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Sep 5, 2013

Weekend Notes

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 23 Ohio State women’s volleyball team travels to Tallahassee, Fla., for the Four Points by Sheraton Seminole Invitational, Sept. 6-7. The Buckeyes will face No. 16 Western Kentucky and No. 15 Florida State Friday and close the tournament against Florida Gulf Coast Saturday.

Ohio State’s match vs. the Seminoles Friday evening will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Live stats will also be available for the team’s matches against Western Kentucky and Florida State.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Teams: No. 23 Ohio State, No. 16 Western Kentucky, No. 15 Florida State, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida A&M
Schedule:

Friday, Sept. 6
Ohio State vs. Western Kentucky – 11 a.m.
Western Kentucky vs. Florida A&M – 4:30 p.m.
Florida State vs. Ohio State – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 7
Florida State vs. Western Kentucky – 12 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Florida Gulf Coast – 12 p.m. (at Florida A&M)
Florida State vs. Florida Gulf Coast – 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 8
Florida Gulf Coast vs. Florida A&M – 1 p.m.

NIU INVITATIONAL RECAP
The No. 23 Ohio State women’s volleyball team captured the NIU Invitational title in DeKalb, Ill., Aug. 30-31  The two-day tournament featured the Buckeyes, host Northern Illinois, Liberty and Green Bay.

The squad kicked off the weekend with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 26-24) win over Liberty Friday. Ohio State opened Saturday with a 3-2 (29-27, 22-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-13) win over Green Bay and followed with another 3-2 (22-25, 25-12, 25-22, 20-25, 15-9) victory over host Northern Illinois Saturday night.

Junior setter Taylor Sherwin was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while seniors Kaitlyn Leary and Davionna DiSalvatore joined her on the All-Tournament team.     

IN THE POLLS
Ohio State enters the second week of the season ranked No. 23 in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll. The Buckeyes are one of eight Big Ten schools ranked in the weekly poll – Penn State (1), Minnesota (4), Michigan (7), Nebraska (13), Illinois (18), Michigan State (20), Purdue (22) and Ohio State (23).

The squad also earned a spot in the Volleyball Magazine Top 20 poll this week, coming in at No. 16.

B1G SETTER OF THE WEEK
Taylor Sherwin
was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week, the league announced Monday. The nod is her second Big Ten weekly award, but the first Setter of the Week honor of her career.

Sherwin guided the Buckeyes to a 3-0 record on the weekend and the team title at the NIU Invitational. The junior setter stepped into her role as leader on the court and paced the Buckeye offense with a total of 158 assists over 13 sets for a 12.15 average.

Highlighting the weekend was her performance against Green Bay Saturday afternoon. The Orlando, Fla., product notched a career-best 68 assists in the 3-2 win and added two blocks, two kills and five digs for the Buckeyes. Sherwin finished with 50 assists in the team’s five-set win over Northern Illinois with a season-best three kills. She totaled 40 assists against Liberty with eight digs and two kills.

CAREER MILESTONES REACHED
While the No. 23 Ohio State women’s volleyball team was busy capturing the NIU Invitational title last weekend, two members of the program reached milestones in their careers Saturday. Head coach Geoff Carlston earned his 300th career win, while senior libero Davionna DiSalvatore recorded her 1000th dig.

Carlston joined the Buckeyes in spring 2008 and came to Columbus with a 193-64 overall mark following five seasons with Ohio University and three at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn. Now in his sixth season with Ohio State and 13th overall, Carlston picked up his 300th in the team’s 3-2 victory over Green Bay, Aug. 31. The Plymouth, Minn., native has a career record of 301-132 for a .695 winning percentage.

DiSalvatore entered her senior season ranked 15th at Ohio State with 961 career digs. She became the 15th player in program history to reach the 1000-dig mark in the team’s 3-2 win over Northern Illinois Saturday evening en route to a 29-dig performance for the Buckeyes.

The Palm Harbor, Fla., product had a breakout season in 2012, guiding the Buckeye defense all year. She led the squad with 512 digs on the year for a 4.00 average. Her season total ranked second overall in Ohio State history. DiSalvatore enters the upcoming weekend ranked tied for 14th with 1,023 career digs.

