Buckeyes Conclude Regular Season this Week
Nov. 26, 2013
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's volleyball team closes out the 2013 regular season with a pair of Big Ten matches this week. The Buckeyes host No. 2 Penn State Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET in St. John Arena. The squad then caps the season with an 8 p.m. ET match at Iowa Saturday.
The Buckeyes and Hawkeyes will be televised live on Mediacom's MC22 or on BTN.com.
Wednesday, Nov. 27 - 7 p.m. ET
Ohio State (17-13, 5-13 Big Ten) vs. No. 2 Penn State (26-2, 17-1 Big Ten
Saturday, Nov. 30 - 8 p.m. ET
Ohio State at Iowa (11-19, 2-16 Big Ten prior to Wednesday's match vs. Nebraska)
ILLINOIS, NORTHWESTERN RECAP
The Buckeyes hosted a pair of Big Ten contests last weekend, taking on Illinois and Northwestern, Nov. 22-23. Ohio State split the weekend with a 3-1 (20-25, 25-17, 21-25, 20-25) loss to then-No.20 Illinois before besting Northwestern in straight sets (25-16, 26-24, 25-18).
Senior Kaitlyn Leary totaled 39 kills and 28 digs with a pair of double-doubles on the weekend. Freshman Taylor Sandbothe added in 22 kills and 11 blocks (0s, 11a), while junior Erin Sekinger had 19 kills and eight blocks (1s, 7a). Sophomore Katie Mitchell chipped in 19 kills, senior Julianne Mandolfo had 42 digs and sophomore Andrea Kacsits had six bocks (1s, 5a). Senior Davionna DiSalvatore and freshman Valeria León totaled 19 and 17 digs, respectfully.
B1G FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Taylor Sandbothe of the Ohio State women's volleyball team was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the league announced Monday. The nod is the second of the season and second in three weeks for Sandbothe.
The middle blocker had a great weekend at the net for the Buckeyes, finishing with 11 blocks overall for a 1.57 average. She also put together a solid performance hitting, notching a .386 attack percentage. With her totals from the weekend Sandbothe leads the Buckeyes with a 1.04 average on the year with 115 on the season.
Against Illinois Friday, Sandbothe finished second on the team with 13 kills and hit a solid .379 (13-2-29). The Lee's Summit, Mo., product finished with four block assists in the match. In the team's 3-0 win over Northwestern Saturday, Sandbothe's defensive presence was felt as she totaled a match-high seven block assists. That mark set a new career high in block assists and was one off her overall career best of eight total blocks. She chipped in nine kills in the win and a .400 attack percentage.
2013 SENIOR CLASS
The 2013 Ohio State senior class is made up of outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary and defensive specialists Davionna DiSalvatore and Julianne Mandolfo. The Buckeyes honored the trio Nov. 22 prior to the team's match vs. Illinois.
Leary will close out her career among the top 20 in all of Ohio State's hitting records. The Parma, Ohio, product became the 21st Buckeye in program history to reach 1,000 career kills on Oct. 20 and currently ranks 18th with 1,185. She also ranks 14th with a 3.19 kills per set average, 13th with 3,054 attack attempts and 20th with 1,266.5 points. This season, Leary has already reached the 500-kill mark and has totaled double-digit kills in 28 of 30 matches played. She has also notched 20 or more kills 14 times, including a 31-kill performance at Michigan in early November.
DiSalvatore has been a mainstay in the Buckeye defense, providing solid play in the back row since her freshman season. The Palm Harbor, Fla., native reached 1,000 career digs in the team's third match of the year and currently ranks sixth with 1,280. She is also 15th overall with a 2.59 digs average.
Mandolfo came to Ohio State last season after spending two years at Creighton. The Omaha, Neb., product has provided great depth for the Buckeye back row and leads the team this season in digs with a 3.24 average. This year alone, Mandolfo has totaled 21 matches with double-digit digs and currently ranks 16th on Ohio State's career list with a 2.58 digs per set average.
BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN
In its 31st season in the league, the Ohio State women's volleyball program has a 349-243 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 52-66 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes enjoyed their best season under Carlston last year, finishing fourth overall with a 13-7 record.
The Buckeyes stand at No. 49 in this week's NCAA RPI released Monday. Eight Big Ten opponents rank in the top 30, while 10 of the 12 league teams in the top 60.
Ohio State has faced 12 teams ranked in the top 60: Penn State (2), Nebraska (8), Minnesota (13), Wisconsin (14), Illinois (17), Florida State (19), Michigan State (27), Michigan (28), Purdue (29), Xavier (53), Northwestern (57) and Western Kentucky (60).
Senior Kaitlyn Leary surpassed the 500-kill mark this season during the team's match at Wisconsin, Nov. 17. The outside hitter leads the Big Ten with 547 kills on the year with four matches remaining in the regular season. That total ranks eighth in Ohio State season-only records and the 500-kill season total has been reached 15 times in Ohio State history.
