COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s volleyball team continues its road swing, traveling to Bowling Green, Ky., for the WKU Tournament, Sept. 7-8. The Buckeyes play three matches over two days, facing No. 10 Dayton, IUPUI and host Western Kentucky.
Teams: Ohio State (5-1), No. 10 Dayton (6-0), IUPUI (5-3), Western Kentucky (6-2), Tennessee Tech (1-5)
Friday, September 7
Dayton vs. Ohio State – 11 a.m.
WKU vs. Tennessee Tech – 2 p.m.
Ohio State vs. IUPUI – 5 p.m.
WKU vs. Dayton – 8 p.m.
Saturday, September 8
IUPUI vs. Tennessee Tech – 11 a.m.
WKU vs. Ohio State – 1:30 p.m.
Tennessee Tech vs. Dayton – 4 p.m.
WKU vs. IUPUI – 6:30 p.m.
RECAP: MARYLAND INVITATIONAL
Ohio State captured its first tournament crown this past weekend, winning the Maryland Invitational in College Park. The Buckeyes opened with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-20, 25-11) victory over Binghamton Friday and followed with another three-set sweep (25-21, 25-22, 25-14) over Seton Hall Saturday morning. After being down two sets to none the final match with host Maryland, Ohio State came from behind to take the team title with a 3-2 (14-25, 22-25, 25-13, 25-22, 15-5) win over the Terps.
Seniors Emily Danks and Mari Hole and junior Davionna DiSalvatore were named to the All-Tournament team with Danks earning Most Valuable Player honors. Hole led the squad with 51 total kills on the weekend, including a 25-kill performance vs. Seton Hall. Danks notched a career-high 24 kills in the team’s win over Maryland, while DiSalvatore set a career-best with 20 digs in the match.
Ohio State ranks in the top 10 of five statistical categories among Big Ten schools. The Buckeyes are fourth overall in hitting percentage at .305, while they rank sixth in assists (13.23), seventh in kills (13.86) and tenth in blocks (2.27) and service aces (1.18).
Individually, Mari Hole ranks seventh in kills per set at 4.23 and Emily Danks is ninth at 3.86. The pair also rank in points per set with Hole in eighth (4.80) and Danks in tenth (4.57). Senior Amanda Peterson is ninth in assists, averaging 9.42 per set.
MOVIN’ ON UP
A handful of Buckeyes have found their way into program history, placing themselves on a handful of Ohio State career lists.
Senior Emily Danks reached a milestone in her career in Ohio State’s 3-0 win over Toledo (8/25) as she became the 19th Buckeye to record 1,000 kills in a career. Danks is 18th overall with 1,071 kills and is 19th in attacks (2,733) and 14th in attack percentage (.273). The Round Rock, Texas, product needs 12 more service aces to break Lisa Bettio’s record of 207 set in 1985.
Danks also ranks 13th in assist blocks (245), 15th in total blocks (276), 15th in total points (1,401.5) and 18th in points per set (3.46).
Senior Mari Hole is third in kills per set (4.05) and 11th in digs per set (2.72), while senior Mariah Booth sixth in blocks per set (.98). Setters Taylor Sherwin and Amanda Peterson rank in both assist categories. Sherwin is sixth in assists per set (9.26) and 14th in total assists (667). Peterson ranks ninth in assists average (8.54) and 10th in total (1,912).
The Dayton Flyers has had a great start to the season as the team enters the weekend ranked No. 10 in both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine polls. The squad is undefeated at 6-0 with major wins over 2011 NCAA finalist and then-No. 7 Illinois in three sets to start the season and a 3-1 win over then-No. 11 Pepperdine. Both matches were held in Dayton.
Senior Rachel Krabacher leads the team in kills with 91 for a 4.55 average. Sophomore Isolde Hannan leads in blocks with 30 (1s, 29a), boasting a 1.50 average.
The Buckeyes hold a slim 11-9 advantage over the Flyers. The two teams last met late in the 2010 season. Ohio State traveled to Dayton for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and defeated the home squad, 3-2, to advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
IUPUI and the Buckeyes meet for the first time ever Friday. The Jaguars, who returned four seniors and welcomed four freshmen, stand at 5-3 in the early season.
Moriah Fair leads the team with 96 kills and averages 3.20 kills per set. Kelsey Hoefer is second on the squad with 82 kills, while Kaitlyn Hickey is third with 80. Setters Alexis Meeks and Ellyn Jones split time on the court for the squad, averaging 5.67 and 4.50 assists per set, respectively. Libero Beth Howard leads the team with a 4.73 digs average.
SCOUTING WESTERN KENTUCKY
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers enter the weekend with a 6-2 record, winning their last six matches. The squad is led by head coach Travis Hudson, who is in his 17th season with the Hilltoppers and is the program’s winningest coach.
Senior Jordyn Skinner is the squads leader offensively, having 86 kills on the season. The 2011 AVCA All-America honorable mention averages 3.19 kills per set and is second overall with a 3.44 digs average. Heather Boyan has a team-best 27 total blocks for a 1.00 average, while Melanie Stutsman leads the team with 290 assists.
The Buckeyes and the Hilltoppers have met only once before in 1978 with Ohio State winning 2-1 (16-14, 10-15, 15-3).
IN THE POLLS
The Buckeyes are still receiving votes in both the AVCA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll and in the Volleyball Magazine Top 20 Coaches Poll.
The Big Ten has six teams ranked in the AVCA poll, including No. 1 Nebraska and No. 2 Penn State. Purdue (11), Minnesota (14), Illinois (20) and Michigan (23) are also ranked.
HEAD COACH Geoff Carlston
Geoff Carlston is in his fifth year as head coach of Ohio State and is the fifth head coach in the 42-year history of the program. Under his direction, the Buckeyes have recorded three 20-win seasons and have reached the NCAA Semifinals twice (2010, 2011). He has coached AVCA All-America honorable mentions Katie Dull, Mari Hole and Emily Danks. Carlston is 82-57 overall at Ohio State and is 34-46 in Big Ten competition.
Carlston is a 1993 graduate from the University of Minnesota. Prior to Ohio State, he spent five years as head coach of Ohio University where his squads played in five NCAA tournaments and captured five-consecutive MAC titles.
BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL
The Ohio State women’s volleyball team was chosen to finish sixth as voted by the Big Ten coaches, the league announced. The Buckeyes return five starters from last year’s squad that finished seventh last season with a 9-11 conference record.
Defending Big Ten Champion Nebraska was voted as the conference favorite, while Penn State and Purdue were picked to finish second and third, respectively.
Emily Danks, a senior from Round Rock, Texas, was selected to the Preseason All-Big Ten Team. Danks enters her final year at Ohio State as a 2011 All-America honorable mention and a 2011 All-Big Ten honorable mention.
Ohio State travels to Houston for its last early season tournament, playing in the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup, Sept. 14-15. The Buckeyes open with a 4:30 p.m. match vs. No. 12 Pepperdine and follow with matches Saturday vs. No. 6 Florida State and host Houston.