Oct. 30, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio– The No. 15 Ohio State volleyball team has battled through a tough schedule already this year and now, just past the halfway mark in Big Ten play, the squad has really come into its own and is playing its best volleyball this season.
“We chose to take on one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season,” Geoff Carlston, women’s volleyball head coach, said. “We’ve learned to love playing in hostile environments. I’m proud of how this team has battled and improved yet understand we can still get better.”
The Buckeyes are coming off a successful weekend on the road, defeating No. 4 Nebraska Friday and sweeping Iowa Saturday. Ohio State came away with a 3-1 win over the Huskers, marking the first time the program has topped Nebraska since 1991. Ohio State also handed Nebraska its first Big Ten loss at home in the NU Coliseum since joining the conference last season. Lincoln is a tough place to play as the loss was Nebraska’s second at home in the past three years and just the sixth since 2005.
Along with Friday night’s win and competitive play in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes rank No. 20 in the most recent RPI standings. The squad holds a 17-7 overall record with an 8-4 mark in conference play to sit fourth in league standings. Ohio State has beaten five teams who are ranked or have been ranked in the Top 25 at some point this season – Dayton, Western Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan State and Nebraska.
One of the more impressive stats from the season is how the Buckeyes have played on the road. Ohio State has literally become road warriors, having a 9-1 record when playing away from St. John Arena. This includes a 6-1 record in the always tough Big Ten. Only No. 2 Oregon, No. 11 Florida State and No. 19 Western Kentucky (teams Ohio State faced in the early season) have records on the road equal or slightly better.
A major contributor to Ohio State’s success this season is the play of the team’s four seniors – Mariah Booth, Emily Danks, Mari Hole and Amanda Peterson. Hole and Danks lead the team’s offense, averaging 4.06 and 2.84 kills per set, respectively. Peterson’s leadership at setter has paced Ohio State to one of the league’s best hitting percentages.
“Our senior leadership has been exceptional,” Carlston said. “Every season has its low spots and we have certainly had our share. However, our seniors have continued to show the team the way and have been key to our successes.”
The Buckeyes return to St. John Arena this weekend, facing Wisconsin at 7 p.m. ET Friday and No. 10 Minnesota at 2 p.m. ET Sunday. The Golden Gophers hold the third spot in the conference standings. For ticket information, visit OhioStateBuckeyes.com.