Around the Oval is our weekly look-in at the sports that don't always get the coverage they deserve, considering we have an undefeated football team and all.
We'll get this week started off with the Ohio State women's volleyball team, which is ranked #15 in the nation with an 18-8 regular-season record (9-5 Big Ten). The Buckeyes had games in conference last week against rival Wisconsin and #10 Minnesota.
On November 2nd at St. John's Arena, Ohio State came away with a 3-1 win (25-16, 25-15, 23-25, 30-28) over the Badgers, in a game that gave coach Jeff Carlson his 100th win with the program. Junior Davionna DiSalvatore recorded a new career-high with 31 digs in the match while Big Ten setter of the week, senior Amanda Peterson, ended with a .800 kill percentage and 37 assists.
Two days later, the Buckeyes returned to St. John Arena only to fall to No. 10 Minnesota, 3-2 (23-25, 21-25, 27-25, 25-13, 15-12). Senior Mari Hole led all attackers and tied a career-high with 26 kills in the match. She added 11 digs for her 13th double-double of the season and also had five blocks. Junior Kaitlyn Leary finished with 17 kills while senior Emily Danks totaled 11.
Ohio State continues its homestand this upcoming week, hosting Northwestern and Illinois. The Buckeyes play the Wildcats Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. (BTN) and host Illinois Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.
Although winless in the Big Ten, the Ohio State men's soccer team is still grinding, this past week to no avail as the Buckeyes came away from their match against Wisconsin with a 0-0 draw. The Buckeyes end their regular season 6-9-2 (0-4-1 Big Ten).
"The team gave a great effort today," John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. "I mean our guys really fought hard to try to win the game and I thought we played much better soccer in the overtime. We were experimenting a little bit to see if there were some things we could do differently in preparation for the Big Ten tournament."
The Buckeyes head into the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday as the No. 7 seed and face No. 2 seed and host Northwestern at 7 p.m. ET November 6th, in the third quarterfinal match of the tournament in Evanston, Ill.
Just because they're third in this story, doesn't mean they didn't have the biggest week of the bunch. Sometimes we just save the best for last. The Ohio State women's soccer team had a HUGE week, winning the Big Ten Tournament with a 2-1 victory over Illinois.
The tournament started for #2 seed OSU with a match against #7 seed Nebraska. In a gritty match, the Bucks came away with a 1-0 victory after a 45th minute goal by Ellyn Gruber on a header.
"The postseason is all about the ability to survive and advance and, despite not playing our best soccer, we were able to move on," head coach Lori Walker said. Coach could not be more right, and next OSU moved on to play that school up north (#3 seed Michigan).
This match seemed like a cakewalk for the Buckeyes when they were up 2-0 early with goals by Ashley Gruenbaum (first career penalty kick goal) and a own goal off a corner by Megan Fuller. Yet the Wolverines kept fighting, and cut into the lead with a 73rd minute goal by Nkem Ezurike, but it was just not enough, and Ohio State advanced to the Big Ten title game against Illinois.
In a match that was tied at half, OSU knew they couldn't give in if they wanted to win the third Big Ten title in school history. They came out of the break strong, taking the 1-0 lead in the 65th minute when Tiffany Cameron tallied her team-high 19th goal of the season. Cameron then added an insurance tally in the 69th minute when she controlled a through ball with her back to the goal at the top of the box and finished far post for a 2-0 advantage. The Illini then got on the board in the 83rd minute, but it proved to be too little, too late.
The Buckeyes joined the 2002 and 2004 squads as Big Ten Tournament champions. Cameron was named the Offensive Player of the Tournament while McVicker garnered Defensive Player of the Tournament honors. Cameron, McVicker and Granberg were each named to the All-Big Ten Tournament team. Next up is the NCAA tournament, where Ohio State drew a first-round NCAA Tournament matchup as a No. 4 seed against Oakland.
"Oakland will be very well-organized. We really respect what Coach O'Shea has done with their program and we know there is no easy game at this point," Coach Walker said. The Buckeyes and Grizzlies will square off at 5 p.m. Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
With the men's hockey team off this past week, we'll do some quick hits of other sports .
- Field Hockey: Ohio State fell to Michigan, 1-0, in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at Grant Field in Iowa City November 1st. With the loss, the Buckeyes conclude the season with a 10-9 overall record.
- Men's Golf: OSU finished 14th with a score of 876 to conclude the 54-hole Royal Oaks Intercollegiate Oct. 30 on the par 71, 7,068-yard Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas.
- Wrestling: THE Ohio State tallied 148 points en route to winning the UB Invitational Nov. 4 at Alumni Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.
- Women's Hockey: Ohio State held on for a 3-2 victory over St. Cloud State November 2nd at the National Hockey and Events Center in St. Cloud, Minn. The Buckeyes returned to the ice the following night, defeating St. Cloud State, 4-2. The squad is now ranked #9 and has a record of 9-3-0 for the year.