Now that the CFB playoff rankings have been released and Ohio State has officially been left out of the top four, we can shift our focus to a different Buckeye sports team competing for a national championship: the women’s volleyball team!
Ohio State finished the season ranked No. 9 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll. This team had a very successful regular season, finishing with a 25-5 overall record and a 15-5 mark in the Big Ten. This is the Buckeyes’ 14th-consecutive week in the top 10, continuing its program-record streak.
Five Buckeyes earned Big Ten end-of-season awards on Wednesday. Sophomore middle blocker Rylee Rader and junior setter Mac Podraza were named to the First Team. Sophomore opposite hitter Emily Londot was named to the Second Team and freshman middle blocker Arica Davis was an unanimous selection for the Freshman Team. In addition, senior defensive specialist Hannah Gruensfelder received the sportsmanship award.
Ohio State earned the ninth overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. This also granted them the opportunity to host the first and second rounds in the Covelli Center. The Buckeyes faced Howard University on Friday night, the first ever matchup between the two programs.
Following an exciting four set match between the University of Tennessee and the University of North Carolina (the Vols ended up victorious), Ohio State took the court to begin their NCAA Tournament run. The crowd was electric, and I was very happy that I was a part of it.
The first set started off a lot tighter than many Buckeye fans expected. It seemed that Ohio State was working through some nerves, making a few uncharacteristic mistakes. OSU was only up 15-9 during a media timeout, however following this break, the Buckeyes settled down and ended up winning the set 25-12.
Ohio State looked like their usual selves in the second and third sets, winning 25-7 and 25-10, respectively, to earn a first round sweep against the Bison. This granted the Buckeyes a second-round match against Tennessee the next day.
From the start, it could be seen that the Vols were a tough opponent. It was tight the whole set, OSU only being up 16-10 following a Tennessee timeout. However, the Buckeyes kept their momentum going and won the set, 25-18.
The Vols bounced back in the next set, taking the first lead of the match. Even after an Ohio State timeout, the Buckeyes could not rally and Tennessee ended up winning the second set, 25-14.
The third and fourth sets were both very back and forth. The Buckeyes never had a large lead, and only led 21-20 at one point in the third. In spite of this, Ohio State finished strong and won the set 25-21. In the fourth set, Tennessee evened the score a total of four times, but could not come back, with the Bucks winning off of a kill, 25-21.
Following their second-round win, the Buckeyes have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen to keep their dancing going. Ohio State will play Georgia Tech Thursday in the regional semifinal. Personally, I’m going to have a tough time figuring out who to root for, because my best friend plays for GT (shoutout Bella!). But clearly, I go to Ohio State. Either way, I’m expecting a great match and can’t wait to watch it!
Have you been following the volleyball Buckeyes’ postseason?
This poll is closed
No, but I will start on Thursday!