VIDEO: Notre Dame Preview
Nov. 28, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 14 Ohio State women's volleyball team heads to the University of Kentucky for the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament and takes on Notre Dame Friday at 5 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum.
Host and 16th-seeded Kentucky will play East Tennessee State at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday and the first round winners will return to the court Saturday for a 7 p.m. second round match.
Friday, November 30
Ohio State Buckeyes (22-10) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (20-9) - 5 p.m. ET in Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky Wildcats (20-10) vs. East Tennessee State Bucs (23-12) - 7:30 p.m. ET in Lexington, Ky.Saturday, December 1
Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 2 - 7 p.m. ET in Lexington, Ky. Live stats: OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Live video: UKAthletics.com
OHIO STATE IN NCAA
This year's selection marks the fourth-consecutive year the Buckeyes have reached the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State holds a 28-18 record in 18 appearances. Last season, the Buckeyes defeated Middle Tennessee State in the first round and followed with a 3-2 victory over host Tennessee to make their second-straight Sweet 16 appearance. Ohio State fell to eventual NCAA runner-up Illinois, 3-1, in Gainesville, Fla.
2012 SENIOR CLASS
The 2012 senior class of Mariah Booth, Emily Danks, Mari Hole and Amanda Peterson have been an instrumental part in the program's success over the last four years. Booth, Danks and Peterson were all a part of head coach Geoff Carlston's first recruiting class with Hole joining the squad last season.
The quartet has been leaders in their respective positions on the court this season for the Buckeyes. Hole and Danks are the team's key offensive performers with Booth leading the blocking corps. Peterson has paced the Buckeye offense and is among the Big Ten's best in assists. All four will conclude their careers in the Top 20 on a handful of Ohio State career lists.
Seniors Mari Hole and Emily Danks and junior Kaitlyn Leary earned All-Big Ten honors, the league announced Tuesday. Hole was one of eight voted as a unanimous All-Big Ten selection, while Danks and Leary earned All-Big Ten honorable mention.
Hole picked up her second All-Big Ten honor after leading the squad with a 4.36 kills per set average against conference opponents. That mark was second among all Big Ten student-athletes. The outside hitter from Oslo, Norway, was fourth in the league with an average of 4.74 points per set. Hole garnered two Big Ten Player of the Week nods this season and also was named the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week in mid-November. Overall, she totaled 31 double-digit kill matches with 17 double-doubles (kills/digs) to lead the Buckeyes.
The All-Big Ten honorable mention honor is the second-consecutive honor for Danks. The opposite was among the league's best in aces, totaling 29 against Big Ten opponents for a .38 average. The Round Rock, Texas, product finished with a 2.16 kills average and led the team with 62 blocks in conference play. Danks had 16 double-digit kill performances overall, including two double-doubles during the Big Ten season.
Leary earned the first Big Ten honor of her career after having a breakout season for Ohio State. The Parma, Ohio, product finished second on the squad with a 3.20 kills average against league foes, totaling 243 on the year. The outside hitter also finished second in points, average 3.42 per set. Leary totaled 18 double-digit kill matches this season, including 15 against Big Ten competition.
Seniors Mari Hole and Emily Danks each reached major milestones in their final season with Ohio State.
Hole has had two outstanding seasons with Ohio State, leading the Buckeye offense both this season and last. The Oslo, Norway, product, who transferred from UCLA last year, became the 20th Buckeye to record 1,000 kills in a career Saturday vs. Indiana. Her road to 1,000 was the third-fastest in program history behind former Buckeyes Vanessa Wouters (1996-97) and Stacey Gordon (2001-04). She finished the weekend with 1,046 career kills.
Danks has consistently been one of the top servers in the Big Ten and had been making her way up the Ohio State career service aces list. She entered the season with 180, needing 28 to break Lisa Bettio's record of 207 set in 1985. Danks picked up the record-tying ace in the middle of set two against Northwestern (10/6) and broke the record in the same set to give the Buckeyes a 25-23 victory. She enters the weekend with 227 overall.
Danks also notched her 1,000th kill this season, coming against Toledo (8/25). She currently sits 12th in Ohio State history with 1,299 kills in a four-year span.
ANOTHER 20-WIN SEASON
With its 3-2 win over Illinois (11/10), Ohio State notched its fourth-straight season with 20 or more wins under head coach Geoff Carlston and the 27th season with 20+ wins in the program's 42-year history.
CARLSTON'S 100TH WIN
In his fifth year at Ohio State, head coach Geoff Carlston reached a milestone in his career with the Buckeyes on Nov. 2 in the team's 3-1 win over Wisconsin. Carlston became the third coach in program history to reach 100 wins at Ohio State. While with Ohio State, he has guided the Buckeyes to four-straight 20 win seasons and has led the team to three NCAA tournaments, including back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.
Carlston also needs three more wins for 300 in his 13-year coaching career. Carlston is 104-67 at Ohio State and 297-131 in his career.