EXHIBITION VS. DABROWA
Ohio State hosted an exhibition match against Dabrowa Górnicza, a Polish professional team, in St. John Arena Wednesday night and came away with a 3-2 (25-22, 6-25, 18-25, 25-20, 15-13) win. All Buckeyes saw playing time on the court as head coach Geoff Carlston tested out multiple lineups in the match.

Leading the squad offensively was sophomore Andrea Kacsits with 12 kills and a .435 attack percentage. Senior Kaitlyn Leary finished with 10 kills, while freshman Taylor Sandbothe and junior Erin Sekinger added eight apiece. Junior setter Taylor Sherwin had 42 assists for the Buckeyes.

Senior Julianne Mandolfo totaled 14 digs, while freshman Valeria León finished with eight. Sandbothe led the Buckeye blockers with three (2s, 1a).

SCOUTING WESTERN KENTUCKY
The No. 16 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers hold a 2-1 mark on the season. The Hilltoppers opened the 2013 season at the Mortar Board Premier and topped Alabama A&M (8/30) before dropping a three-set match to USC the next day. WKU rebounded with a 3-2 win over then-No. 16 and tournament host Purdue. Western Kentucky finished the 2012 season 33-4 and a perfect 15-0 in the Sun Belt with a trip to the NCAA Championship.

The Hilltoppers are returning five seniors, including Paige Wessel, who leads the squad in kills with 25. Junior Heather Boyan and sophomore Haley Bodway follow with 21 kills each. Senior Ashley Potts leads in digs with 42, while sophomore Noelle Langenkamp and Boyan have nine blocks apiece.

The Buckeyes enter the match with a 2-0 record vs. the Hilltoppers. Ohio State was the only team to beat WKU at home last season, defeating the Hilltoppers 3-1 in the finale of the WKU Tournament.  

SCOUTING FLORIDA STATE
The No. 15 Florida State Seminoles are 2-1 on the season. The Seminoles opened the Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational with a three-set loss to Illinois, but rebounded with back-to-back wins over then-No. 17 Kentucky and Long Beach State. The Seminoles rounded out the 2013 season at 28-4, reaching the second round of the NCAA Championship before falling to Purdue, 3-2.

The Seminoles are young a squad, returning only three seniors and two juniors to this year’s team. Sophomore Nicole Walch leads the team in kills with 39 for a 3.55 average, while redshirt junior Katie Mosher leads in digs with 44. Junior Sarah Wickstrom leads in assists with a 6.18 average, while freshman Hailey Luke follows close behind with 5.36 average.

Friday’s meeting will be the third between the squads with the series tied at 1-1. Ohio State and Florida State met early last season with the Seminoles coming away with a 3-1 win.

SCOUTING FLORIDA GULF COAST
The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles are currently 0-3, dropping to VCU, Illinois State and IUPUI in the IUPUI Hampton Invitational last weekend. The Eagles concluded the 2013 season 22-10 with a trip to the Atlantic Sun Tournament, falling in the first round.

The Eagles are returning four seniors to this year’s squad. Senior Kaitlin Holm leads the team in kills with 26 and is followed by junior Olivia Mesner with 24. Junior Whitney Masters has 33 digs for a 3.67 average while seniors Karina Mambuca and Christine Pinder have four blocks apiece.

This will be the first meeting between the two squads.

TEAM USA
Senior Kaitlyn Leary spent a portion of her summer with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Senior A2 program in Dallas, June 25-July 3. Alongside 47 other student-athletes from around the country, Leary trained for six days before competing against other A2 program teams and the top four Premier Volleyball League (PVL) teams in a tournament.

The U.S. Senior A2 contingent was divided into four equal teams before entering pool play. After being chosen to rep Team White, Leary found herself in position to compete with some familiar faces; most notably former Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert. A total of five Big Ten players were selected to play for Hebert.

Putting Big Ten rivalries aside, Leary and her teammates from Team White advanced to the championship match of the WNTA2 Tournament to take on Team Gold. Played at the Dallas Convention Center, Team White took down Team Gold 24-26, 25-12, 25-23, 25-21. In the match, Leary contributed seven points on seven kills.

UP NEXT
Ohio State officially kicks off its home schedule, hosting the annual Sports Imports DC Koehl Classic, Sept. 13-14, in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes will welcome IUPUI, Southeast Missouri and Xavier to the two-day tournament. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Ohio State students are free with a valid Buck-ID.