Buckeyes Set to Host Indiana, No. 14 Purdue this Weekend
Nov. 6, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's volleyball team returns to St. John Arena this weekend for a pair of Big Ten matches, hosting Indiana Friday and No. 14 Purdue Saturday. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. ET.
MICHIGAN STATE, MICHIGAN RECAP
Senior Kaitlyn Leary notched a career-high 31 kills against Michigan for a total of 41 on the weekend. Leary added in 18 digs and four blocks (4a). Freshman Taylor Sandbothe had 18 kills and nine blocks (3s, 6a) and teammate Kylie Randall had 21 kills. Senior Julianne Mandolfo had 39 digs, including 24 against Michigan. Classmate Davionna DiSalvatore and freshman Valeria León chipped in 15 and 14 digs, respectfully.
BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN
Under head coach Geoff Carlston, Ohio State is 49-63 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes enjoyed their best season under Carlston last year, finishing fourth overall with a 13-7 record.
Ohio State has faced 12 teams ranked in the top 60: Penn State (2), Nebraska (8), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (13), Florida State (21), Michigan State (22), Illinois (23), Michigan (25), Purdue (30), Northwestern (48), Western Kentucky (56) and Xavier (57).
Sherwin, a 6-0 setter, is among the top 40 nationally in assists, averaging 10.89 per set.
BIG TEN RANKINGS
In Big Ten play, Leary is second in kills (4.35) and third in points (4.64). Sherwin is seventh in assists (9.62), while freshman Taylor Sandbothe and senior Julianne Mandolfo rank 10th in blocks (1.11) and digs (3.43), respectively.
Junior Morgan Leach leads the Hoosiers in kills with 235. Freshman Megan Tallman has a team-best 488 assists and is followed by sophomore Katie Gallagher with 381. Senior Caitlin Hansen has 308 digs and a 3.67 average. Sophomore Awele Nwaeze has 72 blocks (13s, 59a), while Leach has 45 (45a).
The Buckeyes lead the series over the Hoosiers 47-26. Ohio State extended its winning streak over Indiana to six with a five-set thriller earlier in the season, 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 25-19, 17-25, 17-15), in Bloomington. The Hoosiers last win over the Buckeyes came in a 3-1 decision in 2010.
Offensively, the Boilermakers are led by junior Val Nichol with 232 kills and 533 assists. Sophomore Sam Epenesa has 190 kills and redshirt senior Rachel Davis has 429 assists. On defense, redshirt senior Carly Cramer has 353 digs and junior KiKi Jones has 104 (10s, 94a) blocks.
Purdue has a slight lead over Ohio State in the series at 41-40. The Boilermakers topped the Buckeyes earlier in the season at Purdue, 3-0 (25-23, 25-25, 25-21). Purdue will take on Penn State Friday before playing the Buckeyes.
1000 KILLS CLUB
Leary has had a breakout season for the Scarlet and Gray this season, leading the Big Ten with 439 kills and a 4.82 average. She has totaled 13 matches with 20 or more kills and has reached double-digit kills 22 of 24 matches this season.
On their way to a season-opening perfect start, the Buckeyes picked up key wins over nationally-ranked opponents. At the Seminole Classic in early September, Ohio State topped then-No. 16 Western Kentucky and then-No. 15 Florida State on its way to the tournament crown.
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.
Overall, six Buckeyes have been placed on all-tournament teams during non-conference play. 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.
CAREER MILESTONES REACHED
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 312-142 for a .687 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 seventh with 1,244 career digs.
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.