COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s volleyball team wraps up the 2018 regular season this weekend (Nov. 23-24) when it visits No. 6 Nebraska and Iowa. Both matches are set for 8 p.m. ET starts.
Friday, Nov. 23 | 8 p.m. ET | Lincoln, Neb. | Devaney Center | Stream: BTN Plus
Saturday, Nov. 24 | 8 p.m. ET | Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arena | Stream: BTN Plus
HISTORY WITH THE CORNHUSKERS & HAWKEYES
The Buckeyes and Huskers have battled on the hardwood 20 times since 1978 with Nebraska claiming 13 wins. Ohio State has dropped the last three matches of the series, all in Columbus. The teams last met on Oct. 24 where the Scarlet & Gray fell in four sets. Vanja Bukilić and Bia Franklin paced the Buckeyes with 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
Saturday’s outing will be the first and only meeting of the season between Ohio State and Iowa. The Buckeyes have a commanding 62-11 lead in the all-time series but fell twice to the Hawkeyes a season ago.
Nebraska is riding a six-match win streak after beating No. 12 Purdue in four sets and sweeping Indiana last weekend. The Huskers are second in the country by limiting their opponents to a .138 hitting percentage. The squad also ranks 14th with 2.79 blocks per set and 15th behind 1.70 aces per set. Individually, Callie Schwarzenbach is averaging 1.45 blocks per set, which is 17th in the nation, while Lauren Stivrins’ .395 hitting percentage checks in at No. 18.
Iowa came up short twice over the weekend with a pair of five-set losses to Indiana and Purdue. Molly Kelly leads the Hawkeyes and the Big Ten averaging 5.07 digs per set. Cali Hoye is sixth in the conference with 3.82 kills per set and Brie Orr has 10.19 assists per set to rank eighth.
Ohio State is looking to end the season on a high note after dropping its last 10 matches. The most recent setback occurred Saturday when the Buckeyes fell to No. 3 Minnesota. Despite the loss, Ohio State was just the second team in the Big Ten to push the Gophers to five sets this season. Bia Franklin posted career highs in kills (16), points (20) and service aces (4) and combined it with 13 digs. Becca Mauer chipped in a career-best 14.5 points and 13 kills with nine digs and two blocks. Olivia Dailey was all over the court as she hit .300 (5-2-10) and dished 53 assists, both career highs. Camry Halm dug a career-best 32 balls and handed out seven assists. Vanja Bukilić (12), Lauren Witte (10) and Adria Powell (8) also got in on the kills while Hannah Gruensfelder notched 14 digs.
Lauren Witte has the eighth-best hitting percentage in the Big Ten with a .336 clip. Hannah Gruensfelder has 3.31 digs per set (13th) and Becca Mauer averages 5.86 assists per set (14th). Vanja Bukilić stands 15th with 3.05 kills per set.
ROOKIE ON THE COME UP
Freshman Vanja Bukilić has stepped up to the challenge for Ohio State. Through 30 matches, she is averaging 3.05 kills per set, which ranks third among Big Ten freshmen. Bukilić has 24 matches with double figures in kills, the most on the team. She currently leads the Buckeyes with 383.5 points and is third with 51 total blocks.
FAREWELL ST. JOHN ARENA, HELLO COVELLI CENTER
The 2018 campaign is the final season for the Buckeyes inside St. John Arena. The women’s volleyball team will be moving to the Covelli Center, which is set to be complete in time for the 2019 season. The state-of-the-art facility is part of the new Ohio State Athletic District and will span over 100,000 square feet in total and include a locker room and coaching suite designed specifically for the women’s volleyball program.