The Ohio State women’s volleyball team is set to take on the Millenium Hotel Invitational with the aid of the reigning Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week.
Sophomore middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe took home that honor after OSU’s sweep of the D.C. Koehl Classic last weekend before the team turned its attention to three games in Cincinnati, Ohio, set to start Friday afternoon.
After sweeping competition in Columbus last week, the Buckeyes are set for their hardest test to date as they are scheduled to take on Syracuse (5-1), Ohio University (3-3) and Xavier (5-1).
OSU coach Geoff Carlston said he believes the Buckeyes will be in for a test as each team plays a different style of volleyball.
“We have to adjust to the differences quickly. We play Syracuse, (which) has a very physical straightforward offense and two very quick offenses (Ohio and Xavier),” Carlston said.
After focusing on their defense since the season started, Carlston said the team has added more time during the week to focus on their offense.
Junior outside hitter Katie Mitchell said the team has continued to work on its offense and defense as that is what the team believes will be a major key to victory this weekend.
“We transitioned by changing our offense a lot from the first week and what we’ve worked on before and so adapting to that,” Mitchell said. “And then also fine-tuning our defense. We know that’s a place where we need to get better at.”
Freshman defensive specialist Luna Tsujimoto said the team needs to play with consistency in order to have success in Cincinnati.
“I think we need to stay consistent and we need stay energized the whole time,” Tsujimoto said. “Moments when we freak out … the captains help us stay calm and the back row needs help to stay calm.”
OSU is scheduled to take on Syracuse on Friday at 4 p.m., followed by Ohio on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Xavier at 7 p.m.
Saturday’s game against Ohio is also set to mark the first time in Carlston’s career he will face the Bobcats, who he coached from 2003-07.
The Buckeyes are set to return to action at St. John Arena on Oct. 8, when they are scheduled to take on Illinois at 7 p.m.