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Ohio State volleyball looks to pull upset over No. 6 Penn State

OSU junior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell (14) defends a hit by Michigan State on Oct. 24 at St. John Arena.

OSU junior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell (14) defends a hit by Michigan State on Oct. 24 at St. John Arena. Credit: Taylor Cameron / Lantern photographer

With a No. 17 ranking in tow, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team has a chance to reverse a losing streak more than a decade old.

The Buckeyes (16-6, 7-3) are set to travel to No. 6 Penn State (20-3, 8-2) to face a Nittany Lions team that has a history of dominance at home.

Over the past 10 seasons, the Nittany Lions women’s volleyball program has lost just five matches at home, including postseason play. And the Buckeyes’ last win in State College, Pa., came more than a decade ago on Oct. 20, 2004, in a five-set match.

However, Buckeye senior setter Taylor Sherwin said she believes that the Buckeyes can end their losing streak this week.

“They are a great team and it’s going to be a battle out on the court,” Sherwin said.

Senior outside hitter Erin Sekinger said the team this year has a type of confidence that was lacking in years past.

“I feel like our team has the confidence this year to walk into that gym and feel like we can beat them,” Sekinger said. “It all depends on how we take their atmosphere.”

The Nittany Lions will be led by Big Ten Setter of the Week senior Micha Hancock and Big Ten Freshman of the Week outside hitter Ali Frantti. Hancock is first in service aces in the Big Ten with 1.06 per set and second in the Big Ten in assists per set with 11.38.

Defensively, Penn State ranks first in all Big Ten categories except for hitting percentage by opponent, as they’re second to Michigan State. It ranks first in kills by opponent at 10.08 per set, assists by opponent at 9.51 per set, service aces by opponent at 0.45 per set, blocks by opponent at 1.51 per set and digs per opponent at 10.81 per set.

After Tuesday’s contest, the Buckeyes are scheduled to head back to St. John Arena for their next three matches as they’re set to face the same Nittany Lions team and Big Ten newcomers Maryland (9-12, 2-8) and Rutgers (7-16, 0-10). The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Penn State on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by the Terrapins and Scarlet Knights on Nov. 7 and 8 at 7 p.m.

 

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