The Ohio State University women’s volleyball team is among the 16 teams remaining in contention for the 2016 NCAA title. The group will be whittled down this weekend to the final four who will converge in Columbus, Ohio for the semifinals and finals next week (Dec. 15 & 17). The Buckeyes’ potential return home goes through the Madison Regional where OSU faces No. 3-seed Wisconsin in the round of 16 on Friday (Dec. 9). Florida State and No. 6-seed Stanford round out the Regional competition inside the UW Fieldhouse.
WEEKLY BASICS Friday, Dec. 9 — 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET — Madison, Wis. (UW Fieldhouse) Ohio State (22-12) at No. 3-seed Wisconsin (27-4) Live Stats Television: ESPNU (watch online)
Saturday, Dec. 10 — 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET — Madison, Wis. (UW Fieldhouse) Ohio State/Wisconsin vs. Florida State (26-5)/No. 6-seed Stanford (23-7) Live Stats Television: ESPN3 (watch online)
Complete Match Notes
NCAA TOURNAMENT BY THE NUMBERS • 1 | Wisconsin final regular season RPI ranking • 3 | Consecutive ‘Sweet 16’ appearances for Ohio State (2014-16) • 6 | ‘Sweet 16’ appearances for Coach Carlston in 14 seasons as a Division-I head coach • 6 | Big Ten schools advanced to the NCAA Regionals (second-most is four Pac-12 schools) • 8 | Programs nationally, including Ohio State, to reach the Regionals in each of the past three seasons (2014-16) • 11 | Programs nationally, including Ohio State, to reach the Regionals five times or more since 2010 • 11 | Stanford final regular season RPI ranking • 11 | Ohio State opponents faced in 2016 whom qualified for the NCAA Tournament • 22 | Florida State final regular season RPI ranking • 16 | Ohio State advancements to the Regionals (‘Sweet 16’) all-time • 22 | All-time Ohio State appearances in the NCAA Tournament • 34 | Ohio State final regular season RPI ranking • 35-21 (.625) | Ohio State all-time record in the NCAA Tournament
HISTORY WITH THE BADGERS, SEMINOLES AND THE CARDINAL Ohio State trails, 35-40, in the all-time series versus Wisconsin. The two Big Ten foes met in the 2014 Regional Semifinals as well, going the distance in a five-set thriller. The Buckeyes have faced Florida State five times, coming away with four victories while Stanford has taken all five previous meetings.
ALL-MIDEAST REGION HONORS Taylor Sandbothe was voted to the All-Mideast Region squad on Tuesday (Dec. 6), selected by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). It marks the third consecutive such honor for Sandbothe. She has been joined by at least one teammate each year, including 2016 with Taylor Hughes garnering All-Mideast Region honorable mention. Both Buckeyes are now eligible for the AVCA All-America Teams.
SWISS ARMY KNIFE Ohio State’s recent switch to running a ‘6-2’ offense for the majority of play has opened the door for Taylor Hughes to showcase her mass versatility on the volleyball court. Her wide array of skills has been symbolized in a pair of triple-doubles, both coming in Ohio State victories over then-No. 10 Penn State and last week at 14th-seeded Kansas State in the NCAA Second Round. Hughes is one of 18 players in the country to record multiple triple-doubles in 2016 with only 34 individuals able to muster at least one.
SISTER ACT The Sandbothe Family received quite the surprise on Selection Sunday when the 64-team bracket was announced. Older sister Taylor’s Buckeyes were being sent to the home arena of younger sister Elle’s Kansas State Wildcats with the potential of a second round clash which came to fruition as Ohio State topped Missouri State and KSU downed Lipscomb to set up the sibling face-off. Both Sandbothe’s were in their respective team’s starting lineups, playing in front of a large contingency of family and friends in attendance.
COLUMBUS — THE CITY THAT CROWNS CHAMPIONS The 2016 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held in Nationwide Arena. The NCAA Semifinals are contested on Dec. 15, followed two days later by the crowning of a national champion on Saturday, Dec. 17, in front of a national television audience on ESPN. Tickets are ON SALE NOW! In addition, volleyball fans can also look forward to the 2017 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship which is also being hosted in Ohio’s capital city (St. John Arena — May 4-6, 2017).
ALL-BIG TEN TEAM TAYLORS Taylor Sandbothe earned her second straight unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten Team earlier this week, voted on by the conference’s 14 head coaches. Taylor Hughes picked up All-Big Ten honorable mention.
This marks the 30th consecutive season in which at least one Buckeye has received postseason laurels from the conference office. Thirty-five different OSU student-athletes have now been tabbed All-Big Ten a total of 76 times since 1983. Hughes’ followed up her B1G All-Freshman squad accolades in 2015 by garnering honorable mention as a sophomore in ’16.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION – #OSUWVBtribe Social media users are encouraged to join the Ohio State Women’s Volleyball conversation by utilizing the #OSUWVBtribe hashtag. Hear directly from members of the program weekly at OhioStateBuckeyes.com with a video series titled “#OSUWVBtribe Talk.”
News courtesy of Ohio State Athletics.