The Ohio State women’s volleyball team will enter the 2017 season ranked as the No. 21 team following the release of the preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association Coaches Poll Wednesday.
A season ago, the Buckeyes’ season ended in the NCAA regional semifinals to then-No. 3 Wisconsin — ranked No. 7 in the 2017 preseason poll — in five sets. They finished the season 22-13 overall and 10-10 in conference play.
The Big Ten was the most represented conference, placing eight teams in the Top 25 including the aforementioned Ohio State and Wisconsin, as well as No. 4 Minnesota, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 6 Penn State, No. 16 Michigan, No. 17 Michigan State and No. 25 Purdue.
Ohio State will play Minnesota, Michigan and Purdue twice each, while matching up against each of the other five teams only once during the season. The team will also play host to five ranked teams during the season.
Coach Geoff Carlston will return several of the team’s regulars from last season, including senior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer and junior setter Taylor Hughes who were two of only three players to start in all 35 games and play in all 132 sets. Seven other players will come back for another year with the team. There is one transfer (junior middle blocker Jasmine Koonts) and five incoming freshmen joining the 2017 squad.
The first matchup for the team will be on Aug. 25 at noon against University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.