Good morning and welcome to the Wednesday Morning Hive. After a frustrating weekend for OSU football fans that has already been analyzed extensively today’s hive will focus on things other than football happening at OSU, starting with basketball.
We have known since early summer that the Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball teams would be taking place in the 2012 Carrier Classic which will take place on November 9th on the deck of the USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina. The Ohio State men’s basketball team will take on Marquette while the OSU women will face Notre Dame in the first women’s game on an aircraft carrier. As someone who grew up in South Carolina and been to Charleston and the Yorktown several times I loved this announcement and the choice of location. The Yorktown is one of many historical ships at Patriots Point which is a great place to visit for those of you into military history. The Yorktown itself has a lot of history having served in World War II and Vietnam as well as being the ship that recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts after their landing in the Pacific; the combo of wartime and peacetime achievements of the ship make it an ideal location for this event honoring the US military, past and present.
But today’s hive isn’t a history lesson and last week more details were finally released about the Carrier Classic. After initially being very pleased with the announcement about OSU participating in this year’s event, reading this latest announcement dampened my enthusiasm a bit. After how much ESPN hyped last year’s event I was surprised to see that this year’s games will be shown on the NBC Sports Network, definitely a set down. The network change wasn’t really a big deal, other than serving as an indication that this year’s Classic wouldn’t get as much attention. The major thing that struck me was the announcement that the men’s game would be at 7pm while the women’s game would air at 11pm. This angered me greatly as an 11pm start for the women’s game would guarantee that almost nobody would watch. After doing some more digging around the internet I managed to find out that the women’s game will actually tip a 4:00pm but will be tape delayed and not shown until 11. This was marginally better as it at least means there will be people at the game to see the women play though it is still disappointing that it won’t be shown until 11 which will hurt the television audience. The late air time also could reduce the impact this will have on recruits, though OSU will still be able to include their participation in the game during recruiting pitches.
It is a bit troubling that the announcement and the Carrier Classic website doesn’t mention the actual start time of the women’s game, in fact the website makes little mention of the women’s game in general. The website really gives the impression that the women’s game is an afterthought and since it was billed as a way to honor women for their important role in our Armed Services, this seemed rather insulting. It is too bad that the organizers of the Carrier Classic aren’t giving the women’s game better treatment and a better start time. It seems like it would make more sense to start the women’s game at 6pm and the men’s at 9pm, airing them both live. This would have the added benefit of shifting the men’s game so that it wasn’t taking place at the same time as the Michigan State vs UConn matchup which will take place on an Air Force base in Germany and aired on ESPN and I can’t imagine that NBC Sports Network has anything else really to show.
Women’s Volleyball Begins Big Ten Play
The 23rd ranked Ohio State women’s volleyball team began conference play this weekend at St. Johns arena. On Friday the Buckeyes hosted Iowa in a night made special for seniors Mari Hole and Emily Danks as before the match banners were dropped recognizing them being 2011 All-American honorable mentions. Danks and Hole showed that they were worthy of the honor as they led the Buckeyes to a comfortable 3-0 victory (25-18, 25-20, 25-16). Hole recorded 14 kills, the most for either team, while Danks was close behind with 11; Danks also had a season-best .611 attack percentage plus 2 service aces and 7 digs.
Saturday evening saw OSU hosting the 3rd ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in the toughest test of the year for the Buckeyes. Things looked good for OSU as they won the first set 25-17. The Cornhuskers responded with a 25-12 win in the second set as the Buckeyes couldn’t mount much of an attack. Set 3 went better for OSU but they still fell 25-20. That seamed to be all the Buckeyes had left as Nebraska won set 4 25-14 to hand Ohio State a 3-1 defeat. Mari Hole led both teams with 14 kills and added 12 digs for her seventh double-double of the season and junior Kaitlyn Leary had a good day with 10 kills.
The weekend went pretty much as expected for Ohio State as they handled Iowa and then fell to one of the top teams in the country in Nebraska. OSU’s strong start against the Cornhuskers was impressive but with how the rest of the match went, one has to worry if that was more due to Nebraska underperforming. Despite the loss to Nebraska, Ohio State rose one spot in the national rankings, moving up to 22nd. Counting OSU there are currently 7 Big Ten teams in the top 25: Penn State (1st), Nebraska (6th), Minnesota (10th), Purdue (13th), Illinois (21st), and Michigan State (24th).
Next weekend the Buckeyes get their first road Big Ten games of the season as they travel to 10th ranked Minnesota and then on to Wisconsin in a set of games that should really tell us what we can expect from the Buckeyes the rest of the season. I would expect that the Buckeyes will split the weekend, losing in four sets to Minnesota while pulling off a four set victory over Wisconsin; lets see if if my volleyball predictions do better than my football ones.
Women’s Soccer Has a Mixed Weekend
Ohio State women’s soccer saw its six game win streak end on Friday as the Buckeyes dropped a 1-0 decision to Illinois. OSU was out shot 19 to 13 by the Illini and never really had a good scoring chance in their first Big Ten road game.
OSU continued their road trip with a visit to Evanston on Sunday. Seeming determined to get back on the right track, the Buckeyes started the game fired up, getting four shots in the first 10 minutes but unable to convert. Ohio State’s energy seemed to lapse after that initial burst and Northestern looked better as they outshot OSU 8 to 5 in the scoreless first half. The second half went much better for the Buckeyes as they once again played with more energy which led to a pair of goal by senior Tiffany Cameron which gave OSU a 2-0 victory. Cameron’s two goals gave her 10 goals for the season which puts her in third place in the Big Ten.
OSU now has a 7-3 (2-1 Big Ten) record on the season. The Buckeyes return home this weekend to take on Penn State and Wisconsin.
Men’s Golf Has a Big Weekend
The Ohio State men’s golf team spent the weekend in Skokie, Illinois participating in the Windon Memorial hosted by Northwestern. The Buckeyes got off to a sloppy start, recording a 22-over par as a team in the first round to put themselves in 9th place, 14 strokes behind the host Wildcats. The second round went better for the Buckeyes as they shot a 2-over par in the round to shave five strokes off Northwestern’s lead. Round three was the turning point though as Ohio State outshot Northwestern by 10 strokes to pull off an amazing one stroke, come from behind victory. This was truly an impressive performance by a young Buckeye squad which features 3 freshman and 3 sophomores.