Ohio (0-2, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) will travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, this weekend to partake in the Tulane Invitational, where it will play three different opponents in just two days.
Ohio's trip to Lexington last week was rough, as it failed to win a set in its first two matches. Despite the slow start, the Tulane Invitational presents Ohio with a golden opportunity to pick up its first win of the season.
Here is everything you need to know about Ohio's matches at the Tulane Invitational:
Date: Sept. 2
Opponent: University of Missouri-Kansas City (1-2)
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Although UMKC may be the easiest opponent Ohio has faced so far this season, it will be no easy win. UMKC had a successful season in 2021, finishing 21-10 before losing in the first round of the Summit League Championships.
UMKC got off to a hot start this season, beating Miami 3-2 at the Bradley Invitational. It then went on to lose its next two games and now stand at 1-2 heading into the match against Ohio.
Player to watch: Kennedy Schritenhal
The Kangaroos' senior setter was named to the Summit League Preseason Players to Watch List, due to her breakout 2021 campaign. She finished the 2021 season with 44 aces, which was the second most in the Summit League. Schritenhal also excels defensively. She has a team-high 52 digs so far this season.
Date: Sept. 2
Opponent: Howard (2-0)
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Howard had a terrific season in 2021. It finished 12-2 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and won the conference tournament, earning a bid to the NCAA tournament. Howard was swept by Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but its expectations for 2022 are high. It was picked to finish first in the MEAC preseason coaches poll, and has already started the season out strong. Howard is 2-0, with wins over George Mason and Georgetown.
Players to watch: Bria Woodard and Cimone Woodard
Howard's two best players this year also happen to be twin sisters. The Woodard sisters were fantastic for Howard in 2021. Bria Woodard had a team-high 286 kills, while Cimone Woodard finished second on the team in kills with 221. Both sisters also played prominent roles defensively. Cimone Woodard led the team with 82 blocks, and Bria had the second most digs on the team with 229. To make things even more impressive, the Woodard sisters did all of this as freshmen. Going into their sophomore seasons, the Woodard sisters were both named to the preseason All-MEAC team.
Date: Sept. 3
Opponent: Tulane (2-1)
Time: 2:00 p.m.
How to watch: ESPN+
Tulane was middle of the pack within the American Athletic Conference in 2021. It finished 10-10, and went 7-3 in conference play. Tulane began the 2022 season in Texas at the Lamar Invitational. It lost to Southeastern Louisiana in the first match but bounced back and won back-to-back games to push itself over the .500 mark and start the season 2-1. Ohio's match against Tulane will be the last of the weekend, and its only game on Saturday.
Player to watch: Mackenzie Martin
Although Tulane didn't have a player make the preseason all-conference team, Martin has made herself a force to be reckoned with. Martin leads the team with 49 kills so far in 2022, and her 28 digs this season are the second highest on the team. Martin has also served well, with four aces in three games.