Ohio State to Face Two Top 15 Opponents on the Road
Nov. 14, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's volleyball hits the road for a pair of Big Ten matches against nationally-ranked opponents this weekend. The Buckeyes are set to face No. 11 Minnesota Friday at 8 p.m. ET in Minneapolis and will close out the weekend at No. 14 Wisconsin Sunday with a 2 p.m. ET match in Madison.
Friday, Nov. 15 - 8 p.m. ET
Ohio State (16-10, 4-10 Big Ten) at No. 11 Minnesota (22-5, 10-4 Big Ten)
Sunday, Nov. 17 - 2 p.m. ET
Ohio State at No. 14 Wisconsin (19-7, 8-6 prior to Friday's match vs. Penn State)
INDIANA, PURDUE RECAP
Senior Kaitlyn Leary totaled 37 kills and Taylor Sandbothe added 26 kills along with nine blocks (1s, 8a). Kylie Randall chipped in 14 kills on the weekend and sophomore Katie Mitchell had a career-high 10 kills against Purdue. Junior setter Taylor Sherwin totaled 78 assists, while senior libero Julianne Mandolfo had 23.
B1G FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
The Lee's Summit, Mo., product had a solid weekend for the Buckeyes, guiding the team to a pair of wins in Big Ten play over Indiana and then-No. 14 Purdue in St. John Arena. Sandbothe averaged 3.71 kills and 1.29 blocks per set over seven sets played.
Against the Hoosiers Friday night, the middle blocker finished second on the squad with 14 kills and a .385 attack percentage. Sandbothe added with two digs and two blocks in the sweep. In the team's 3-1 win over the Boilermakers Saturday, the freshman had 12 kills for the Buckeyes. Highlighting her weekend was her defensive play at the net against the Purdue as Sandbothe totaled a match-high seven blocks, having one solo and six block assists.
BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN
Under head coach Geoff Carlston, Ohio State is 51-63 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 (15), Wisconsin (16), Illinois (18), Florida State (24), Michigan State (28), Michigan (29), Purdue (32), Western Kentucky (47), Xavier (56) and Northwestern (57).
Sandbothe leads the team with 101 on the season, having 26 solo blocks and 75 block assists. She currently ranks 10th overall in the Big Ten with a 1.04 average and her 1.13 average in Big Ten play is eighth.
THE BIG 3-0
Sherwin, a 6-0 setter, is among the top 40 nationally in assists, averaging 10.91 per set.
BIG TEN RANKINGS
In Big Ten play, Leary is second in kills (4.47) and third in points (4.74). Sherwin is seventh in assists (9.83), while Sandbothe is eight in blocks (1.13) and senior Julianne Mandolfo is 10th in digs (3.42).
Minnesota is led offensively by senior middle blocker Tori Dixon, having a 3.68 kills average and a .394 hitting percentage. Dixon also leads the defense in blocks with a team-best 123 blocks (12s, 111a) and ranks 30th nationally with a 1.31 average. Senior setter Alexandra Palmer averages 9.63 assists and classmate Ashley Wittman has 299 digs.
The Gophers lead the series over the Buckeyes 38-33. The two squads met up earlier in the season with the Gophers coming away with win a three-set win (25-16, 25-17, 25-19) in St. John Arena.
The Badger offense is led by junior outside hitter Ellen Chapman with 344 kills and freshman setter Lauren Carlini with 933 assists. Defensively, sophomore Taylor Morey has 295 digs followed by senior Annemarie Hickey with 286. Rounding out the defense is freshman middle blocker Haleigh Nelson with 109 blocks (11s, 98a)
The Buckeyes hold the close series lead over the Badgers 34-33. Ohio State fell to Wisconsin earlier in the season, falling in five sets (20-25, 26-24, 23-25, 25-21) in St. John Area. The Badgers will take on the No. 2 Penn State Nittany Lions Friday before the Buckeyes.
1000 KILLS CLUB
Leary has had a breakout season for the Scarlet and Gray this season, leading the Big Ten with 476 kills and a 4.86 average. She has totaled 13 matches with 20 or more kills and has reached double-digit kills 24 of 26 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 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 314-142 for a .689 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 1,256 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.