Season Update: Undefeated Buckeyes Await Big Ten Play
Sept. 24, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 2013 Ohio State women's volleyball team closed out its non-conference schedule this past weekend and approach Big Ten play with an unblemished 12-0 mark.
The Buckeyes host No. 10 Michigan Friday in St. John Arena. The 8 p.m. ET match is set to be televised live on BTN and fans are encouraged to help "Scarlet Out SJA"! Ohio State returns to St. John Arena Sunday and host No. 15 Michigan State at 2 p.m. ET.
BEST START IN NINE YEARS
At 12-0, Ohio State is off to its best start since 2004. The team is the only undefeated team remaining in the Big Ten and is one of seven left in all NCAA Division I. The 2013 Buckeyes are only the third squad in program history to reach a 12-0 start, with the other two coming in 2001 (13-0) and 2004 (19-0).
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State is one of eight Big Ten schools currently ranked in the AVCA poll: Penn State (1), Minnesota (9), Michigan (10), Nebraska (12), Ohio State (13), Michigan State (15), Purdue (20) and Illinois (24).
The 2013 edition of the Ohio State women's volleyball team entered the season as a young squad after losing four senior starters last year, including AVCA All-Americans Mari Hole and Emily Danks. However, this youthful group has proven their talent on the court outweighs their overall collegiate experience.
Seniors Kaitlyn Leary, Davionna DiSalvatore and Julianne Mandolfo have thrived in their new leadership roles and junior setter Taylor Sherwin has taken full control of the Buckeye offense this season. Classmate Erin Sekinger has put up career numbers offensively and sophomore Andrea Kacsits is becoming a leader both statistically and vocally.
The freshmen quartet of Kylie Randall, Valeria León, Taylor Sandbothe and Maggie Heim entered the season poised to contribute right away and haven't disappointed. Sandbothe secured a starting position at right side, while Randall has provided offensive power at outside hitter. León's defensive skills have led to playing time in all matches. Heim, though battling an injury early, is still a major contributor in practice and has seen playing time as of late.
With four tournament titles under their belt, the Buckeyes are earning individual recognition on all levels. Recently, senior Kaitlyn Leary earned her second MVP honor of the season after guiding the Buckeyes to a trio of 3-0 wins at the Blue and White Classic in Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 20-21. She was named AVCA National Player of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week on Sept. 10 for her efforts in Ohio State's 3-0 record at the Seminole Invitational (Sept. 6-7).
Junior Taylor Sherwin has been awarded Big Ten Setter of the Week twice (Sept. 2 & Sept. 16) and picked up a pair of MVP honors at the NIU Invitational and the Sports Imports DC Koehl Classic.
Overall, six Buckeyes have been placed on all-tournament teams to start the season. Sherwin, Leary and Davionna DiSalvatore were placed on the NIU Invitational all-tournament team, while Taylor Sandbothe joined Leary and Sherwin on the Seminole Invitational team. All-tournament honors went to Sherwin and Andrea Kacsits at the conclusion of the Sports Imports DC Koehl Classic. Leary, Sandbothe and Erin Sekinger closed out the non-conference schedule on the Blue and White Classic all-tournament squad.