Aug. 25, 2017
PROVO, Utah — The No. 21 Ohio State University women’s volleyball team (2-0) garnered two victories in a day-night doubleheader of sorts, outscoring UTRGV (0-1) and Saint Louis (0-2) by a combined 59 points. Ohio State attacked .371 while limiting the competition to a .119 offensive rate over the course of both matches.
Ohio State def. UTRGV (25-17, 25-11, 25-15)
Ohio State def. Saint Louis (25-16, 23-25, 25-17, 25-13)
For the day, Ashley Wenz was responsible for a team-high 32.5 points with 25 kills, nine block assists and three aces.
Freshmen Lauren Witte and Hannah Gruensfelder both made splashes in their collegiate debuts, posting a .567 attacking percentage and 25 digs, respectively.
Taylor Hughes did it all, plastering the stat sheet with 72 assists, 14 kills while attacking .619, 14 digs, five blocks and two aces.
Bia Franklin and Luisa Schirmer each connected on five aces before night’s end.
Up and at it were the Buckeyes, rolling out of bed and rolling past UTGRV in a 64-minute short stint to get the 2017 season started at 10 a.m. local time. The Buckeyes attacked .451 while limiting the opposition to a .191 hitting clip.
Taylor Hughes steered the ship impressively, contributing to 42 of the team’s 47 kills with 33 assists and nine kills. She threatened triple-double distinction by adding eight digs as well.
Ashley Wenz began her senior campaign with a bang, pacing the Buckeyes in kills (13), hitting percentage (.667) and service aces (3). While Wenz carried a large load on the outside, Madison Smeathers and Lauren Witte inflicted mass damage from the middle. The underclassmen middle duo combined for 14 kills on 28 error-free attempts.
Ohio State put forth another dazzling performance in the nightcap versus Saint Louis., overcoming a second-set hiccup to secure win number two. The Buckeye blocking brigade overpowered the Billikens, limiting SLU to an .068 hitting percentage after being stuffed 18 times. Six different Buckeyes got in on multiple rejections, but none more than freshman Laure Witte and her nine swats. Ashley Wenz wasn’t far behind, contributing on eight block assists. The southpaw cracked double-digit kills (12) for the second straight outing as well.
In addition to the defensive net domination, Ohio State also caused damage from the baseline offensively. The Buckeyes gashed Saint Louis for nine aces while only committing nine service errors.
After letting a 23-21 upper hand slip away late in the second set by surrendering four consecutive points, Ohio State recalibrated its onslaught and silenced SLU in the subsequent sets. The Buckeyes would not trail at any point the rest of the evening, moving on to 2-0 and setting up a date with No. 10 BYU (2-0) for a Saturday night showdown.