September 14, 2016

Final Non-Conference Challenge Awaits the Buckeyes

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Sept. 14, 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 19 Ohio State University women’s volleyball team puts a bow on the 2016 pre-conference slate this weekend, venturing to Muncie, Ind., for the Ball State Active Ankle Challenge (Sept. 16-17). A double dip occurs Friday with contests vs. Valparaiso (noon ET) and UNCG (6 pm ET), followed by a tilt with the host BSU Cardinals Saturday evening at 6 pm ET.

MATCH COVERAGE
Friday, Sept. 16
Noon ET – Ohio State (7-2) vs. Valparaiso (6-5) | Live Stats
6 pm ET – Ohio State vs. UNCG (4-5) | Live Stats

Saturday, Sept. 17
6 pm ET – Ohio State at Ball State (2-9) | Live Stats

Twitter match updates | @ohiostatewvball

HISTORY WITH THE CRUSADERS, SPARTANS AND CARDINALS
Ohio State owns a combined 17-6 all-time record versus this week’s competition. Friday will mark the first ever meeting between the Buckeyes and UNCG. There is a short history with Valparaiso as well, containing two neutral site sweeps for Ohio State over Valpo in 2011 and 2013. The Cardinals and Buckeyes have clashed many times, however, resulting in a 15-6 edge for the Scarlet & Gray. Ohio State has won the last 14 straight meetings with Ball State, last dropping a contest to BSU back in 1976.

ALL-TOURNAMENT PERFORMERS
Two or more Buckeyes have been voted to the ‘all-tournament team’ in each of the first three weekend round-robin events:

North Texas Challenge
Taylor Hughes
Valeria León
Taylor Sandbothe (MVP)

Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic
Taylor Hughes
Luisa Schirmer

Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational
Valeria León
Taylor Sandbothe

CAREER RECORD BOOKS UNDER SIEGE
Seniors Valeria León and Taylor Sandbothe have launched an attack on the Ohio State Record Books, cracking the Top-10 in multiple statistical categories with sights set on the top spot:
León:
1,399 total digs ranks second in OSU history (school record – 1,572 digs – Stacey Gordon; 2001-04)
3.37 digs per set rank third (school record – 3.45 digs/set – Chelsea Noble; 2008-09)

Sandbothe:
1.14 blocks per set rank second in OSU history (school record – 1.19 blocks/set – Shellye Sills; 1997-99)
93 solo blocks rank second (school record – 139 – Sherri Rinker; 1984-87)
459 total blocks rank third (school record – 517 – Dawn McDougall; 1988-91)
366 block assists rank fifth (school record – 442 – Dawn McDougall; 1988-19)
.309 attacking efficiency ranks sixth (school record – .366 – Sara Daniel; 1991-94)

AVCA RANKINGS
Ohio State sits at No. 19 in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll. The Buckeyes are one of eight Big Ten teams ranked in the Top-25 with Illinois also receiving votes.

ADD TWO WINS TO THE SEASON TALLY
The Buckeyes registered their sixth and seventh victories of the year while in Missouri, grasping victory over IUPUI and Green Bay. Valeria León and Taylor Sandbothe were each named to the All-Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational Team. Sandbothe earned the honor by virtue of a .355 attacking efficiency and averages of four kills and one block per set. León, meanwhile, put forth 4.38 digs per set and served as the Buckeye libero throughout the weekend.

DOWNTOWN ACTION
In a dress rehearsal of sorts for the 2016 NCAA Championship being hosted at Nationwide Arena Dec. 15 & 17, the Buckeyes held the Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic in downtown Columbus last weekend. Ohio State won their first eight sets, sweeping past LIU Brooklyn and Wyoming before going ahead two-sets-to-none vs. No. 10 BYU, and ultimately finishing 2-1 inside the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

BUCKEYES DEPART TEXAS WITH THREE WINS IN HAND
Ohio State leaped into the 2016 season by capturing the North Texas Challenge title, securing three victories in the process. The Buckeyes opened by sweeping past Texas State and North Texas in straight sets before handing No. 16 Texas A&M its first loss of the young season, besting the Aggies in five sets. Taylor Hughes, Valeria León and Taylor Sandbothe earned all-tournament honors with Sandbothe selected as the event’s Most Valuable Player. It marks the ninth consecutive non-conference event in which Sandbothe picked up all-tourney accolades, a streak dating back to her freshman year.

SANDBOTHE NAMED BIG TEN’S BEST OF OPENING WEEK
Taylor Sandbothe is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week after her MVP performance at the North Texas Challenge. She has now earned B1G weekly laurels in all four seasons of her career. She was the conference’s Player of the Week last year (Sept. 7, 2015), Defensive Player of the Week in 2014 (Sept. 8) and twice the Freshman of the Week (Nov. 11; Nov. 25, 2013).

For the week, Sandbothe averaged 4.09 kills per set while attacking at a .507 clip. She was responsible for a total of 55.5 points (5.05/set) on 45 kills, 10 blocks (1s, 9a) and five service aces. She exploded for career highs with 26 points and 32 point’s in Ohio State’s top-20 victory over No. 16 Texas A&M.

BATTLE-TESTED BUCKEYES
Ohio State’s non-conference slate this season pits the Buckeyes against three 2015 conference champions and an overall combined opponent record of 254-127 (.667). When combined with the Big Ten adversaries, OSU is set to clash with teams ranked inside the AVCA Top-25 11 times with an additional three contests versus institutions currently receiving votes.

COLUMBUS — THE CITY THAT CROWNS CHAMPIONS
The 2016 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held in Nationwide Arena. The NCAA Semifinals are contested on Dec. 15, followed two days later by the crowning of a national champion on Saturday, Dec. 17, in front of a national television audience on ESPN. Tickets are ON SALE NOW! In addition, volleyball fans can also look forward to the 2017 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship which is also being hosted in Ohio’s capital city (St. John Arena — May 4-6, 2017). NEW SEASON TICKET HOLDER BENEFITS FOR 2016
The Buckeyes play 10 matches inside historic St. John Arena, all against Big Ten opponents, beginning on Sept. 28 vs. Northwestern. Ohio State also hosts a tournament the weekend of Sept. 2-3 at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus.

Additional benefits for season ticket holders in 2016 include:
– Chance to win two All-Session Passes to the 2016 Women’s Volleyball Final Four December 15 & 17 at Nationwide Arena
– 2015 Sweet Sixteen mini banner
– Post-match photo with the team
– Barbecue with the team
– Invite to the postseason banquet

CLICK HERE to purchase season tickets!