Aug. 30, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. – The Ohio State women’s volleyball team concluded its opening weekend with a 3-1 victory (25-20, 25-20, 24-26, 25-19) over Central Arkansas, a 2014 NCAA Tournament qualifier. It marked the first of two matches on Saturday after a five-set defeat to Illinois State earlier in the afternoon.
Sophomore middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe was voted to the all-tournament team, a seven-player squad. She paced Ohio State in kills (35), blocks (20) and services aces (5) for the weekend. Sandbothe was integral in the Buckeyes’ triumph Saturday evening, swinging .333 (10-3-21) and throwing up nine blocks (1s, 8a) to go along with three aces, good for a match-high 18 points.
Senior Erin Sekinger was a key offensive cog versus the Sugar Bears as well, connecting on a dozen kills. Sophomore Valeria León averaged over five digs a set, picking up 21 balls in the four-set winner. As a team, Ohio State gained a large advantage at the service line with 10 aces.
Sekinger and junior Katie Mitchell posted identical attacking lines of 4-1-8 (.375) in the first set while the team totaled five blocks to stymie UCA’s offense at an .024 hitting clip. Following a short see-saw affair in the early goings, Ohio State ripped off seven consecutive points midway through to jump ahead for good at 16-10. Sandbothe contributed a pair of kills and block assists during the Buckeye run which propelled OSU to a 25-20 winning tally.
Another five-block performance from the Scarlet & Gray in set number two held the Sugar Bears to a sub-.100 attacking percentage (.033) once again. Sandbothe got in on three of the swats as Ohio State etched an identical 25-20 score in the second stanza.
The Sugar Bears wouldn’t go down without a fight, however, squeaking out a 26-24 win in the third frame.
Freshman Luisa Schrimer and the OSU offense came alive in the following frame, hitting .364 as a team. Schrimer’s five kills on eight errorless swings led the way while Mitchell, Sandbothe and Sekinger each chipped in three kills of their own. Ohio State never trailed in the clinching fourth set. Sandbothe terminated a pair of balls for the final two points of the evening. The Buckeyes sealed the deal via a final ledger of 25-19.
In the day’s first contest, OSU and Illinois State went the distance all the way to a 16-14 fifth set ultimately going in favor of the Redbirds.
The Buckeye defensive front court erased a 7-5 deficit by stuffing three straight ISU attacks, giving Ohio State an 8-7 edge as the teams swapped sides of the court in the fifth set. Tyler Richardson was a part of all three blocks. Minutes later, Illinois State earned a first crack at match point leading 14-13. Mitchell kept the Buckeyes alive though, pounding home a kill set up by Taylor Sherwin to re-even the score at 14-all. A Redbird kill and service ace followed, however, giving Illinois State the 16-14 victory.
St. John Arena opens its doors next weekend (Sept. 5-7) for the 9th Annual Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Class. Ohio State will host Auburn, Florida Golf Coast and Southern Illinois in a round-robin event.