Buckeyes Conclude Regular Season this Week
Nov. 26, 2013
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.
ILLINOIS, NORTHWESTERN RECAP
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
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
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
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.
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).
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
Sherwin, a 6-0 setter, is among the top 50 nationally in assists, averaging 10.91 per set.
BIG TEN RANKINGS
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.