With wrestling off, it was a slightly less busy week in the world of Ohio State, but the other teams were sure to fill in, with plenty of action to cover in the week’s Olympic sports recap, headlined by a Big Ten title for the women’s swim and dive team.
WOMEN’S SWIM AND DIVE
The biggest story of the week comes by way of the women’s swim and dive team, which rode an outstanding weekend to the program’s sixth Big Ten title and first since 1986. The Buckeyes finished in first with a 197 point margin over No. 2 Michigan, who put up 1,306.5 points to Ohio State’s 1,503.5. No other team topped 1,000.
“I’m so proud of our team and our coaches for the work that they’ve put into this,” said head coach Bill Dorenkott. “This has been a long time coming and what an outstanding performance our kids had. This wasn’t just one season of work, it was three and four years building up to this point. It’s a lot of belief, a lot of faith and a heck of a lot of hard work.”
Ohio State also claimed three individual champions, and a title in the 200 Freestyle Relay Big Ten Championship. Kathrin Demler took No. 1 in 500 Free, Molly Kowal finished first in 1,650 Free and Mackenzie Crawford took gold on the 1-Meter springboard. Crawford, Demler, Amy Fulmer, Lucija Jurkovic-Perisa, Kowal, Taylor Petrak and Freya Rayner all took home first-team honors.
Ohio State pulled out of its two-loss tailspin with two wins in the past week. The first came over Kentucky, 4-1, and moved the Buckeyes to 5-3 on the year. Against the Wildcats, Ohio State claimed the doubles point, and secured the win with wins by Shiori Fukuda, Kolie Allen, and Irina Cantos Siemers.
“I think it was a good win,” head coach Melissa Schaub said. “Kentucky’s always tough and we know that. For the first of two matches this weekend, it was good to rebound after last Sunday. Being at home always helps us. It was a good team effort, but we need to keep trying to get better and trying to stay tough and strong and then we’ll see what happens on Sunday.”
Two days later, Ohio State crushed Arizona State, 5-0, to move to 6-3 on the season. The Buckeyes again took the doubles point, and saw singles victories from Fukuda, Isabelle Boulais, Allen and Cantos Siemers.
“We played well today,” Schaub said. “It was a clutch match at one doubles and Kolie and Irina played tough. Arizona State is a good team and we came out strong this morning. When we come out of the gates and compete like that, good things can happen for us.”
The Buckeyes will next face off with Purdue on Feb. 27.
Ohio State swept St. Cloud State to complete the regular season at 20-8-6, the third straight 20-win season for the Buckeyes and fourth in school history. The first win came via some strong defense, as Ohio State cruised to a 3-0 win. Andrea Braendli posted 22 saves, while Liz Schepers, Jincy Dunne and Brooke Bink scored for the Buckeyes.
Game two saw the Buckeyes recognize their seniors (Elise Riemenschneider, Rebecca Freiburger, Olivia Soares and Dunne) prior to a 6-3 victory. Riemenschneider found the back of the net for the first time in her career in the third period on a powerplay, while Emma Maltais recorded three assists to increase her total points on the year to 55, a school record.
“I have amazing teammates,” said Riemenschneider. “To me it wasn’t about getting a goal, but just playing in the game with my teammates. It’s really humbling to see how hard those girls work to put the puck in the net, because it isn’t easy. I really couldn’t have done it without them.”
Ohio State swept both the men’s and women’s Midwest Fencing Conference championships over the weekend. The men’s team topped Cleveland State by 75 points, while the women came out ahead of No. 9 Northwestern by 45 points. Ohio State swept all individual and team competitions on both sides.
The men’s sabre unit defeated Michigan 5-0 to claim gold, while the women defeated Northwestern in the same event, 5-2. Men’s foil took a 5-2 win over Cleveland State, and the women’s team took a win over NU with the same score. In epee, the men defeated Cleveland State 5-0, with the women beating Northwestern 5-4.
Next up is the NCAA Regionals on March 7.
Both lacrosse teams were able to claim strong wins this week, kicked off by the women’s team taking care of Cincinnati, 15-10, on Feb. 19. Liza Hernandez and Maura McGregor each scored hat tricks for the Buckeyes, while Sophie Baez and Janie Cowley scored two goals each. Goalie Jill Rizzomade 15 saves, putting her at 600 career saves, a school record.
“A win any day is a great day,” said head coach Amy Bokker. “I’m really proud that we competed the whole time and we made some good adjustments in the game that was needed and we got to walk away with the W. It was a great game.”
The women’s team couldn’t keep up the momentum against No. 2 Notre Dame on Feb. 23, falling 18-7 and dropping to 4-2 on the year. Hernandez registered a hat tricks during the first period, but Ohio State had no real answers for the Fighting Irish. They’ll next play against the University of Massachusetts on Mar. 1.
