September 2, 2016

No. 11 Buckeyes Pick Up Pair of Sweeps in Downtown Columbus

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Sept. 2, 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Playing at the site of the 2016 NCAA Championships, Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus, Ohio State steamrolled its way to a pair of sweeps on Friday (Sept. 2). The 11th-ranked Buckeyes (5-0) more than doubled up the opposition, LIU Brooklyn and Wyoming, in kills for the day, racking up 101 while allowing just 49 terminations.

Ohio State outscored the Blackbirds (0-5) by 28 points (25-11, 25-17, 25-19) to start the day before registering a plus-20 margin in the nightcap against Wyoming (25-22, 25-17, 25-16).

The Buckeyes attacked at a .387 overall clip, led by Ashley Wenz and Taylor Sandbothe attacking .593 and .562, respectively, with a combined 38 kills. Luisa Schirmer shouldered much of the offensive load as well, bouncing a team-high 22 total kills in the two OSU sweeps. Schirmer and Sandbothe tied for the team lead in points, each producing 26 tallies. Schirmer added two service aces and four block assists to her 22 kills while Sandbothe threw up 10 block assists and an ace of her own to reach the 26-point mark.

An OSU quartet of Valeria León (22 digs), Schirmer (17 digs), Kalisha Goree (14 digs) and Audra Appold (13 digs) combined for more digs than the entire opposition (52 total digs between LIU Brooklyn and Wyoming). León’s career digs total rose to 1,313 on Day One of the Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic, lifting her past former teammate Davionna DiSalvatore (2010-13) up into fifth place in school history.

Ohio State met little resistance in the first of two contests, trailing no later than 11-10 in any set versus the Blackbirds. The Buckeyes limited LIU Brooklyn to 19 points or less in each frame and a .112 match attacking efficiency. Junior teammates, Schirmer and Wenz, had it going on in the afternoon tilt with a combined 21 kills. Wenz bounced 10 of 13 errorless attempts for a .769 hitting rate. Six different Buckeyes got in on the service stripe assault, each notching an ace. Freshman Brooke Bailey was no slouch either, finding the hardwood six times on nine shots with a lone error (.556).

Match number two did not start out quite so swimmingly for the Scarlet & Gray as Wyoming (1-5) found the end zone and jumped out ahead 6-0 in the first set. The Buckeyes responded convincingly, however, embarking on a 25-16 run from there to secure the opener 25-22. Sandbothe ignited her 14-kill effort (19 attempts, no errors, .737) by putting away five of six in Set 1.

The second stanza saw a sluggish start again as the Cowgirls sat on top 4-0 before a quick OSU timeout. Again, the Buckeyes quickly erased the deficit though. This time, Ohio State captured 25 of the next 38 tallies to go ahead two-sets-to-none. Schrimer emphatically closed the door with three kills in the final six rallies, including the closer at 25-17.

Ohio State kept the pedal to the metal in Set 3, flying by the Cowgirls 25-16 on the strength of a half dozen kills for Appold.

The 2016 Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic team title is on the line Saturday evening at 7 p.m. when No. 11 Ohio State clashes with No. 10 BYU.