After losing its last two matches, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team is looking to complete a clean sweep against Iowa (13-14, 5-11) at St. John Arena on Wednesday.
No. 20 OSU (18-10, 9-7) went into Iowa City, Iowa, in October and swept the Hawkeyes (25-19, 25-17, 25-22), and Iowa is just 5-8 since that match.
Under first-year coach Bond Shymansky, Iowa started its first 20 games with a 9-11 record, starting the Big Ten season 1-8. It was also swept in its first six Big Ten contests of the season.
But OSU senior setter Taylor Sherwin said the team have to be aware of every team’s abilities.
“We go into every single match having respect for opponents, no matter their level of play,” Sherwin said. “I think we need to respect them as if they were Penn State.”
The Nittany Lions are the defending Division I NCAA Women’s Volleyball Champions.
But since Iowa’s 9-11, 1-8 start to this season, the Hawkeyes have since gone 4-3 and have a ranked win on their resume coming against then-No. 12 Purdue. While the Buckeyes will be the Hawkeyes’ fourth-straight ranked opponent, sophomore middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe said OSU is prepared after losing two straight matches to then-No. 12 Illinois and Michigan.
“I saw a lot of good things and we were pretty aggressive in the past few matches,” Sandbothe said.
The Hawkeyes are last in the Big Ten in kills by opponent with an average of 12.99 per set and are 13th in the Big Ten in blocks by opponent and service aces by opponents with averages of 2.55 and 1.47 per set, respectively.
Against the Hawkeyes, junior outside hitter Katie Mitchell said that OSU needs to be “more aggressive.”
“We always need to be aggressive,” Mitchell said. “You never know what every team’s going to bring against you.”
Wednesday’s match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
The Buckeyes are then set to face off against the Division I national runner-up No. 2 Wisconsin (24-2, 14-1). The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start on Friday at St. John Arena..