Meanwhile, the men’s team was able to bounce back from its first loss last week, claiming a 15-10 win over Bucknell. Jack Myers (four goals), Tre Leclaire (four) and Jackson Reid (three) combined to score 11 times for the Buckeyes. The men’s team will host No. 12 Cornell on Mar. 1.
Ohio State put up a 196.475 score, a season high, for a third-place finish at the Big Five meet. No. 16 Nebraska (196.750) and No. 23 Illinois (196.550) both beat out the Buckeyes, but Ohio State came in ahead of Iowa (195.725) and Rutgers (193.625).
“I think everybody overall handled the meet really well,” said Paulicivic. “They handled the podium and the crowd in a championship environment and I’m really proud of this young team for going in there and making all the adjustments. I think they did awesome.”
Ella Hodges was named the champion on beam after scoring a 9.925, while Claire Gagliardi earned gold on floor exercise behind a 9.900. The Buckeyes earned five medals at the event.
Next up, Ohio State has a tri-meet against Missouri and Minnesota on Friday, Feb. 28.
Ohio State was able to put together a pretty good showing during its five-game trip to the Fresno Invitational. Day one saw a 5-1 victory over UC Santa Barbara but a 9-4 loss to Fresno State put a damper on the victory. On day two, UCSB got revenge, 5-2, but Ohio State bounced back with a 6-2 win over Pacific to end the day. A grand slam for Niki Carver in the sixth inning against Pacific gave the Buckeyes the lead and ultimately, the victory.
Ohio State finished the trip with a 4-3 win over UIC, moving to 6-7 on the year. An Avery Clark double in the third inning gave Ohio State a 2-0 lead, while RBIs from Meg Otte and Andi Farrah in the fourth increased Ohio State’s lead from 2-1 to 4-1. UIC answered, but Ohio State’s defense held, with Caver and Taylor Pack turning a double play to end the game.
The Buckeyes next take the diamond against Oregon State at the ASU Invitational, starting on Mar. 6.
TRACK AND FIELD
Both track teams competed at the Alex Wilson Invitational over the weekend, combing for 14 top 10 finishes. For the men, Ryan Harrington, who won the men’s 400-meter dash with a time of 47.77 and Garrett Doyle, who claimed silver in the men’s weight throw (19.57-meters) were standouts.
For the women, Tamani Wilson took a third place finish in the 400-meter dash and put up a 24.35 time in the 200-meter dash to win the event title. Adelaide Aquilla won the women’s shot put with a distance of 16.17-meters.
The teams will head to the Big Ten Conference Championships starting on Feb. 28.
It was a brutal series for the baseball team, which dropped all three games in a road trip to Georgia Tech. Game one saw the Buckeyes blown out, 12-4. Georgia Tech took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back, scoring nine runs on 11 hits in the third and fourth innings to claim a 12-1 lead.
Game two saw more of a fight from the Buckeyes, but ended with the same result in the record books: a 5-2 loss. Ohio State was never able to find its offense after the first inning, scoring just once more after taking the lead in the first inning. Two third inning errors gave the Yellow Jackets a 3-1 lead. Pitcher Seth Lonsway once again struck out 12 in the loss, just as he did in his first start.
“Some of our miscues proved to be very damaging today,” Greg Beals, Ohio State head coach, said. “We let our pitching down. We pitched it well enough to win today but we need to support our staff better than we did today and better than we have through this point in the season.”
In game three, GT jumped back up to 12 runs, drubbing the Buckeyes, 12-2. The Yellow Jackets scored in every inning but the first.
Ohio State has a three-game series with Lipscomb up next in the upcoming weekend.
Ohio State dropped back-to-back conference games on Feb. 21 and 22 to Loyola Chicago and Purdue Fort Worth, both in four sets. The losses drop Ohio State to 9-6, and 1-3 MIVA on the year.
Martin Lallemand led the Buckeyes with 15 kills in game one, and put up another 13 in game two, on his way to a team-high 17 points.
The Buckeyes have Quincy and Lindenwood up next on Feb. 28 and 29.
The men’s team was able to bounce back slightly from an atrocious first day at the Puerto Rico Classic, finishing 18-over on the tournament, tied for 13th out of 15 teams, even with Tennessee and ahead of East Carolina. Felix Kvarnstrom was Ohio State’s best, finishing one-under, tied for 28th among all competitors. The Buckeyes will next compete in the Colleton River Collegiate on Mar. 2-3.
Elsewhere, the women’s team opened the Westbrook Invite well on Sunday, sitting at one-under, tied for ninth in the 16 team field. Aneka Seumanutafa led the Buckeyes, shooting six-under, good enough for a tie at sixth-place. Tournament play concludes on Feb. 24.
For four free issues of the weekly print edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, no card required, sign up at the link here: http://www.buckeyesports.com/subscribe-4issue-trial/