After being swept on Tuesday at No. 6 Penn State, the No. 17 Ohio State women’s volleyball team is looking to knock off the defending NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball champions at home.
One thing this Buckeye team has said throughout this season is that they try to prevent the “simple errors” that cost them kills. Against the Nittany Lions (21-3, 9-2), the Buckeyes (16-7, 7-4) committed 23 attacking errors and had 12 blocks against.
Junior middle blocker Andrea Kacsits said there are always additional adjustments OSU can make, even when the Buckeyes play the same team twice in one week.
“In the locker room, we talked about working hard and inspiring each other with the awesome plays that we make,” Kacsits said. “I think we need to make a couple more of those awesome plays and it’s just a work ethic thing you have to practice.”
The Nittany Lions are led in part by a pari of Ohio natives in senior middle hitter Nia Grant, of Warren, Ohio, and junior outside hitter Megan Courtney, of Dayton, Ohio.
Grant is the Big Ten leader in hitting percentage per set with a .461 percent. Courtney is ranked No. 14 in the conference in hitting percentage per set with a .299. Grant and Courtney are two of four Nittany Lion players to be in the top-15 in hitting percentage for the entire conference.
Junior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell will be a key contributor for the Buckeyes, as she was the only player for OSU to have double-digit kills against the Nittany Lions on Tuesday with 12.
The Buckeyes have lost their last 15 matches against the Nittnay Lions, with the last win at St. John Arena coming on Nov. 8, 2006, in a 3-0 sweep for the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes have also been swept by the Nittany Lions in their last five matches, with their last set win coming in Columbus on Nov. 23, 2011.
With a win, the Buckeyes would stop a five-game win streak for the Nittany Lions, with their last four wins being sweeps.
Senior defensive specialist Alyssa Winner said playing the same team at home gives OSU a “fire power” to go out and win.
“Being back on our home gym is going to be great, especially the second time playing them,” Winner said.
“I think it kind of gives you like a trial and error (mindset),” Kacsits added. “You try one game plan and see how it works and then how you can tweak it.”
Playing in 12 road matches this season, the Nittany Lions are 3-2 against ranked opponents away from home.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to face the Nittany Lions at St. John Arena at 7 p.m. Friday. Afterward, the Buckeyes are set to play their next two games at home against Big Ten newcomers Maryland (9-12, 2-8) and Rutgers (7-16, 0-10) on Nov. 7 and 8. Both games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.