Oct. 4, 2014
LINCOLN, Neb. – A day after notching a Big Ten road victory at Iowa, Ohio State Women’s Volleyball handed No. 8 Nebraska (9-4, 3-1) a loss as well less than 24 hours after the Huskers upset third-ranked and defending national champion Penn State. The Buckeyes (11-5, 2-2) erased a 14-11 deficit in the fifth set by ripping off five straight points to seal the deal (25-27, 27-25, 23-25, 25-17, 16-14).
Ohio State is now 3-3 all-time in Lincoln, including two in a row after winning a four-setter over fourth-ranked Nebraska in 2012. The Buckeyes put an exclamation point on their 10-match road trip, picking up a pair of conference wins over the weekend before returning to St. John Arena Wednesday, Oct. 8, for a 7 p.m. home scuffle with Illinois.
The Buckeyes out-hit Nebraska by over 30 percentage points, putting away 77 kills compared to 59 for Nebraska. Senior setter Taylor Sherwin steered the ship, dishing out 59 assists on the night. Much of her work went out to the pins as outside hitters Elizabeth Campbell, Katie Mitchell and Erin Sekinger each pounded 19 or more kills. Campbell matched her career-high 20 digs to go along with a team-high 23 kills to record her second double-double as a Buckeye. Sherwin added 19 digs to her stat line as well, good for her fourth double-double of 2014.
Valeria León contributed 22 digs, pacing the Buckeyes. Tyler Richardson led the way in the blocking department, getting in on five rejections. Taylor Sandbothe, working her way back after an illness caused a five-match absence, came through with some clutch kills down the stretch and totaled nine put-aways overall.
A crowd of 8,041 was in a frenzy as the home Huskers jumped out to a 12-7 edge. Ohio State would storm back, however, and quiet the Big Red contingent by going on a five-point run and evening the tally at 12-all. A plethora of side outs ensued until Sekinger provided a solo block and kill on consecutive points to give Ohio State its first set point opportunity at 24-22. After back-to-back points to Nebraska, Sekinger bounced another kill to earn another set point at 25-24. An OSU service error then cracked the door open and allowed the Huskers to squeak out a 27-25 winner.
It was the Buckeyes’ turn to shield off set points against during the second stanza and come out with a 27-25 victory of their own. Ohio State faced defeat thrice, managing to stay alive on each occasion. Mitchell put the frame to rest, killing a set from Sherwin for the 27th point. Ohio State trailed by as many as seven points in the set before battling back and gutting out the triumph.
Just two points separated the combatants once again in the third frame, ending 25-23 in favor of Nebraska. The see-saw affair continued up to a 21-21 standoff. Mary Pollmiller found some hardware for a go-ahead kill and the Huskers held on for the 25-23 win.
Ohio State distanced itself in the fourth frame, slowly pulling away after a 3-1 hiccup to start the set. The Buckeyes built a sizable lead in the form of a set-best eight point advantage at 24-16. The next two points were split as the Buckeyes extended the contest into a fifth and final deciding set.
The match took a roller coaster ride in the fifth, beginning with a 4-0 OSU run immediately matched with five straight from the Huskers. In total, Nebraska’s long run covered 12 points, 10 of which went in favor of NU for a 10-6 edge. Match point number one came moments later at 14-11. The Scarlet & Gray were having none of it though, discarding three match points and ripping of five consecutive points overall to send away the Husker faithful unhappy. Sekinger drilled the final nail into the Nebraska coffin, smacking her 20th kill to push OSU on top 16-14.