November 15, 2018

Ohio State Battles Top-10 Foes in St. John Arena



COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s volleyball team will take the court in St. John Arena for the last time when it hosts of pair of highly ranked opponents this weekend. Action starts at 7 p.m. Friday when No. 7 Wisconsin comes to town. The Buckeyes will face No. 3 Minnesota on Saturday for the final regular season home match. First serve is set for 7 p.m.


Friday, Nov. 16 | 7 p.m. | Columbus, Ohio | St. John Arena | Stream: BTN Plus

Ohio State (12-16, 3-13 B1G) vs. No. 7 Wisconsin (18-6, 11-5 B1G) | Live Stats | Live Stream ($)­

Saturday, Nov. 17 | 7 p.m. | Columbus, Ohio | St. John Arena | Stream: BTN Plus

Ohio State vs. No. 3 Minnesota (22-2, 16-0 B1G) | Live Stats | Live Stream ($)­


Ohio State trails 42-36 in the all-time series with Wisconsin, which began in 1975. The Badgers head to Columbus for the first time since 2016 to wrap up this season’s home-and-home series. The Buckeyes opened their Big Ten slate at Wisconsin on Sept. 19, where they fell short in straight sets.

Minnesota holds a 45-34 advantage in its series with Ohio State. The Golden Gophers have won the last five matchups, including a pair of sweeps a season ago. The Buckeyes last beat Minnesota on Nov. 26, 2014 in a five-set thriller at St. John Arena.


Wisconsin picked up two wins last weekend after it took down No. 13 Purdue in five sets and swept Indiana. The Badgers are 11th in the nation with a .276 hitting percentage and 15th behind 13.33 assists per set. Dana Rettke is attacking at a .435 clip, which leads the Big Ten and stands second nationally. Her 1.49 blocks per set is the 12th-best mark in the country while Sydney Hilley averages 11.75 assists to rank sixth.

Minnesota is the only unbeaten team in Big Ten play with a spotless 16-0 mark. The squad has dropped just five sets during its 17-match win streak. As a team, the Gophers rank in the Top 5 nationally with 15.08 kills per set (2nd), a .301 hitting percentage (3rd) and 13.84 assists per set (5th). Individually, Samantha Seliger-Swenson’s 11.71 assists per set and Regan Pittman’s .402 attacking percentage stand eighth and 12th, respectively, among the country’s leaders.


Ohio State is still looking to get back into the win column after dropping its last eight matches. The most recent setback occurred Saturday when the Buckeyes fell to Maryland, 3-0. Vanja Bukilić tallied a match-high 15 kills for her 23rd time in double figures. Bia Franklin chipped in eight kills and six digs while Camryn Moeller added a career-best five kills. Lauren Witte had four kills and two blocks and Olivia Dailey notched 16 assists, two service aces and two digs. Becca Mauer did a little bit of everything behind 19 assists, five kills, three digs and two rejections. Defensively, Camry Halm was one shy of her career mark with 16 digs and Hannah Gruensfelder dug six balls.


Lauren Witte has the ninth-best hitting percentage in the Big Ten with a .339 clip. Hannah Gruensfelder has 3.40 digs per set (13th) and Becca Mauer averages 6.35 assists per set (13th). Vanja Bukilić stands 16th with 3.15 kills per set.


Freshman Vanja Bukilić has stepped up to the challenge for Ohio State. Through 28 matches, she is averaging 3.15 kills per set, which ranks third among Big Ten freshmen. Bukilić has 23 matches with double figures in kills, the most on the team. She currently leads the Buckeyes with 368 points and is third with 48 total blocks.


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.