as forward Matt Rudin.

After splitting ice time early on, he rose quickly up the Bobcat depth chart and settled into a spot on the second line. When the top line had a gap, either due to a suspension or injury, he filled it.

Rudin has the potential to be on the top line consistently this year, but Ohio coach Sean Hogan wouldn't provide a guarantee. His offensive numbers, however, present a fair argument.

He tied for second on the team in goals with 18 and was fifth in points with 30. Look for Rudin to see more time on Ohio's top line, create highlight-worthy goals and possibly lead the team in points.

Field Hockey

Janie Dulaney | For The Post

Player to watch: Kristen Buchanan

Kristen Buchanan is likely to be a clear-cut leader and set an example for a team with a lot of potential.

Last season Buchanan racked up nine points and finished the season with seven assists, showing in her statistics that she is a “pass-first” player. Unselfish players often make the best leaders, exhibiting to both peers and underclassmen that a winning season means a season filled with selfless play.

Cross Country

Joe Cooke | For The Post

Player to watch: Ellen Isaac

Senior Ellen Isaac will aim to use her experience and credentials on the field to give the Ohio University’s women's cross country team sustainable success.

Isaac won Women’s Runner of the Year at the All-Ohio Cross Country Awards after finishing above 14th in every race during the 2015 season. She was nine seconds shy of qualifying for nationals.

With eight members of last year’s team graduated, Isaac must duplicate this production in her final collegiate year if the team wants to make a run in the MAC and NCAA tournament.

Women's Golf

Jess Johnston | For The Post

Player to watch: Hailey Hrynewich

Keep an eye out for Hailey Hrynewich as the team starts the season in full swing.

Hrynewich, a senior, has a big season starting this fall with this year being her last to compete as a collegiate athlete. She hasn't missed a single events in the past two seasons, totaling 22 events and 56 rounds. Hrynewich averaged 77.88 strokes in the 2015-16 season (which was improved from her average of 78.26 strokes the previous season). She also placed sixth last season in the MAC Championships, four places higher than her 10th place finish in the 2014 season.

The Bobcats will start their season in early September.

Soccer

Kellen Becoats | For The Post

Player to watch: Alexis Milesky

Anyone who has watched the team since coach Aaron Rodgers came to Athens is immediately drawn to Alexis Milesky's play.

Her attacking senses and intensity will only burn brighter for her senior season, and she is one of Ohio's only players that can create her own shot and actively makes defenses worry about her at all times.

She was second on the team in goals last season with four, and her relationship with her sister, Alivia — who will be a freshman with the Bobcats this season — could be underrated. Stephanie Rowland's loss will be huge for Ohio, but watch for Alexis Milesky to be the star in her final season in Athens.

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