The Ohio State women’s volleyball team is on their way back to Columbus with a 7-2 overall record after a weekend of play at the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational in Springfield, Missouri. OSU finished the tournament 2-1, taking down Indiana Univerisity – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. The Buckeyes weren’t able to stop the Missouri State Bears, however – marking their second loss this season.
The Buckeye “tribe” had no problem sweeping IUPUI in three sets, but went the full-five sets in their next two matches – their bout against MSU lasting nearly two and half hours.
Senior libero Valeria Leon and senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe were named to the all-tournament team – the tenth time for Sandbothe in the last 11 non-conference events.
This weekend’s tournament also pushed the pair even further in their quest to hold the top spots amid the OSU record books. For Leon, she moved into second place for career digs with a total of 1,399. She’ll need to scrape up just under 200 more digs to pass first place holder Stacey Gordon (2001-2004) with 1,572.
Sandbothe’s career total block count of 459 puts her in the third-place position, just below Danielle Meyer (2004-2007) with 479. Sandbothe also ranks second in school history for career solo blocks.
The Buckeyes bulldozed over the Jaguars in the first set, 25-9. Things didn’t look up for IUPUI in the second set with OSU coming out on top, 25-13.
OSU was able to tally a win on their record after they took the third set, 25-13. The Buckeyes held the Jaguars to a mere .011 attacking efficiency, while on the other side of the net, Sandbothe and freshman middle blocker Madison Smeathers combined for 24 kills on the match.
Smeathers saw her second career start against IUPUI.
The Buckeyes jumped out to an early 4-0 in the first set and never relinquished their lead. They took the set 25-21.
The second set was a game of back-and-forth between the two teams, but this set belonged to the Bears, 25-23.
OSU held the lead for almost the entire third set, until they fell behind at 18-19. An OSU timeout at 20-23 wasn’t enough to cinch a victory, and MSU would win the third set, 25-21.
Good things happen for the Buckeyes when they are ahead early in the set, and that remained to be true in the fourth. A final kill by junior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer would keep OSU alive to play again in the fifth set.
Buckeyes would lead the final set 9-8 before the Bears called a timeout. A kill from MSU’s Lynsey Wright would be enough to gain momentum of the set and the match. MSU won the fifth set, 15-12.
This is the second time this season that the Bears have beaten a nationally-ranked Big Ten team. They won against a then-No. 14 Illinois team in five sets on Aug. 27.
Both of OSU’s losses so far this season have been in five-set decisions.
OSU led the first set for 15 points before falling into a hole the team wasn’t able to climb out of. The Phoenix would win the first set of the game, 25-21.
The Buckeyes may have been down, but they were not out. OSU battled their way back from an early deficit in the second set, solidified by the swinging power of Sandbothe, slamming down nine kills.
OSU shut down the Phoenix in the third set, 25-15.
A change of sides also proved to be a change of fate. Green Bay took the win on the fourth set and held OSU to only 14 points.
A quick fifth set went in favor of the Buckeyes, 15-11, and OSU ended the tournament, 2-1.
The Buckeyes served 10 aces during the match, three coming off the hands of junior defensive specialist Kalisha Goree.
Sandbothe posted 20 kills on the match, but it was sophomore setter Taylor Hughes that led in attacking efficiency with eight kills on 11 errorless attempts. Hughes also collected 49 assists.
The Buckeye “tribe” finished the tournament with a 7-2 record heading into their last weekend of non-conference play at the Ball State Active Ankle Challenge on Friday in Muncie, Indiana.