No. 12 Ohio State Travels to No. 24 Purdue, Indiana
Oct. 3, 2013
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 12 Ohio State women's volleyball team takes to the road for the first time in Big Ten conference play, traveling to No. 24 Purdue and Indiana this weekend. The Buckeyes face the Boilermakers in a 7 p.m. ET match Friday and follow with another 7 p.m. ET match Saturday vs. the Hoosiers.
Ohio State's tilt against Purdue will be streamed live on BTN.com. The broadcast is scheduled to re-air on BTN Monday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m. ET. Please note, fans' Buckeye Vision subscription information also can be used to log on to the Big Ten Digital Network (BTDN) for Ohio State content only.
Friday, Oct. 4
No. 12 Ohio State (13-1, 1-1) at No. 24 Purdue (9-4, 0-2) - 7 p.m. ET
Saturday, Oct. 5
No. 12 Ohio State at Indiana (8-5, 0-2 prior to Thursday's match vs. No. 5 Penn State) - 7 p.m. ET
MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN STATE RECAP
The No. 12 Ohio State women's volleyball team began conference play last weekend, hosting nationally-ranked rivals Michigan and Michigan State in St. John Arena Sept. 27-28. The Buckeyes topped the then-No. 10 Wolverines 3-1 (25-22, 25-27, 25-20, 25-17) Friday in front of 4500 fans. Ohio State was then handed its first loss of the season to the then-No. 15 Spartans in three sets (27-25, 25-23, 25-22).
Senior Kaitlyn Leary led in kills with 32 and totaled 22 digs. The Parma, Ohio, product finished picked up a double-double in both matches for Ohio State. Freshman Taylor Sandbothe followed with 24 kills with a .468 attack percentage and had 11 (3s, 8a) blocks, while senior Davionna DiSalvatore racked up 33 digs. Freshman Kylie Randall added 22 kills and six blocks (2s, 4a) and Julianne Mandolfo chipped in with 14 digs. Junior Taylor Sherwin totaled 87 assists and 11 digs.
BEST START IN NINE YEARS
Standing at 13-1, Ohio State is off to its best start in nine years. The team's 13-match win streak to start the 2013 season was a program best since the Buckeyes went 19-0 in 2004.
BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN
In its 31st season in the league, the Ohio State women's volleyball program has a 345-231 overall record in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have captured three Big Ten titles (1989, 1991, 1994) and have produced six Big Ten player of the year awards. Overall, Ohio State has garnered 69 All-Big Ten selections.
Under head coach Geoff Carlston, Ohio State is 48-54 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes enjoyed their best season under Carlston last year, finishing fourth overall with a 13-7 record.
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 middle blocker, 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.
IN THE POLLS
With its win over then-No. 10 Michigan, Ohio State moved up to No. 12 in this week's AVCA poll Division I Coaches Poll and is one of eight Big Ten schools ranked: Penn State (5), Minnesota (8), Michigan State (9), Nebraska (10), Ohio State (12), Michigan (14), Wisconsin (23) and Purdue (24).
The squad remained at No. 12 in this week's Volleyball Magazine Top 20 poll.
Senior Kaitlyn Leary and junior Taylor Sherwin are among the nation's best in their respective positions. Leary, a 6-1 outside hitter, ranks fourth in the NCAA with a 5.21 kills average, having 271 over 52 sets played. Leary also ranks fourth in points per set with 5.59. Sherwin, a 6-0 setter, is fourth overall with a 12.19 assists average.
ON THE OFFENSIVE
Ohio State's offensive strike is one of the best in the Big Ten and ranks in the top 15 nationally. The Buckeyes average 14.46 kills per set to rank No. 2 in the league and No. 15 in all of NCAA Division I. Senior Kaitlyn Leary leads the group, averaging 5.21 kills per set. Freshman outside hitter Kylie Randall is second on the squad with a 2.92 average, while junior Erin Sekinger is third at 2.68. Freshman Taylor Sandbothe rounds out the Buckeye quartet with a 2.47 kills average.
Pacing the Buckeye offense is junior setter Taylor Sherwin. The Orlando product is first in the Big Ten and fourth nationally with a 12.19 assists average, having 634 helpers on the season.
The Buckeye defense is among the best in the Big Ten, limiting their opponents to .140 hitting percentage on the season. Overall, Ohio State has held their opponents to under .200 in all except three matches and has kept four teams to hitting percentages below .100 on the season.
Leading the way is the Ohio State back row, averaging 15.17 digs per set. The senior trio of Davionna DiSalvatore, Julianne Mandolfo and Kaitlyn Leary has each reached the 100-dig plateau this season with DiSalvatore leading the team at 203 and a 3.90 average. Mandolfo has 145 and classmate Kaitlyn Leary isn't far behind at 132 on the year.
