The Ohio State Women’s Volleyball team ended a disappointing season (15-16 overall & 8-12 within the Big Ten) with a loss to Illinois 3-2. The bright note of the evening (Saturday, Nov. 25th @ St. John’s Arena) were Seniors Ashley Wenz and Luisa Schirmer who combined for 38 kills in the Buckeyes five set drop: (17-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22, 15-13).
Ashly Wenz, in her last time wearing a Buckeyes uniform, did “literally” everything for the Buckeyes in her “warrior” attempt to prevent another loss for the team. She would perform magnificently, having a match-best 24 kills, 14 digs, four blocks and two service aces. Luísa Schirmer would add 14 kills and 15 digs in her ninth double-double. She boosted her career digs total to 1,004. Schirmer also surpassed 1,000 kills for the 2017 season.
Madison Smeathers chimed into the act with nine kills while Lauren Witte posted eight kills and five blocks. Becca Mauer had career marks with 56 assists and four blocks. Hannah Gruensfelder dug 21 balls.
As a team, The Ohio State University recorded 11 blocks and held the Fighting Illini (21-10, 12-8 B1G) to a .200 clip.
The season hasn’t quite panned out as hopes had been starting back in late August. But, realistically speaking, the Buckeyes lost a true force in Taylor Sandbothe who graduated after the 2016 season. Seniors Wenz and Schirmer did step up for the Buckeyes this season and certainly deserve that recognition. But the Buckeyes, in what could be termed as a rebuilding year, in a roster of 17 presented only three Seniors – along with four Freshmen. Also, the harsh fact that the Big Ten is a dominant league, certainly played out some realities. In the Top 20 Nationally five Big Ten Teams are ranked (Penn State, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and *ichigan State) – in the top 30 Nationally add three more (Purdue, Illinois, and TTUN). The Buckeyes are listed as 42nd in the Nation. They sit ahead of the likes of Austin Peay of the OVC League who is 30-5, Temple of the ACC at 17-9, and Dayton of the Atlantic 10 at 23-8. There is a reason for this – I’ll answer it in two words – Big Ten. The dominance is – truly – a factor.
Realistically, the Buckeyes did quite well on this year of rebuilding. Next year will be a studied case of improvement – mark my word – and why is that? The Ohio State University in Women’s Volleyball can boast of 31 AVCA All Americans, 76 All Big-10 Selections, 3 Big Ten Championships, 22 NCAA Tournaments, 16 Sweet 16 Appearances, 5 Sweet 16 Appearances since 2010, 2 NCAA Final 4’s, and Coach Geoff Carlston’s Winning percentage is .710.
Need I explain any further why we can expect 2018 to be better!
Great Year Ladies … Be Proud … You represent the Greatest University on God’s Green Earth….