The Ohio State University Women’s Volleyball season is complete. And it has been since Friday December 9th, 2016. So arguably I am rather late with a review, followed by some thoughts. Truth be told – there is never a time limit on a discussion of warriors in a Scarlet and Gray uniform. Football broke our hearts. Basketball is now in swing, and we are keeping our fingers crossed on that. The Fencing team is now underway in the Division I & Junior NAC. The Spring sports will be soon …… and the time to reflect is now a grand time.

The Women Buckeyes in Volleyball finished the season with a 22-13 record, 10-10 within the powerful Big Ten, while having quite a say at home – being 10-3, while Away having less say as they finished out 4-9. And on neutral territory they would be nearly flawless with an 8-1 record.

In this past season of 2016 they started off in late August in the North Texas Challenge by beating Texas State, North Texas, and Texas A&M to take the Challenge Title. They would move into the middle of September in the Ball State Active Ankle Challenge with another title by beating Valparaiso, UNC Greensboro – who contrary to standard discussions within the walls of this sport is a good and talented team who had finished the year with a 18-13 record, they would complete the title win against host Ball State with a 3-0 victory.

Moving into Big Ten play did not start well. They quickly lost to national powers Wisconsin and Minnesota to be a quick 0-2 in the league. Come October 1st their upset of #1 Nebraska, 3-1, set the world of Volleyball on its ears and gave the Buckeyes a sudden shot of confidence that they needed. And on October 22nd a win against a good and persistent Spartans of *ichigan State continued their hunt to pursue a great year.

In the NCAA Tournament on the 2nd of December they opened up in Kansas with a 3-0 win over Missouri State, before shutting down a determined Kansas State 3-2. This moved them into the Sweet Sixteen.

Their season ended, as I have mentioned on December 9th against the Badgers of Wisconsin in a scrappy 3-2 loss. But, indeed that is hardly any cause for shame. Wisconsin would go onto the Final Four before losing to Texas, a traditional force in Women’s Volleyball.

In the conclusion of this past season both Taylor Hughes and Taylor Sandbothe were recognized as two of the nation’s top players by receiving All-American honors doled out by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Sandbothe secured Second Team accolades while Hughes received Honorable Mention. The 2016 season marks the third straight year that Taylor Sandbothe was within the honors of an All-American campaign.
Taylor Sandbothe surpassed Dawn McDougall (1988-91) ON November 2nd (against the mighty Wisconsin) for the most career blocks in the history of The Ohio State University. Her third block that evening marked the 518th of her fantastic career. She’d finish her Buckeye career with a total of 564 blocks.

Sandbothe’s attack on the OSU records book brought her name onto nine other lists. 564 total blocks (1st); 455 block assists (1st); 109 solo blocks (2nd); 1.13 blocks per set (2nd); 1,914.5 points (4th); .304 attack percentage (6th); 1,498 Kills (5th); 3,348 Attempts (8th); 3.84 points per set (14th) and 3.01 Kills per set (19th).

The Buckeyes late season switch over to a 6-2 offense for the vast remainder of play completely opened the door for Taylor Hughes to show-off her tremendous adaptability in the world of volleyball. Her wide range of talents has been represented in a pair of triple-doubles, both of which arrived in strong competition; #10 Penn State and 14th ranked Kansas State in the NCAA Second Round.

Both Taylor’s have also been named AVCA All-Region and All-Big Ten. It certainly is worthy to mention the whole squad too. For their efforts and Buckeye determination afforded OSU a fantastic year:

Kylie Randall – Middle Blocker, 6-2 SR out of Tomball, Texas (Magnolia H.S.)

Jenna Adams – Defensive Specialist, 5-10 FR out of San Mateo, Calif. (Saint Francis H.S.)

Valeria León – Defensive Specialist, 5-6 SR out of Ponce, Puerto Rico (Colegio Sagrado Corazón De Jesús)

Madison Smeathers – Middle Blocker, 6-3 FR out of Bargersville, Ind. (Center Grove H.S.)

Luisa Schirmer – Outside Hitter, 6-1 JR out of Pittsford, N.Y. (Pittsford Sutherland H.S.)

Taylor Hughes – Setter, 6-1 SO out of Carroll, Ohio (Bloom-Carroll H.S.)

Ashley Wenz – Outside Hitter, 6-3 JR out of Springboro, Ohio (Springboro H.S.)

Alexa Turk – Defensive Specialist, 5-11 FR out of Gates Mills, Ohio (Gilmour Academy)

Audra Appold – Outside Hitter, 6-1 SO out of Perrysburg, Ohio (Perrysburg H.S.)

Taylor Sandbothe – Middle Blocker, 6-2 SR out of Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Lee’s Summit West H.S.)

Brooke Bailey – Outside Hitter, 6-2 FR Canton, Ohio (Jackson H.S.)

Abby Fesl – Setter, 5-11 SR out of Arlington Heights, Ill. (University of North Florida)

Camry Halm – Defensive Specialist, 5-2 FR out of Apopka, Fla. (Apopka H.S.)

Kalisha Goree – Defensive Specialist, 5-4 JR out of Columbia City, Ind. (Columbia City H.S.)

Ana Beatriz Franklin – Outside Hitter, 5-11 FR out of Rio de Janerio, Brazil (Centro Educacional de Lagoa)

I have to tell you – being on my 2nd year now writing of the Women’s Volleyball program I have enjoyed it greatly. In truth, I began to write of them because it appeared no other Buckeye’s sports sight was. I wanted to focus in on a topic that would bring quick notice. I chose right. In the process I learned a great sport, rooted just as hard as I would for anything in the matches that I covered and reported on … I would also garner an interview with one of the top stars of the 2015 season, Elizabeth Campbell … but most importantly I witnessed the Buckeye fight that we as a fan of the Scarlet and Gray have come to expect … the Women’s Volleyball team has that fire too!

Great job to the Coaching Staff:

Geoff Carlston – Head Coach

Nikki Klingsporn – Assistant Coach

Susan Halverson – Assistant Coach

Caitlin Insana – Director of Operations

Stephen Creevy – Volunteer Assistant Coach

Maggie Heim – Student Assistant Coach

Andrew Fischer – Team Manager

Jennifer Novak – Athletic Trainer