Oct. 24, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the eighth time this season, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team went the distance in a five set match Friday night versus Michigan State. The #20 Buckeyes rolled 15-6 in the fifth set to notch their fifth five-set winner (25-20, 14-25, 25-20, 14-25, 15-6).
Ohio State improves to 15-6 overall and 6-3 in Big Ten play while the Spartans fall to 12-8, 5-4. It was an evening filled with extreme ebbs and flows for the Scarlet and Gray. The match started on a high as OSU darted out to a 25-20 opening-set triumph. Michigan State counterpunched at 25-14 in the second stanza, only to be followed by subsequent and identical set tallies of 25-20 in favor of the Buckeyes in the third and 25-14 again for Sparty in the fourth. Ohio State then peaked in a 15-6 final frame.
Offense came at a premium inside St. John Arena with MSU attacking .102 and the Buckeyes coming in at .077. Ohio State’s Elizabeth Campbell and Luisa Schirmer combined for 30 kills on 93 swings. Valeria León played a large role in limiting the Spartan attack, digging up a match-high 23 balls. That total also matched her career high, set earlier this season vs. Syracuse. Campbell reached double-digit digs as well, adding 11 to her 16 kills for the fourth double-double of her junior campaign.
In set number one, Ohio State saw its nine-point advantage at 17-8 dwindle down to a just two points at 19-17. The Spartan surge hit a wall though and Luisa Schirmer’s fourth kill of the set ended it, 25-20.
At 5-5, Michigan State tore off seven straight second-set tallies to go ahead 12-5 and never look back cruising to a 25-14 final ledger.
Schirmer had the hot hand in Set 3, putting away seven kills on 16 swings with just one error (.375). León, Campbell and Sandbothe took care of the defense, combining for 14 digs, keeping MSU to a sub-.100 attacking percentage (.077). An `All-Taylor’ block from Sandbothe and Sherwin was the final nail at 25-20.
A 5-5 deadlock was shattered once again in the fourth by another seven-point Spartan spurt. The final score mirrored the second stanza as well, 25-14.
Wouldn’t you know it, there was another 5-5 tie in the fifth. This time it was Ohio State taking control, however, thanks to back-to-back errors from the Spartans. A booming kill from Sandbothe came two points later and OSU led 8-6 as the teams swapped ends of the court. That’s when an MSU meltdown began and lasted until the very end. The final seven points all came virtue of Michigan State errors and the Buckeyes glided to a 15-6 winner.
Michigan comes to town Saturday for a 5:30 p.m. ET match. The rivalry battle with the Wolverines is set to be broadcast live online via BTN Plus.