Coach Geoff Carlston said his goal this season is to finish in the Big Ten top five. He named junior middle blocker Andrea Kacsits and senior outside hitter Erin Sekinger as the players who developed the most during the offseason and said he expects them to contribute greatly this season.
“The conference isn’t getting any easier, so it’s a battle, and I think we’ve added some depth this year which we didn’t have last year, especially after we had a couple of injuries,” Carlston said.
“We’re as talented as we’ve ever been and right now it’s just about gelling a little bit and getting them comfortable with each other, and our goal is to go deep in the NCAA tournament.”
During the scrimmage, both sides were evenly matched as players swapped jerseys throughout the night. But absent from the court was senior middle blocker Anna Faul.
Carlston said Faul tore her ACL during nonconference play last season and had offseason surgery, which doctors warned could be career-ending.
“That’s a big loss, but we have some other kids who are going to have to step up,” he said.
With the start of the season right around the corner, Carlston said he is excited to see how his team performs in a game situation.
“We are keeping things in perspective and taking things one match at a time,” Carlston said. “Our first match is going to be against a top 25 team. It’s going to be on national TV. I’m interested to see how this group responds.”
Kacsits voiced a similar sentiment about the upcoming season opener.
“We’re going to have to make sure that we stick together as a team like we did tonight. No matter who was on the floor, it’s got to be consistent,” Kacsits said.
The team is scheduled to start its season Friday at 10 p.m. in Eugene, Ore., against the Ducks as part of the University of Oregon Invitational. The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Illinois State at 3 p.m. and Central Arkansas at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in their final two games of the tournament.