The No. 7 Ohio State women’s volleyball team will face its first ranked opponent, the No. 6 Purdue Boilermakers, at home at 8 p.m. Friday in the Covelli Center.
The Buckeyes (14-2) are looking to get revenge over a Purdue team (13-2) that handed them their first loss of the season in a five-set thriller on Sept. 24 in West Lafayette, Indiana. The loss marked the Buckeyes seventh-straight loss to the Boilermakers.
Purdue enters the weekend with a 5-1 record in the Big Ten, which has the Boilermakers tied for second in the conference. The Boilermakers lone Big Ten loss was in five sets against Illinois on Oct. 1.
Ohio State is 44-49 in the all-time series against Purdue. The Buckeyes hold a 22-18 advantage when the teams meet in Columbus. However, the Buckeyes have not beat the Boilermakers at home since 2016.
In the teams’ first match-up Sept. 24, the Boilermakers out-blocked the Buckeyes with 11 compared to Ohio State’s six. Also, the Buckeyes had more errors than Purdue, despite out-scoring the Boilermakers in total points.
“I think there were moments in the first match that we were there, but then we would make an error and that led to a couple other ones,” head coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg said. “If we could have just smoothed those out, it may have been a different result even though it’s a really good team.”
Despite the rivalry between the two teams, the Buckeyes are not over-thinking the match-up and are focused on playing loose, Oldenburg said.
“Leading into Purdue there is obviously some tension there and some payback we want to have, but if that’s all we are focused on we are going to be tight,” Oldenburg said. “We are going to work hard, but it’s going to be how loose we can play.”
The Buckeyes are preparing for Purdue the same way they prepare for any team — by continuing to build and not spending too much time looking back at the past, senior outside hitter Gabby Gonzales said.
“I think there is always room to improve, but something we are really focusing on is keeping this energy, working on the little things, working on the little details in practice every single day,” Gonzales said. “Just coming in wanting to be our best and when we do that it will show in the game against Purdue.”
The match will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network at 8 p.m.