Oct. 15, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’s back to life on the road for #22 Ohio State Women’s Volleyball, venturing to the Hoosier State this weekend for a Friday night match vs. the Hoosiers and Saturday night showdown at #14 Purdue. Both contests are set to begin at 7 p.m. ET. BTN Plus subscribers can view Saturday’s match streamed live online while a free live audio broadcast will be provided by IUHoosiers.com (link also available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com).
HISTORY WITH THE HOOSIERS AND BOILERMAKERS
Ohio State owns a 48-26 advantage in the all-time series with Indiana. Recent history has been in favor of the Buckeyes as well, winners of seven straight over the Hoosiers. The all-time series edge between OSU and Purdue, and potentially first place in the Big Ten, is on the line Saturday night in West Lafayette. Ohio State and the Boilers have split the previous 82 meetings (41-41) on the volleyball court.
WRITING 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.
DIGGING THE DEFENSE
Valeria León is the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. She averaged 3.44 digs, .56 aces and 1.11 assists per set as the Buckeyes tallied two more wins over top-25 teams in the past week. León served as the libero, picking up a dozen digs versus #15 Illinois and 19 more against #24 Northwestern. She played a major role in the service game as well. On the offensive, León fired a total of five aces, at least two in each. She also successfully handled 53 service receptions with no errors.
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 wilde come-from-behind triumph.
CAMPBELL, BUCKEYES GARNER NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Two days after earning Player of the Week honors from the Big Ten Conference (details below), Elizabeth Campbell garnered the same recognition on a national level as ESPNW’s National Player of the Week. Ohio State then cracked the AVCA Top-25 for the first time in 2014, coming in at #22.
BIG TEN’s BEST FOR THE WEEK OF OCT. 6
The Big Ten Conference recognized a pair of Ohio State women’s volleyball players on Monday (Oct. 6) for their efforts over the weekend in guiding OSU to road wins at Iowa and No. 8 Nebraska. Elizabeth Campbell was tabbed the Big Ten Player of the Week while Taylor Sherwin collected her third career Big Ten Setter of the Week honor.
Campbell performed on both sides of the net, averaging 4.38 kills and 3.62 digs per set while swinging at a .308 clip; all team highs. Her 23 kills are the most by any opponent against the Huskers this season. Sherwin tallied 95 assists (11.88/set) over the weekend, evenly distributing the ball to four different OSU attackers with 17 or more kills. She did more than just assist, however, providing 2.75 digs per set, including 19 in Lincoln.
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 last week. 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.
THE BIG TEN GAUNTLET
Seven Big Ten teams are ranked in this week’s AVCA Division I Coaches Poll, including No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 7 Penn State, No. 13 Nebraska, No.14 Purdue, No. 15 Illinois, No. 22 Ohio State and No. 23 Minnesota. In addition, Michigan and Northwestern are receiving votes.
THE GREAT WALL OF SANDBOTHE
Taylor Sandbothe ranks third in the Big Ten Conference with 1.32 blocks per set, trailing only the Trapp sisters from Minnesota. Her blocking rate is amongst the nation’s elite as well, ranking 36th in all of Division-I volleyball. The Buckeye can also be found in the conference statistical rankings for points/set (3.95; 8th) and attacking percentage (.352; 10th).
Taylor Sherwin has racked up a half dozen double-doubles (10 or more assists and digs in a match) this season, including three in a row entering the weekend. Luisa Schirmer has contributed heavily on both sides of the net as well, posting kill-dig double-doubles four times. Elizabeth Campbell is not far behind with three double-dubs and Erin Sekinger has posted one.