For its second time this season, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team will face Michigan State (15-12, 3-11 Big Ten) and Maryland (15-11, 6-8 Big Ten) this week. The Buckeyes will travel to East Lansing, Michigan, on Wednesday and return home Saturday to host Maryland for Ohio State’s senior night.
The Buckeyes will honor senior setter Olivia Dailey and senior outside hitter Audra Appold after the match against Maryland. Ohio State will also honor former Ohio State volleyball players Jasmine Koonts and Taylor Hughes.
The Buckeyes swept Michigan State in their last match and are seeking redemption against Maryland after their 3-2 setback earlier in the season.
Michigan State is on a seven-match losing streak, five of which were hard-fought battles against nationally ranked teams. Despite those losses, head coach Geoff Carlston anticipates the Spartans to be stronger than they have been in the past.
“They got everyone back and they’re playing better,” Carlston said. “We were a different team when we played them. We had Audra (Appold) and Madison (Smeathers) both healthy, so we’ll be different, and they’ll be different.”
Maryland freshman libero Allegra Rivas was awarded Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week last week, currently ranking No. 6 in the conference with an average of 4.54 digs per set this season. Sophomore setter Nicole Alford also records 9.91 assists per set.
The Buckeyes have dropped their past six matches.
“Once we get to 20 points we need to get better at stepping on the gas a little more,” Dailey said.
Carlston plans to use scrimmage time to practice exactly that.
“We’ll do a lot of stuff at 20-20 and try to play those games because we do it all the time anyway,” Carlston said. “We just need to keep establishing our personality and confidence in those moments as best as we can.”
The Buckeyes will face Michigan State at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Maryland at 7 p.m. on Saturday at St. John Arena.