The No. 36 Ohio State women’s volleyball team is now one of seven Big Ten squads in the Top 40.
They are ranked above the No. 40 Purdue Boilermakers and No. 67 Indiana Hoosiers, their two opponents this weekend.
Their rise in the rankings is a result of the Buckeyes defeating Michigan State in East Lansing, 3-1, last weekend. Making their rounds in Michigan, the Buckeyes struggled in their matchup against Michigan and fell, 3-1.
Despite the imbalance in the weekend games, junior Katie Dull recorded a match-high 22 points.
Dull leads the team with 4.53 points and 3.97 kills per set. She has started all 21 games, and has recorded double-figure kills in all but two games.
In the Big Ten, Dull is fourth in points per set, and second in kills per set.At 5-foot-10, Dull is a dynamic outside hitter.
“Katie was our offensive leader last season and she knows that we have a big weekend coming up that we need her to be on for,” coach Geoff Carlston said.
Dull’s counterpart, senior Kristen Dozier, is right on Dull’s heels. Dozier has put up 2.95 points per set and 2.56 kills per set. Dozier has also started in 21 games this season.
Carlston maintains that the Buckeyes, the Boilermakers and the Hoosiers are on the same level. The three teams are the youngest in the Big Ten and have the least experience.
“The exciting thing about this team is that we can get a lot better. They have room for growth and improvement because they are a young team,” Carlston said.
Carlston’s primary goal this year was integrating the freshmen into the core of the team. Freshman Emily Danks has been a big part of that. Danks hits 2.84 points per set and had 13.5 points against Michigan, a team high.
Both the Boilermakers and the Hoosiers will be coming to St. John Arena with confidence. The new rankings and recent wins have boosted both teams.
The Buckeyes’ key to winning this weekend will be running a smooth offense and a stronger defense. It comes down to the details and not making any errors, Carlston said.
“This weekend coming up is huge,” he said. “After this weekend, there will be separation among the three of us and we want to be on the top.”
As a part of Homecoming Week, the Buckeyes take on the Boilermakers 7 p.m. Friday at St. John Arena. On Saturday the Hoosiers make the trip to St. John at 7 p.m.