Oct. 18, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 7 Ohio State University women’s volleyball team maintained its share of first place in the Big Ten Conference standings by notching its seventh straight B1G victory and improving to 7-1 in conference play. The Buckeyes (18-2, 7-1) topped visiting Indiana (12-8, 2-6) in four sets Sunday afternoon inside St. John Arena.
With forty percent of the Big Ten season in the books, Ohio State is tied atop the standings with Minnesota and Nebraska; all owners of 7-1 B1G marks. The Buckeyes latest victory is the 50th all-time over IU, defeating the Hoosiers 23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-18.
Taylor Sandbothe gashed Indiana for 14 kills at a .565 attacking clip, committing just one error on 23 attempts. Elizabeth Campbell performed as a top offensive weapon as well, terminating a match-high 15 kills on 46 swings. Setters Taylor Hughes and Emily Ruetter each contributed 19 assists.
On the defensive side, Ohio State dug 77 balls and blocked IU seven times. Valeria León paced the squad with 17 digs while Sandbothe’s three stuff were tops on the team.
The Buckeyes got off to a sluggish start, watching a 5-1 run convert an 8-8 tie into a 13-9 Hoosier advantage that would not be relinquished. Indiana attacked .382 for the frame and grabbed the 25-22 opening set.
Playing from behind was nonexistent for the Scarlet & Gray in set number two. Indiana launched the opening serve long to hand Ohio State a lead it would protect throughout. A gritty 18-dig effort by the Buckeyes led to a 25-18 equalizer. Hughes stuffed the stat sheet with six assists, five digs, two kills and a block assist.
Intermission did little to separate the two squads as the third frame was the closest of all, ending 25-23 in favor of the Buckeyes. Indiana built a six-point cushion at 15-9 before OSU slowly chipped away and evened it up at 17-17. Neither team held an edge of more than one point from there up until a Luisa Schirmer kill closed the door at 25-23.
Ohio State turned up the defensive heat in set number four, rejecting the Hoosiers four times and racking up 25 digs. León and Ruetter each posted a half dozen digs in limiting IU to a .064 hitting percentage. The Buckeyes never trailed and sent home the Hoosiers on a Sandbothe kill for the 25th tally of a 25-18 clincher.
Michigan State awaits OSU on Wednesday (Oct. 21). The Buckeyes travel to East Lansing to face the Spartans in a mid-week contest starting at 7 p.m. ET.