September 24, 2019

Big Ten Play Starts on the Road at Maryland, Michigan


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s volleyball team opens Big Ten Conference play with a pair of matches on the road this week. It all begins Wednesday night when the Buckeyes visit Maryland for a 7 p.m. tilt. Ohio State continues its road swing at 2 p.m. Sunday at Michigan. Both matches will be on the Big Ten Network.

MatchesDateTimeTVLive StatsLive Stream ($)
Ohio State at MarylandWednesday, Sept. 257 p.m.Big Ten NetworkStatsBTN+
Ohio State at MichiganSunday, Sept. 292 p.m.Big Ten NetworkStatsBTN+


Ohio State owns a 10-5 lead in the all-time series against Maryland, which began in 1978. The Buckeyes fell to the Terps twice last season. Vanja Bukilić had a career-high 19 kills in a five-set setback and led the team with 15 kills in a 3-0 loss.

The Buckeyes and Wolverines have battled on the hardwood 77 times since 1974. Ohio State holds a 50-27 advantage in the series but Michigan has won the last five meetings. Last year, the Buckeyes erased a 2-0 deficit but came up short in five sets. Four players had double-digit kills, led by Jordan Fry with 16.


Maryland (8-4) wrapped up its non-conference schedule with a pair of straight-set wins versus Kennesaw State and Appalachian State at the Gamecock Invitational. The Terps are second in the nation with 106 service aces and rank ninth averaging 2.04 aces per set. Middle blocker Katie Myers has 75 total blocks (3rd) and is hitting .435 (21st) to join the national standings.

Michigan (7-3) split its home-and-home series against Notre Dame last week. The Fighting Irish took the first outing in five sets but the Wolverines responded with a 3-1 win in the finale. Michigan has a .298 attack percentage to check in at No. 8 nationally. Setter Mackenzi Welsh is averaging 10.81 assists per set to rank fifth in the Big Ten.


In its final non-conference tune up, Ohio State (7-5) claimed the Buckeye Invitational crown with victories over Miami (Ohio), Illinois State and Dayton, dropping just two sets during the tournament. Defensive specialist Kylie Murr was named tournament MVP and was joined on the all-tournament team by middle blockers Elle Sandbothe and Lauren Witte.


Defensive specialist Kylie Murr was selected as the Big Ten Defensive Player and Co-Freshman of the Week on Monday. Murr started every match at libero and was impressive on the serve receive, making just two errors in 64 attempts for a .969 average. Against Dayton, she handled 28 error-free service receptions and handed out a career-high nine assists. The Yorktown, Ind. native averaged 5.36 digs per set and had double-digit digs in every match, including 20-plus performances against the RedHawks (24) and Flyers (21). The rookie currently leads the Big Ten and ranks 12th nationally with 5.40 digs per set.


As a team, Ohio State averages 12.95 assists per set to sit at No. 22 in the national rankings. Mac Podraza (8.53) and Becca Mauer (6.95) have split the settings duties as of late. The Buckeyes are 18th in the country behind 14.09 kills per set, paced by Mia Grunze at 3.57 kills per set. At the net, six Buckeyes have double-digit blocks – Lauren Witte (35), Elle Sandbothe (30), Jordan Fry (21), Podraza (21), Grunze (16) and Adria Powell (11).


The Buckeyes welcome Michigan State to the Covelli Center at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4.