Friday Flashback: Wissler powers Ohio State to 1991 Final Four

April 10, 2020
Leisa Wissler volleyball

Leisa Wissler

Wasilla’s Leisa Wissler was a big deal in the Big Ten from 1988 to 1991.

The Ohio State University volleyball star was a powerful presence at net, a booming hitter and devastating blocker who could also play the back row and serve.

Wissler was named Big Ten Player of the Year in 1991 and Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1988. She was voted all-conference as a sophomore, junior and senior.

Her 1991 season was especially epic as Ohio State made the Final Four and Wissler was named AVCA All-American and the school’s Female Athlete of the Year.

The Buckeyes finished 30-4 her final year and won 27 straight matches, marching all the way to the NCAA Tournament semifinals before losing to UCLA.

Ohio State posted a 20-0 record in the Big Ten, winning 17 matches by three-game sweep.

Wissler, of Wasilla High fame, still ranks top-10 in school history in six all-time categories despite playing 30 years ago.

9th Kills (1,428)
9th Attack Percentage (.287)
10th Aces (133)
4th Digs (1,341)
3rd Solo Blocks (87)
10th Total Blocks (385)

She played professionally for the San Diego Spikers of the National Volleyball Association.

In 1999, Wissler was honored by Sports Illustrated as one of Alaska’s 50 greatest sports figures of the 20th century.

In 2001, she was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Friday Flashback is a series created by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame blog editor Van Williams that looks back on great Alaska athletes from the past. To read about other Alaskans featured in this series, click here.