With the exception of football, basketball and men’s ice hockey, Ohio State athletics is on hiatus until 2020. However, once 2020 hits, the Buckeyes will have a busy collective schedule, with seven programs scheduled to start competition in January alone.
Kicking things off is men’s volleyball, which opens up its season against North Greenville Jan. 4 in the Covelli Center. The Buckeyes came in at No. 5 in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association’s (men’s volleyball is not an official Big Ten sport) preseason poll, with redshirt junior Jake Hanes earning a spot on the 2020 Preseason All-MIVA Team.
Chronologically, men’s and women’s track and field are up next, with both teams opening their 2020 campaign with the Kentucky Invitational hosted in Lexington Jan. 10-11. There are high hopes especially for the women’s squad, which completed the indoor-outdoor sweep last season.
Gymnastics opens competition the same weekend as track and field, with the women competing against NC State and the men starting with the Alumni Exhibition. Both competitions are scheduled to face-off in Columbus. The Ohio State women were picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll, with sophomore Colby Miller and junior Jenna Swartzentruber named to the 2020 Gymnasts to Watch list. The men, meanwhile, were selected to the No. 6 spot, with freshman Justin Ah Chow and sophomore Jesse Tyndall on the watch list.
After a strong fall season, men’s tennis is up next, opening spring play with Northern Kentucky in Columbus Jan. 15. The men’s squad entered last season’s NCAA Tournament with a top-ranking, but fell to North Carolina in the quarterfinals. The Buckeyes look to build on that strong season with the support of a strong incoming freshman class, led by Cannon Kingsley -- the No. 2 recruit in his class.
Women’s tennis opens the following weekend with the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor Jan. 17. The Buckeyes entered the NCAA Tournament last season as the No. 25 team in the country, though they fell to Georgia Tech 4-3 in the tournament opener. Fortunately, Ohio State returns last year’s ITA Midwest Rookie of the Year Isabelle Boulais, who was also Big Ten co-Freshman of the Year and unanimous first team All-Big Ten selection.
Rounding out a busy January, men’s lacrosse opens its season with a home game against Marquette Jan. 18. The Buckeyes had something of a disappointing season last year, finishing with an 8-4 overall record, including a 1-4 conference mark, and missing out on the Big Ten Tournament. They’ll look to improve on their conference record on their quest for another NCAA Tournament berth this spring.
In other news...
- Bouncing back from the team’s loss to No. 1 Stanford, Ohio State women’s basketball posted a 104-74 win over Sacramento State last week -- the Buckeyes’ highest-scoring game of the season (their exhibition game against Urbana notwithstanding). In that matchup, sophomore forward Dorka Juhasz tied her career high with 27 points. Five players in all scored in double figures as the squad shot a collective 52% from the field. With the win, Ohio State wrapped up its non-conference slate with a 7-4 overall record, and is ready to start Big Ten play against Purdue Saturday in Columbus.
- Winter may only have officially begun, but baseball season is inching ever closer. And with that, naturally, come preseason awards and honors. Redshirt sophomore pitcher Seth Lonsway was named a second-team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball. The left-hander was an All-American and member of the Big Ten All-Freshman team for his performance last season. The Buckeyes, who were Big Ten Tournament champs in 2019, open their 2020 campaign in February against St. Joseph’s.
- Even while preseason awards are starting for spring sports, postseason honors are still coming in for fall programs. Junior defender Izzy Rodriguex received third team Scholar-All North/Central Region honors from United Soccer coaches last week. Rodriguez, who was also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, earned a 3.78 GPA this year as a finance major.
- Men’s ice hockey associate head coach Steve Miller is once again part of Team USA as he travels as a member of the staff to the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.This year’s championship marks the fourth-straight tournament Miller has been a part of with Team USA. The championship tournament is scheduled to take place in the Czech Republic Dec. 26-Jan. 5.
- Past and present members of the Ohio State pistol team competed to keep their Olympic Trial hopes alive last week week at the Winter Airgun Championships in Colorado Springs. The event, held at the Olympic Training Center, featured five Buckeyes, all of whom placed in their top-10 in their respective divisions.
- 10 former members of the Ohio State wrestling team competed in Fort Worth this weekend at the 2019 U.S. Senior Nationals and Olympic Trial Qualifier. Four, including Nathan Tomasello, Joey McKenna, Myles Martin and Kollin Moore, made the finals of their respective events and secured their spots in the Olympic Trials.
- Despite it being the middle of the season, Ohio State women’s ice hockey added a new staff member during its winter break in the form of a former NHL defenseman. James Wisniewski, who played 14 seasons in the NHL, is joining the staff as a volunteer assistant coach. Wisniewski, who scored 53 professional goals, during his career retired from the NHL following the 2017-18 season.
- Women’s tennis earned a spot on USTA’s College MatchDay, scheduled for March 1 in Orlando, Florida. College MatchDay features three marquee matchups at USTA’s national campus. This spring, the Buckeyes are scheduled to face Florida State.