The Ohio State women’s volleyball team swept the competition at the 9th Annual Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic and improved to 4-2 on the season.
OSU first beat Auburn (3-3) and then Florida Gulf Coast (2-4) on Friday, before defeating Southern Illinois (2-5) on Sunday.
In the third match of the tournament against Southern Illinois, the Buckeyes defeated the Salukis in four sets (22-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-19).
Senior outside hitter Erin Sekinger led the Buckeyes in kills with 16, while freshman outside hitter Luisa Schirmer and sophomore middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe each had 11. Schirmer also led the team in digs with 15, followed by sophomore libero Valeria León with 11.
OSU coach Geoff Carlston said he liked what he saw from the team’s defensive play after making changes following the University of Oregon Invitational the previous week.
“We made a couple tweaks that made a big difference,” he said. “It simplified less movement so we could dig some balls.”
Junior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell said on Friday that the Buckeyes corrected problems were already showing in their first two matches.
“Another key (to victory) was to communicate on the court,” Campbell said. “We had a lot of young (players) playing tonight and just talking to each other throughout helps (them) out.”
In its second game on Friday against FGCU, OSU won in what was its closest game of the tournament in four sets (22-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-18).
Sandbothe led the Buckeyes in total points with 16 kills, three digs, one block and one assist. León led the team in digs with 19 and Schirmer contributed 12 kills.
FGCU senior setter Gigi Meyer, the daughter of OSU football coach Urban Meyer, had 131 assists and 27 digs throughout the tournament. Against the Buckeyes, she led the Eagles with 42 assists and had 9 digs.
In its opening game of the tournament game, OSU defeated Auburn in three sets (25-14, 25-14, 25-20).
In the first set, OSU went on a 10-0 run to gain a 15-5 advantage and from that point held all the momentum. The third set proved to be a closer fight, but the Buckeyes still managed to win by five — which was their largest lead of the period.
Senior setter Taylor Sherwin had 17 assists and 2 digs. Schirmer had eight digs, six kills and four blocks. Sekinger led the Buckeyes in kills with 10 while León led the team with 13 digs.
Campbell, Sandbothe and Schirmer all received all-tournament recognition, while Schirmer was named the most outstanding player.
After receiving the all-tournament team selection in Columbus after doing the same in the Buckeyes’ season-opening tournament in Oregon, Sandbothe said she believes having home court advantage was helpful in fixing mistakes made in Oregon, and for the future.
“Getting a home court advantage really helped us to lean on what we needed to do,” Sandbothe said. “We’re still a pretty young team so having leadership come from the younger players is a huge part of what makes us work.”
The team is scheduled to be back in action Friday at the Millenium Hotel Invitational. The Buckeyes are scheduled to face Syracuse at 4 p.m., followed by Ohio on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Xavier later that evening at 7 p.m.