COLUMBUS, Ohio –The Ohio State women’s volleyball team (19-9 overall, 7-8 Big Ten) dropped a 3-1 (25-20, 25-17, 17-25, 27-25) decision to ninth-ranked Illinois (21-4, 13-2) Friday night in St. John Arena. Michelle Bartsch posted a match-high 19.5 points for the Illini with 18 kills (.317), one ace serve and one assist blocks. OSU’s Kelli Barhorst recorded a team-high 16 points with 13 kills (.571), one ace serve, one solo and two assist blocks.

The first set saw nine ties and seven lead changes. The Buckeyes held a 12-11 lead when a Jazmine Orozco kill tied the set at 12. An Erin Johnson-Orozco block, an OSU error and a Bartsch kill gave Illinois a 15-12 lead. The Illini held the lead at 22-19 when a kill by Bartsch forced an OSU time out at 23-19. A kill from Orozco made it set point at 24-19. An Anna Szerszen kill stopped the point at 24-20. Illinois, with an Orozco kill, won the set, 25-20, to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Illini hit .314 for the set to .258 for Ohio State.

 A Johannah Bangert kill opened set two for the Illini. A kill from Katie Dull tied the set at one. A Bartsch kill and an Illini error tied the set at two. Two kills from Colleen Ward, one from Johnston and a Buckeye error opened a 6-2 Illinois lead. Holding the lead, the Illini reached set point at 24-14 with an Orozco kill. Two kills from Dull and an Illinois error stopped three set points to make the score, 24-17. A Buckeye error gave Illinois a 25-17 set win and a 2-0 lead in the match. The Illini hit .419 to .152 for Ohio State in the set.

Ohio State opened set three with an Allie Schwarzwalder kill, an Emily Danks-Barhorst block and an Illinois error to take a 3-0 lead. Illinois responded with kills from Orozco, Bangert and Ward to tie the set at three. Leading, 5-4, two kills from Dull and an Illini error opened an 8-4 Ohio State lead. A Johnson kill made it 8-5. OSU took a 10-5 lead with a kill from Barhorst and an Illini error. The Buckeye lead was cut to two at 11-9 before four Illinois errors made it 15-9 Buckeyes. OSU held the lead at 23-14 before kills from Bartsch, Orozco and Bangert cut the lead to 23-17. After an OSU time out, an Illini error gave the Buckeyes set point at 24-17. Ohio State won the set, 25-17, with a Davionna DiSalvatore ace serve to cut the Illini lead to 2-1 in the match. Ohio State hit .500 for the set to .242 for Illinois.

The squads had 11 ties and three lead changes in the fourth set. Dull opened the set with a kill. Two kills from Ward gave Illinois a 2-1 lead. With OSU trailing, 13-11, a Danks-Barhorst block and a Dull solo block tied the set at 13. At 15-all, an Illini error, a Szerszen-Schwarzwalder block and another Illini error opened an 18-15 Buckeye lead. Two kills from Ward and an OSU error tied the set at 18. At 19-all, kills from Szerszen and Dull and a Danks-Schwarzwalder block gave Ohio State a 22-19 lead. A Bangert kill, an OSU error and a kill from Ward tied the set at 22. OSU took a 23-22 lead with a Dull kill. A Ward kill tied the set at 23. A Bartsch kill made it match point at 24-23 for Illinois. Dull, with a kill, tied the set at 24. Another Bartsch kill made it match point at 25-24. Dull responded with a kill to tie the set at 25. A kill from Bartsch made it match point at 26-25. Illinois won the set, 27-25, with an Orozco kill to win the match, 3-1. Illinois hit .184 for the set to .205 for the Buckeyes.

For the match, Illinois hit .277 to .261 for Ohio State. The Illini had a 64-52 margin in kills and a 61-49 advantage in assists. Hillary Haen posted a match-high 56 assists for the Illini while OSU’s Betsy Hone had 44. Ohio State had a 4-2 advantage in ace serves while giving up eight service errors to seven for Illinois. Defensively, the Illini had a 54-49 advantage in digs with Jennifer Bonilla posting a match-high 22. OSU’s Sarah Mignin recorded a team-high 16. At the net, OSU had a 6-4 margin in team blocks. Four players recorded three total blocks in the match. Bangert and Orozco each recorded three assist blocks for Illinois. OSU’s Danks had three assist blocks while Barhorst recorded a solo and two assist blocks.

The Buckeyes complete the two-match home stand when they host Wisconsin (15-11, 4-11) at 2 p.m. Sunday in St. John Arena. The Badgers lost 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-12) at eighth-ranked Penn State (22-4, 12-3) Friday night.

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