The No. 13 Ohio State women’s volleyball team will travel to Buffalo, N.Y., this weekend for the Blue and White Classic hosted by the University at Buffalo.
OSU (9-0) will look to continue its undefeated start against Maryland Eastern Shore Friday at 4:30 p.m. before two matches on Saturday — one against Valparaiso at 11 a.m. and the tournament finale against Buffalo at 7 p.m.
The Buckeyes, coming off a 3-0 showing at the Sports Imports DC Koehl Classic at St. John Arena, are led by reigning Big Ten setter of the week, junior Taylor Sherwin.
Sherwin said she is excited to have a chance at extending the team’s strong start.
“Another sweep this weekend would be awesome,” Sherwin said. “It would be awesome to be 12-0.”
Junior outside hitter Erin Sekinger added she wants to see her team’s full potential as non-conference play winds down.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what my team does this weekend and seeing how good we can (be),” she said.
Even though the team is undefeated, coach Geoff Carlston said this group can still make strides before the Big Ten season starts.
“We’ve got a lot of room for growth,” he said. “That’s the exciting part for our team.”
On the offensive side of things, a constant performer has been outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary. The senior has already tallied 199 kills through just 36 sets for a 5.53 kill/set average, which ranks first in the nation.
OSU has had key contributions from freshman right side hitter Taylor Sandbothe (76 kills) and freshman outside hitter Kylie Randall (3.04 kills a set).
While some individuals have started the season well, sophomore middle blocker Andrea Kacsits said the team still has to work on consistency, especially from set to set.
“We come out so strong in the first, and then after that it’s a lull and then we come back for the third and fourth (sets),” Kacsits said.
Senior defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo said another strong weekend will give the Buckeyes “a lot of confidence” heading into the Big Ten schedule.
After the tournament, OSU is scheduled to return to Columbus Sept. 27 for a match against Michigan to open Big Ten play.