The beat rolls on for the No. 23 Ohio State women’s volleyball team.
The Buckeyes picked up three wins at the Four Points By Sheraton Seminole Invitational over the weekend to win the tournament, pushing their record to 6-0.
OSU earned a five set victory against No. 16 Western Kentucky and then beat No. 15 Florida State 3-1 on Friday before sweeping unranked Florida Gulf Coast Saturday. It’s the first time the Buckeyes have started 6-0 since 2006.
Coach Geoff Carlston said OSU “showed a lot of toughness” to beat Western Kentucky and that he was happy with how his offense performed on Florida State’s home court.
“(I’m) just really happy with how our offense played against Florida State in a hostile environment,” Carlston said.
The Buckeyes were led by outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary against the Hilltoppers, as the senior recorded her second double-double of the season with 20 kills and 10 digs.
Freshman middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe and classmate Kylie Randall, an outside hitter, added 15 and 11 kills respectively. Another freshman, defensive specialist Valeria León, played in four of the five sets.
Randall said in an email it was a huge accomplishment for her and her classmates to play a role as freshmen.
“It was a huge accomplishment for all of us,” Randall said. “It felt really good to contribute and make an impact on and off the court.”
Junior setter Taylor Sherwin tallied 47 assists and senior libero Davionna DiSalvatore added 16 digs.
Against the Seminoles, Leary picked up a career high 27 kills while Sandbothe and Randall tied for second on the team with 11 kills apiece. Sherwin added 55 assists and senior defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo had a team best 18 digs.
Even though OSU won in straight sets, Florida Gulf Coast kept the second and third sets in question until the very end. The Buckeyes finished with 25-15, 28-26 and 26-24 set victories.
Carlston said the match showed his team is able to keep up a high quality of play in tight situations.
“We were down 24-21 in the third set and won the next five points straight,” Carlston said. “We are able to play well under pressure.”
Leary again led the match with 19 kills and Randall completed 10 of her 16 attacks with two errors for a .500 attacking percentage.
Sherwin continued her strong play with 34 assists to finish the tournament at a total of 136 after being named the tournament MVP and Big Ten setter of the week at the NIU Invitational to open the season.
Carlston said Sherwin showed great decision making ability throughout the tournament.
“Taylor Sherwin’s choices this weekend were as good as they’ve been since she’s been here,” he said.
Junior setter Gigi Meyer, the daughter of OSU football coach Urban Meyer, had 30 assists and three service aces for Florida Gulf Coast.
The Buckeyes return to Columbus this weekend for the Sports Imports DC Koehl Classic. They are scheduled to play Indiana University, Purdue University at Indianapolis Friday at 7 p.m. before matches on Saturday against Southeast Missouri at 12:30 p.m. and Xavier at 7 p.m.