Around The Oval

By Evan Anslow on November 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Now that the undefeated Buckeyes have finished their football season, more attention will be paid to other sports going on, and deservedly so. This is our weekly look-in at how those teams are doing.

The Buckeyes looking to push the ball

Leading off this week is the Ohio State women's basketball team, which is ranked #16 in the nation. They had a nice sweep this past week, defeating Saint Francis, 70-54, and Wright State, 82-52, both at home at Value City Arena.

In the Saint Francis victory, senior guard Tayler Hill led all scorers with 23 points while junior forward Martina Ellerbe scored a career-high 10 points and was 4-for-4 shooting. Also, freshman guard Ameryst Alston scored a personal-best 10 points.

With the win over Wright State, the Buckeyes extended their home winning streak to 25 games, the longest active streak in the Big Ten and third longest in the nation behind Stanford (80) and Baylor (43). Ohio State’s last loss at home was to Northwestern on Feb. 6, 2011.

Hill and classmate Amber Stokes scored 17 and 13 points, respectively. Hill has now scored in double figures in 39 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Big Ten. Coach Jim Foster has been pleased with his team's "camaraderie":

"It's a very unselfish group. They understand that the sum of our parts is going to equal success and they are willing to accommodate that. It's going to make the job that much easier."

The Buckeyes are back in action this Wednesday when they head to Chapel Hill to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Men's Hockey

The Ohio State men's hockey team had a series with Lake Superior State this past week and they split the pair.

Goals are tough to come by with Hjelle in net

On Nov. 23 at Taffy Abel Arena, OSU skated to a 4-1 victory. The Buckeyes led, 1-0, after the first period on a sophomore Matt Johnson goal and classmate Ryan Dzingel scored in the second for a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes. Sophomore Max McCormick extended the lead to 3-0 in the third before the Lakers broke up the shutout with a power play goal at the 16:22 mark. Junior Chris Crane sealed the win for the Buckeyes with an empty-net goal. Sophomore Tanner Fritz was the lone Buckeye with multiple points, posting two assists for the second consecutive game while senior goalie Brady Hjelle had 31 saves.

The next night OSU lost to the Lakers by a score of 3-2. Dzingel and sophomore forward Darik Angeli tallied the two scores for the Buckeyes, while Fritz had two assists for the third consecutive game. These teams will meet again in January. 

For the second time this season Hjelle has been named the CCHA Goaltender of the Week after posting a league-best 1.14 goals-against average and .961 save percentage over the weekend.

Ohio State will travel to Michigan State this weekend for two games. The squads will face off at 8:05 p.m. Friday in a game televised live by BTN and at 6:05 p.m. Saturday in a contest televised by Comcast.

Women's Volleyball

A favorite in this column, the Ohio State women's volleyball team had a difficult close to their regular season, but they still have the NCAA tournament to redeem themselves. 

The Scarlet and Gray traveled to No. 1 Penn State Nov. 21, falling to the top-ranked Nittany Lions, 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-14). Senior Mari Hole led the Buckeyes with 10 kills and added eight digs in the loss. Junior Kaitlyn Leary finished with six kills while sophomore Anna Faul had three kills and two blocks. Davionna DiSalvatore added 10 digs.

The Buckeyes closed out the regular season with a 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 18-25, 20-25) loss to Michigan Nov. 23 at St. John Arena. Hole led the Bucks with 15 kills and 11 digs for her 17th double-double of the season. Leary followed with 14 kills and a career-high eight digs. Faul notched a career-high eight kills for Ohio State and led all student-athletes with six blocks. DiSalvatore had a team-high 15 digs while senior Emily Danks contributed nine kills with four blocks.

The Buckeyes next travel to Lexington, Ky., to face Notre Dame (20-9) Nov. 30 at 5:30 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The selection is the fourth straight for the Buckeyes who have reached the Sweet 16 the past two years. Ohio State is 28-18 overall in NCAA play and has advanced to the Final Four twice ('91, '94).

Women's Hockey

The Ohio State women's hockey team scored four goals in the final period to come back from two scores down and outlast Princeton, 4-2, Nov. 23 at Hobey Baker Rink in Princeton, N.J.

Sophomore forward Danielle Gagne scored the game-tying and game-winning goals for the Buckeyes while freshman forward Julia McKinnon scored her seventh goal of the season and sophomore forward Kayla Sullivan picked up an empty-net goal with 26 seconds remaining in the game. Redshirt junior goaltender Chelsea Knapp made 19 saves in the win.

Then the Buckeyes were upset by that same Princeton team, 2-1, on a late third-period goal in game two of the non-conference series Nov. 24. Junior forward Ally Tarr scored the lone goal for the Buckeyes, while junior goaltender Lisa Steffes got her first start of the season for Ohio State, stopping 19 of 21 shots.

The Buckeyes next travel to Mankato, Minn., for a league series with Minnesota State Nov. 30 - Dec. 1.

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