COLUMBUS, Ohio – Taylor Sandbothe has been crowned as the Ohio State Blocks Queen after registering the 518th block of her career Wednesday night versus No. 3 Wisconsin live on the Big Ten Network’s national broadcast. The 2015 First Team All-American now owns the most career rejections in school history, breaking a record which had stood for a quarter of a century (Dawn McDougall – 517 blocks; 1988-91). The Badgers (19-3, 11-2 Big Ten) ultimately came out on top in the three-set bout (25-19, 26-24, 25-22).
The 22nd-ranked Buckeyes (15-10, 5-8 Big Ten) exchanged haymakers with Wisconsin from start to finish, resulting in a total of 26 tied scores and 11 lead changes (no less than three in each set). Just 11 points separated the two B1G squads.
SET 1: Ashley Wenz jumpstarted her eight-kill evening by terminating all three attempts in the opening frame, the first two of which helped push OSU ahead 10-6 and force an early Badger timeout. Three different Buckeyes in Luisa Schirmer, Taylor Hughes and Ana Beatriz Franklin each sniped a service ace within the first 16 rallies. Wisconsin began to chip away at the deficit, however, and eventually came out on top 17-16 during a five-point run. The Badgers remained in the lead for the remainder of a 25-19 triumph.
SET 2: Neither side could gain an upper hand of more than three points in the entire second stanza. In fact, the only edge greater than a pair of tallies was a 9-6 advantage for Ohio State. The ledger sat even as late as 24-24, spilling over into extra time. Wisconsin’s Haleigh Nelson then stepped up with a kill and block paired with Romana Kriskova to close out the period, 26-24. Sandbothe held the OSU blocking record momentarily at 21-21 when her second of what would have been back-to-back blocks was reversed on a coach’s challenge by the Badger bench.
SET 3: History was then made in the subsequent set. Sandbothe teamed up with Hughes to stuff Kelli Bates for her 518th career block. The record-breaking rejection closed Ohio State’s gap to 18-16 and triggered a UW timeout. The Buckeyes trimmed the deficit further to a lone tally at both 20-19 and 21-20 before coming up a bit short, 25-22.
The Scarlet & Gray are back at it Saturday (Nov. 5) night in Bloomington, Ind., taking on the Hoosiers of Indiana University.