The Buckeyes seem to love the challenge of playing on the road as the squad is 11-2 this season when competing away from St. John Arena, including an 8-2 record in Big Ten road matches. The team's losses this year came at the hands of then-No. 10 Minnesota (Sept. 28) in three sets and most recently, at No. 1 Penn State (11/21).
SCOUTING NOTRE DAME
The Fighting Irish finished their regular season 20-9 overall and 13-2 in the Big East. The squad is on a three-match losing streak, including a 3-2 loss against Ohio last weekend. Notre Dame finished third overall in the Big East and it is the first NCAA appearance for the Fighting Irish since 2009.
Sophomore Toni Alugbue has a 3.50 kill average and 4.07 points per set average, while sophomore Jeni Houser is second on the squad with a 3.27 kill average. Junior Maggie Brindock has an assist average of 9.66 and freshman Taylor Morey is averaging 4.18 digs per set.
The Buckeyes hold a slight 4-3 lead over the Fighting Irish and their last match up was in 1996 in the NCAA tournament with Ohio State taking a 3-2 win.
SCOUTING EAST TENNESSEE STATE
East Tennessee State earned the program's first bid to the NCAA tournament after the squad captured its first ever Atlantic Sun Tournament title with a 3-2 win over North Florida (11/17). The Bucs enter the weekend with a 23-12 overall record.
Junior Megan Devine was recently named the A-Sun Player of the Year and averages 3.96 kills per set. Sophomore Meredith Hardy garnered A-Sun First Team honors and is second on the squad with a 2.85 kill average. Hardy leads the Bucs with a 1.46 block average. Freshman Khadijah Wiley earned a spot on the All-Freshman team and closed out the regular season with a .99 block average.
Ohio State and ETSU have never met in competition.
The Kentucky Wildcats enter the tournament with a 20-10 overall mark. The team finished third in the SEC East at 14-6 and fourth overall. UK closed out the regular season last weekend with a pair of 3-0 wins over Missouri and Auburn.
Senior libero was named the SEC Libero of The Year for the third-consecutive season. She averaged 4.09 digs per set in conference play and finished with a 3.91 overall average. Junior Whitney Billings was named to the first team and leads the squad with a 3.03 kill average. Freshman Sara Schwarzwalder was an All-Freshman team pick and totaled 85 blocks for a .89 average.
Ohio State holds a slight 6-4 advantage of over the Wildcats. The two teams last met in early 2010 with Kentucky taking a 3-1 victory.
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Ohio State finished the regular season fourth in the Big Ten with a 13-7 overall record. Penn State captured the Big Ten title with a 19-1 mark, while Nebraska and Minnesota finished tied for second at 15-5. Purdue rounded out the top 5 with a 12-8 record.
Nebraska was voted to win the conference by the league coaches prior to the start of the season. Ohio State was chosen to finish sixth.
A handful of upperclassmen Buckeyes have set new career-high marks this season. They are listed below:
Emily Danks - 24 kills at Maryland (9/1)
Anna Faul - four solo blocks vs. Northwestern (11/7), eight kills and 11.0 points vs. Michigan (11/23)
Davionna DiSalvatore - 31 digs and three aces vs. Wisconsin (11/2)
Mariah Booth - 17 kills vs. Dayton (9/7) and at Houston (9/15)
Kaitlyn Leary - 21 kills at Wisconsin (9/29)
Mari Hole - 26 kills vs. Minnesota (11/4)
Amanda Peterson - nine kills vs. Wisconsin (11/2), 16 digs at Nebraska (10/26)
Senior Mari Hole is leading the squad in double-double performances this season. Hole has a team-best 17 double-doubles (kills/digs) and has recorded double-digit kills in 31 of Ohio State's 32 matches. She has had eight matches with 20 or more kills. Last season, Hole totaled 32 matches with double-digit kill margins and 21 double-doubles.
Senior setter Amanda Peterson has totaled eight double-doubles (assists/digs) for the Buckeyes with double-digit assists in all matches played.
Junior libero Davionna DiSalvatore has led the Buckeye defense all season and has recorded double-digit digs in 29 of 33 matches this season.
IN THE POLLS
The AVCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll was last released Monday, Nov. 19, and had the Buckeyes at No. 14. The Volleyball Magazine final regular season poll was released Tuesday and had Ohio State ranked No. 17.
The Big Ten had five teams ranked in the final regular season AVCA poll - Penn State (1), Nebraska (10), Minnesota (11), Ohio State (14) and Purdue (22).
HEAD COACH Geoff Carlston
Geoff Carlston is in his fifth year as head coach of Ohio State and is the fifth head coach in the 42-year history of the program. Under his direction, the Buckeyes have recorded three 20-win seasons and have reached the NCAA Semifinals twice (2010, 2011). He has coached AVCA All-America honorable mentions Katie Dull, Mari Hole and Emily Danks. Carlston is 104-67 overall at Ohio State and is 47-53 in Big Ten competition.
Carlston is a 1993 graduate from the University of Minnesota. Prior to Ohio State, he spent five years as head coach of Ohio University where his squads played in five NCAA tournaments and captured five-consecutive MAC titles.