Lantern file photo
Ohio State women’s volleyball coach Geoff Carlston said the team’s Tuesday intersquad scrimmage at St. John Arena should prepare the team well for when the Buckeyes’ season kicks off with Sports Import DC Koehl Classic Friday.
“We scheduled a very, very hard preseason this year,” Carlston said.
The No. 24-ranked Buckeyes open the classic against Houston this Friday at 5 p.m. at St. John Arena, and continue play with games against No. 20 Oregon and Toledo on Saturday.
Senior outside-hitter Emily Danks said she is excited for the action this weekend.
“This year we have a really solid team. We have a lot of depth, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how far we can go this year,” Danks said.
Senior middle-blocker Mariah Booth took her teammate’s optimism even a step further.
“I think this season is going to be one of the best seasons we’ve ever had in this program and I think that our girls that came in as freshmen came in ready to learn and ready to work,” Booth said.
Eager freshmen and an experienced squad are what Carlston said he likes to see before the season.
“We’re older, we have more kids who have played a lot of volleyball, they’ve started for us three, some of them it’s even four years,” Carlston said.
But competition before the team opens up its Big Ten campaign on Sept. 9 against Iowa will get the team as prepared as they can be, Carlston said, even though the conference is “a whole other animal.”
“There’s 335 Division I teams, and eight teams in the Big Ten are in the Top 25, so we’ll have a tough weekend every weekend,” Carlson said.
The Buckeyes will look to improve on the 21-15 overall record they posted one year ago, as well as an 8-5 mark at home.
Booth said the entire team knows that Carlston planned a tough schedule, but that will show how ready the team is to play.
“We’ll probably have one of, if not, the toughest overall schedule in the country,” Carlston said. “And I did that because we have experience and we wanted to challenge our team to raise their game to a whole other level.”