The Buckeye blockers are averaging 2.25 blocks per set with freshman Taylor Sandbothe leading the way. The Lee's Summit, Mo., native has a team-best 52 blocks on the season (18s, 34a) with a 1.02 average.
After winning all four tournament titles in the early season, the Buckeyes earned individual recognition on all levels. 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, 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.
The No. 24 Purdue Boilermakers are coached by Dave Shondell in his tenth season with the program. The Boilermakers are 9-4 on the season and 0-2 in the B1G. Purdue dropped a three-set match (25-23, 25-17, 25-23) to Wisconsin last Friday and followed with another three-set loss (25-22, 25-21, 25-19) to Minnesota Sunday ending an eight-match winning streak.
At the head of the offense is dual-threat junior setter/outside hitter Val Nichol who leads the team with 122 kills and 270 assists. Redshirt senior libero Carly Cramer has 18 service aces on the season and leads the Purdue defense as well with 185 digs. Redshirt junior middle blocker Faye Adelaja has 61 blocks (10s, 51a).
The Buckeyes and the Boilermakers are currently tied in the series at 40 apiece. Ohio State fell to Purdue last season, 3-1, in St. John Arena before topping the Boilermakers in three sets at Purdue.
The Indiana Hoosiers are coached by Sherry Dunbar in her seventh year with the program. The Hoosiers are 8-5 on the season and 0-2 in conference play. Indiana dropped a three-set match to Minnesota, Sept. 25, before falling to Wisconsin, 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-16, 25-16), Saturday.
Offensively, the Hoosiers are led by junior middle blocker Morgan Leach with 128 kills followed by redshirt senior outside hitter Jordan Haverly with 116. Sophomore outside hitter Amelia Anderson has 115 kills, sophomore middle blocker Awele Nwaeze has 113. Defensively, senior libero Caitlin Hansen has 158 digs and Nwaeze had a team-best 37 (6s, 31a) blocks.
The Buckeyes lead the series between the Hoosiers 46-26. Ohio State is on a five-match winning streak with the Hoosiers last win coming in a 3-1 win at Indiana in 2010.
CAREER MILESTONES REACHED
While the Buckeyes was busy capturing the NIU Invitational title (Aug. 30-31), two members of the program reached milestones in their careers. Head coach Geoff Carlston earned his 300th career win, while senior libero Davionna DiSalvatore recorded her 1000th dig.
Carlston joined the Buckeyes in spring 2008 and came to Columbus with a 193-64 overall mark following five seasons with Ohio University and three at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn. Now in his sixth season with Ohio State and 13th overall, Carlston picked up his 300th in the team's 3-2 victory over Green Bay, Aug. 31. The Plymouth, Minn., native has a career record of 311-133 for a .700 winning percentage.
DiSalvatore entered her senior season ranked 15th at Ohio State with 961 career digs. She became the 15th player in program history to reach the 1000-dig mark in the team's 3-2 win over Northern Illinois Saturday evening en route to a 29-dig performance for the Buckeyes.
The Palm Harbor, Fla., product had a breakout season in 2012, guiding the Buckeye defense all year. She led the squad with 512 digs on the year for a 4.00 average. Her season total ranked second overall in Ohio State history. DiSalvatore enters the upcoming weekend ranked 10th with 1,164 career digs.
Senior Kaitlyn Leary spent a portion of her summer with the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Senior A2 program in Dallas, June 25-July 3. Alongside 47 other student-athletes from around the country, Leary trained for six days before competing against other A2 program teams and the top four Premier Volleyball League (PVL) teams in a tournament.
The U.S. Senior A2 contingent was divided into four equal teams before entering pool play. After being chosen to rep Team White, Leary found herself in position to compete with some familiar faces; most notably former Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert. A total of five Big Ten players were selected to play for Hebert.
Putting Big Ten rivalries aside, Leary and her teammates from Team White advanced to the championship match of the WNTA2 Tournament to take on Team Gold. Played at the Dallas Convention Center, Team White took down Team Gold 24-26, 25-12, 25-23, 25-21. In the match, Leary contributed seven points on seven kills.
The Buckeyes return to St. John Arena for a pair of Big Ten matches, Oct. 11-12. Ohio State will face nationally-ranked Wisconsin at 7 p.m. ET Friday and will follow with another 7 p.m. ET match Saturday against nationally-ranked Minnesota.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Ohio State students are free with a valid Buck-ID. Tickets are available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com and group tickets (10 or more) are also available starting at $2 when purchased in advance. For more information, contact Ohio State Ticket Sales at 1-800-GOBUCKS or at firstname.lastname@example.org.