COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s volleyball team is heading out on the road for a pair of matches this weekend. The Buckeyes visit No. 16 Purdue on Friday at 7 p.m. before heading to Bloomington to take on Indiana at 5 p.m. Saturday.
|Matches||Date||Time||Live Stats||Live Stream ($)|
|Ohio State at No. 16 Purdue||Friday, Nov. 15||7 p.m.||Stats||Watch|
|Ohio State at Indiana||Saturday, Nov. 16||5 p.m.||Stats||Watch|
HISTORY WITH THE BOILERMAKERS & HOOSIERS
Friday’s match will be the second meeting between the Boilermakers and Buckeyes this season. Ohio State came up short in a five-set thriller the first time around, led by Gabby Gonzales, who had the first double-double of her career behind 20 kills and 14 digs. Jenaisya Moore chipped in 16 kills and a career-high seven blocks, including four solo rejections. Purdue has a slight 45-44 edge in the all-time series, which began in 1974.
Ohio State holds a commanding 52-29 lead in its series with Indiana, dating back to 1971. The Hoosier made up some ground last year by taking a pair of victories from the Buckeyes. In the first outing, Madison Smeathers and Vanja Bukilić paced the offense with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Bukilić hit .450 with a match-high 11 kills and five digs the second time around.
Purdue (16-7, 8-6 B1G) is coming off a 3-1 loss to No. 8 Penn State last Saturday. The Boilermakers rank 16th in the country behind 2.77 blocks per set. Individually, Shavona Cuttino is 29th nationally with 1.31 blocks per set. Caitlyn Newton puts up 3.70 kills per set (5th) while Hayley Bush averages 10.58 assists per set (6th) to sit among the Big Ten’s leaders.
Indiana (13-14, 2-12 B1G) picked up its second win in conference play by sweeping Rutgers last week. The Hoosiers are 28th in the nation with 246.5 total blocks on the season. Breana Edwards has chipped in 368 points, which ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Deyshia Lofton’s 104 rejections checks in at No. 4 in the league.
LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State (13-13 6-8 B1G) dropped a straight-set decision to No. 6 Minnesota last Sunday. Jenaisya Moore and Gabby Gonzales combined for 26 of Ohio State’s 43 kills with 13 apiece. Moore also chipped in five digs and two blocks while Gonzales had nine digs, two assists and a service ace. Madison Smeathers and Elle Sandbothe rounded out the offense with eight and five kills, respectively. Mac Podraza handed out 18 assists while Becca Mauer posted 15 helpers and five digs. Kylie Murr recorded a match-high 22 digs and paired it with six assists. Sandbothe had a team-best three blocks.
MURR EARNS B1G FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONOR
Kylie Murr was tabbed as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time this season on Nov. 10. The Yorktown, Ind. native tallied 41 digs and averaged 5.86 digs per set after matches against No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 6 Minnesota. She also had a .941 reception percentage with just three errors in 51 attempts. Murr’s defensive efforts helped Ohio State upset the Badgers in four sets Friday night. She handled 28 serve receptions with only two miscues and posted 19 digs. She also had 23 receptions with only one error and 22 digs versus Minnesota. Murr received her first conference accolade on Sept. 23 when she was named Big Ten Defensive Player and Co-Freshman of the Week.
DOWN GOES NO. 4 WISCONSIN
The Covelli Center was rocking as Ohio State upset No. 4 Wisconsin in four sets on Nov. 8. The Buckeyes tied their season high with 10 service aces and held the Badgers to a season-low .202 attacking percentage. It was Wisconsin’s first loss in Big Ten play and since Sept. 21, which snapped a 12-match win streak. Ohio State earned its first win over the Badgers since Nov. 3, 2017 and the first victory in Columbus since Sept. 27, 2015.
Setter Becca Mauer has appeared in 76 matches for Ohio State and recorded 1,443 assists during that time to rank 13th all-time in program history. Her 6.11 assists per set is 15th among the Buckeyes’ career leaders. Middle blocker Lauren Witte has 86 matches under her belt and stands among some of the best in Ohio State history. She currently has 43 solo blocks (t-18th), 224 block assists (19th) and 267 total blocks (20th).
BY THE NUMBERS
Ohio State averages 13.52 kills per set to sit at No. 48 in the national rankings, paced by Jenaisya Moore at 3.61 kills per set. Kylie Murr leads the Big Ten and is 29th in the country behind 5.02 digs per set. Becca Mauer (7.74) and Mac Podraza (6.66) have split setting duties as of late. At the net, 11 Buckeyes have double-digit blocks – Elle Sandbothe (68), Lauren Witte (65), Mac Podraza (38), Jordan Fry (33), Moore (26), Gabby Gonzales (24), Adria Powell (19), Mia Grunze (18), Mauer (12), Madison Smeathers (11) and Vanja Bukilić (10).
Ohio State is currently No. 47 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings released on Monday, Nov. 10. The Buckeyes join seven other Big Ten volleyball teams ranked in the top 50 of the NCAA RPI – No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 8 Nebraska, No. 12 Penn State, No. 24 Purdue, No. 36 Michigan and No. 43 Illinois.
Ohio State hosts Northwestern on Friday, Nov. 22 for a 7 p.m. at the Covelli Center.