The Buckeyes kicked off the 2016 season at home, hosting the 2nd annual Katie Johanni Memorial Tournament. This is a charity event in honor of Katie Johanni, a member of the women's team who passed away suddenly due to epilepsy in late 2015. A grand total of $8,480.62 was raised through donations, entry fees, and raffles on the weekend of the event. This money was donated to the Epilepsy Foundation in hopes that a cure will one day be found.
Having graduated a large group of seniors last year, the Scarlet team was eager to begin the year with some different faces leading the charge. The Scarlet Buckeyes' first game pitted them agains the 2015 DIII Club national champion, Washington University in St. Louis. After a close first half, the Buckeyes pulled away to win 16-5. Their next game was a matchup with long time rival, Michigan State. Having last played in the opening round of the 2014 Collegiate Club National Championship where the Buckeyes shocked the Spartans, fans were hoping for another heated battle. The Buckeyes proved to be too strong for the young Spartans, coming away with a 17-8 victory. In their last game of group play, the Buckeyes met conference foe Miami. Again, the Buckeyes cruised to victory, defeating the Redhawks 12-5. This meant they would be playing in the championship game of the Katie Johanni Memorial for the second time in a row. They would meet UK/Columbus, a team comprised of University of Kentucky players as well as many former Buckeyes and other former collegiate players. The experience of UK/Columbus proved to be too much for the Buckeyes, who were narrowly defeated 12-13 to take second in the tournament.
The Gray team did not have quite the same good fortune as the Scarlet team, but with many new additions to the team, there is much promise for this team heading into its inaugural CWPA season. Their first game of the weekend was against the University of Michigan, who finished fifth at last years Collegiate Club National Championships. The Buckeyes couldn't match up with the Wolverines, falling 5-19. The Gray Buckeyes' second game of the day was against the eventual champion, UK/Columbus, and they were again outmatched, falling 9-20. Coming together as a team every game, the Gray Buckeyes narrowly lost to St. Charles 12-19 to complete day one of the tournament. Playing for 7th, the Gray team met Washington University in St. Louis to start the second day of the tournament. Showing much improvement from the beginning of the weekend, the Buckeyes held it close all game, but the DIII national champion proved to be too much, and the Buckeyes lost 6-11.
Both teams will be in action again this weekend, as they will travel to Miami University to begin the CWPA season. Go Bucks!