Freshman middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe surpassed the 100 mark this past weekend and has 115 blocks on the season so far. She became just the sixth Buckeye freshman to reach 100 blocks during their rookie campaign. In the modern era of volleyball, Sandbothe is the second to reach that mark behind Danielle Meyer (2004-07).
Sandbothe leads the team with 115 on the season, having 27 solo blocks and 88 block assists. She currently ranks ninth overall in the Big Ten in conference play with a 1.10 average.
THE BIG 3-0
Senior Kaitlyn Leary became the first Big Ten student-athlete to eclipse the 30-kill mark this season, totaling 31 kills at Michigan (11/2). Her total also marked the first time anyone has reached 30 or more kills against the Wolverines since former Buckeye Stacey Gordon did so in 2004.
Senior Kaitlyn Leary and junior Taylor Sherwin are among the nation's best in their respective positions. Leary, a 6-1 outside hitter, ranks fifth in the NCAA with a 4.84 kills average, having 508 over 105 sets played. Leary also ranks 13th in points per set with 5.15.
Sherwin, a 6-0 setter, is among the top 50 nationally in assists, averaging 10.91 per set.
BIG TEN RANKINGS
Four Buckeyes are among the Big Ten's best statistically entering the weekend. Senior Kaitlyn Leary leads all student-athletes in kill and points, averaging 4.88 kills and 5.20 points per set. Junior setter Taylor Sherwin is third in assists with a 10.91 average, while senior Julianne Mandolfo is 10th in digs with a 3.41 average.
In Big Ten play, Leary is second in kills (4.60) and third in points (4.87). Sherwin is sixth in assists (10.05), while freshman Taylor Sandbothe is ninth in blocks (1.10) and Mandolfo is seventh in digs (3.75).
SCOUTING PENN STATE
The No. 2 Penn State Nittany Lions are 26-2 overall and 17-1 in conference play and have successfully secured at least a share of the Big Ten title. The Nittany Lions are coming off of a successful 2-0 weekend, topping Northwestern 3-1 Friday and following with a 3-1 win over Illinois Saturday.
Senior Deja McClendon leads the team in kills with 281 followed by classmate Ariel Scott with 273. Junior Micha Hancock has 1,092 assists to round out the top offensive players. Junior Dominique Gonzalez leads in digs with 315 and senior Katie Slay has 159 blocks (19s, 140a) on defense, ranking third nationally with a 1.62 average.
Penn State leads the series over Ohio State, 41-14. The two squads met earlier in the season with the Nittany Lions coming away with a 3-0 (9-25, 11-25, 16-25) win in Rec Hall.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are coached by Sharon Digman in her sixth season with the program. The Hawkeyes stand 11-19 overall and are 2-16 in the B1G. The Hawkeyes concluded the weekend 1-1, with a 3-2 win over Indiana Friday, before falling to Purdue in four on Saturday.
Junior Alex Love has a team-best 387 kills and is second best on the team with 275 digs. Senior Bethany Yeager has 463 digs and junior Alessandra Dietz has 102 (19s, 83a) blocks.
The Buckeyes lead the series over the Hawkeyes with a 56-9 record. The Buckeyes are on a nine match-winning streak with the Hawkeyes last win coming in 2008 in four sets (23-25, 25-19, 15-25, 22-25). The Hawkeyes will take on Nebraska Wednesday before hosting Ohio State.
1000 KILLS CLUB
Senior Kaitlyn Leary reached a major milestone in her collegiate career Oct. 20 at Illinois. The Parma, Ohio, product became the 21st student-athlete in program history to reach 1,000 kills in a career. Leary entered the match with 995 kills and after totaling 20 kills for the Buckeyes against the Illini, she now ranks 18th in school history with 1,185 kills to date.
Leary has had a breakout season for the Scarlet and Gray this season, leading the Big Ten with 547 kills and a 4.88 average. She has totaled 14 matches with 20 or more kills and has reached double-digit kills 28 of 30 matches this season.
Ohio State entered conference play with a 12-0 mark prior to the Big Ten opener Sept. 27. The start to the season was the best for the program since 2004.
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.
Senior Kaitlyn Leary and junior Taylor Sherwin finished the non-conference schedule with a pair of MVP honors each. Leary was named the Seminole Invitational (Sept. 6-7) and the Blue and White Classic (Sept. 20-21) Most Valuable Player, while Sherwin was awarded the honor at both the NIU Invitational (Aug. 30-31) and the Sports Imports DC Koehl Classic (Sept. 13-14).
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
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 315-145 for a .685 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 sixth with 1,280 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 will wait to see their postseason fate Sunday, Dec. 1. The NCAA Selection Show will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 9:30 p.m. ET.