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Oct. 23, 2014

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’s `Michigan Weekend’ at St. John Arena as the 20th-ranked Ohio State women’s volleyball program squares off with Michigan State and Michigan in consecutive evenings. The weeekend opens with OSU taking on the Spartans Friday at 7 p.m. followed by a 5:30 p.m. contest with the Wolverines on Saturday.

WEEKLY BASICS
Friday, Oct. 24 – 7 p.m. ET – Columbus, Ohio
#20 Ohio State (14-6, 5-3) vs. Michigan State (12-7, 5-3)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Video ($): BTN Plus

Saturday, Oct. 25 – 5:30 p.m. ET – Columbus, Ohio
#20 Ohio State vs. Michigan (10-8, 5-3)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Video ($): BTN Plus

GO PINK! SATURDAY NIGHT
The Buckeyes will be donning pink jerseys Saturday night against Michigan to support the efforts of Breat Cancer Awareness Month. Fans are encouraged to get in on the fun and GO PINK! The first 3,000 fans through the doors will receive free pink poms. Additional GO PINK! themes and promotions will be occuring inside St. John Arena, including pink popcorn.

HISTORY WITH THE SPARTANS AND WOLVERINES
Ohio State owns a combined record of 92-50 all-time against the pair of Big Ten schools hailing from the state up north. The Buckeyes have taken 44 of 73 meetings with Michigan State while holding a 48-21 edge over Michigan.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE
Ohio State improved to 5-0 this season inside St. John Arena following a pair of top-25 wins over #15 Illinois and #24 Northwestern two weeks ago. The Buckeyes also defended their home turf admirably Sept. 5-7, laying claim to the 9th Annual Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic trophy. The Buckeyes defeated Auburn, Florida Gulf Coast and Southern Illinois to take ownership of the hardware. Luisa Schirmer was voted the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player while Elizabeth Campbell and Taylor Sandbothe joined her on the all-tournament team.

BALANCED ATTACK IN THE BIG TEN
Eight matches into the conference schedule, three different Buckeyes can be found in the Big Ten’s top-15 for kills per set. Erin Sekinger, Elizabeth Campbell and Katie Mitchell are each putting away an average of three or more kills per set. Taylor Sherwin was distrbuted the ball to the OSU three-headed monster to the tune of 10.91 assists/set, good for third in the conference.

THE BIG TEN GAUNTLET
Seven Big Ten progams are ranked in this week’s AVCA Division I Coaches Poll, including No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 7 Penn State, No. 10 Illinois, No. 13 Purdue, No.14 Nebraska, No. 20 Ohio State and No. 25 Minnesota. In addition, Michigan is receiving votes.

SCHOOL HISTORY WITH BACK-TO-BACK-To-BACK TOP-25 VICTORIES
For the first time in school history, the Buckeyes recorded back-to-back-to-back wins with all three opponents ranked in the Top-25. It all started Oct. 4 when the Buckeyes marched into Lincoln and earned a five-set road victory over #8 Nebraska, followed by home triumphs over #15 Illinois and #24 Northwestern last week.

NEVER-SAY-DIE BUCKEYES
The dramatic fashion in which Ohio State came back to emerge victorious over #8 Nebraska and #15 Illinois in consecutive matches was monumnetal and potentially unparalleled. In total, the Buckeyes successfully fended off seven match points to erase 14-11 and 14-10 fifth-set deficits at Nebrasaka and vs. Illinois, respectively.

The Buckeyes silenced a crowd of more than 8,000 in Lincoln. The drama came to a crescendo when OSU stared a 14-11 fifth-set deficit and three match points in the face. Ohio State ripped off the next five points on the strength of Katie Mitchell’s superb service to lock in the program’s second straight win at Nebraska (3-3 all-time in Lincoln). Ohio State’s 77 kills that night are the most by any Big Ten team this season (OSU’s 74 vs. Syracuse are the second most).

The Buckeyes then faced an even more daunting deficit vs. Illinois. Buried in a 14-10 hole, Ohio State rattled off six points in a row to send the Buckeye faithful into a frenzy with a 16-14 Houdini act escaping with another wild come-from-behind triumph.