The Ohio State women’s volleyball team will kick off its season this weekend with three home games across three conferences, facing Albany, Ohio and Texas A&M.
The Buckeyes will begin the season as the No. 45 team in the country, according to the RPI rankings.
Ohio State is a team in transition heading into the 2018 season after players like outside hitter Luisa Schirmer graduated in 2017. The team will bring six new players to the roster including four freshmen, defensive specialist Camryn Moeller, outside hitter Mia Grunze, outside hitter Adria Powell and opposite hitter Vanja Bukilic.
A Serbia native, Bukilic was named as a team captain of the XIV Belgrade Gymnasium after spending five years competing there. A two-time junior all-state best opposite hitter, Bukilic qualified for the U23 World Championship and was named the European best player of the match with Russia in 2016.
The freshmen will not be the only new players on the Ohio State roster for the upcoming season. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Jordan Fry and senior setter Olivia Dailey both come to the Buckeyes as transfers, starting their collegiate careers at Kentucky. Both members of the 2017 SEC Championship team, Dailey is a former five-time SEC Setter of the Week.
While Ohio State has many new additions to its roster, the Buckeyes still have a familiar face coming back at center. Junior middle blocker Madison Smeathers will be returning for her third-year at Ohio State, finishing last season with 76 total blocks.
Sophomore setter Becca Mauer also will return for the Buckeyes. As a freshman, her hitting percentage ended at .441, compared to Hughes at .314, and started the last six matches of the season.
This will be the team’s last season playing at St. Johns Arena, with the move to the Covelli Center in 2019 as apart of the new Ohio State Athletic District. The new home court will span over 100,000 square feet and include a locker room and coaching suite specifically for the women’s volleyball program.
The team will face Albany on Friday at 7 p.m., Ohio on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and Texas A&M later that evening at 8 p.m. at St. John’s Arena.