Dec. 4, 2015

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Buckeye faithful gathered in St. John Arena Friday night (Dec. 4) were treated to a quick, but favorable, performance from the Scarlet & Gray in the NCAA Tournament First Round. Ohio State Women’s Volleyball cruised past Robert Morris University (19-13) in three sets — 25-13, 25-16, 25-11 — to advance to the Second Round and improve to 24-9 overall.

VIDEO: Post-match press conference featuring Coach Carlston, Andrea Kacsits, Katie Mitchell and Taylor Sandbothe

— OhioStateWVolleyball (@ohiostatewvball) December 5, 2015

The 12th-seeded Buckeyes will face American University (28-6) after the Eagles tallied a sweep as well, pushing past the University of Kentucky in three sets. A ticket to the NCAA `Sweet 16′ will be punched early Saturday evening with the Second Round clash starting at 5:30 p.m. ET inside St. John Arena.

Ohio State attacked .319 as a team, all while suffocating the Colonials into the red with a minus-.022 hitting efficiency. The Buckeyes threw up 10 blocks and dug 44 balls to stifle RMU, paced by Taylor Sandbothe’s six stuffs (3s, 3a) and Valeria León’s 13 digs. Sandbothe and Audra Appold each tallied 11 kills and attacked north of .450 for the night.

The statistical imbalances were reflected on the scoreboard as well. Ohio State out-scored the Colonials by a total of 35 points and nearly 12 points per set. The Buckeyes terminated 42 kills compared to just 18 RMU put-aways.

Sandbothe imposed her will from the get-go, accumulating all 11 of her kills and six blocks in the first two frames. She sparked the OSU attack in set number one, drilling five kills on eight errorless swings. She added four rejections, including a pair of solo stuffs, to push Ohio State in a 25-13 winner. León dug up eight balls and the Buckeyes limited Robert Morris to just four kills.

Taylor Hughes rototilled a huge service ace to open set number two to give OSU a 1-0 advantage it would not relinquish. Appold and Sandbothe combined for 11 kills, each attacking at a .625 clip. Four more Buckeye blocks kept the RMU attack at bay as Ohio State kept rolling at 25-16.

Back-to-back kills from Andrea Kacsits lowered Robert Morris into 3-0 hole to start the third frame. Rather than go away quietly, the Colonials fought back to eventually gain a 9-8 edge. A kill from Appold evened the score at 9-9 and handed the keys to Hughes. The Buckeye setter logged the next 10 points at the service stripe, delivering three aces during an 11-point Buckeye run. Hughes’ 11th jump serve landed a few inches long to end the long run. It proved to be a short hiccup, however, as the Buckeyes responded by snagging six of the next seven tallies to close the door at 25-11.