BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Ohio State women’s volleyball team (3-5) dropped a pair of matches at the Holiday Inn – University Plaza Invitational Friday. The Buckeyes fell to Tulane (7-2) in four sets (32-30, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22) before they lost a straight-set decision (25-23, 25-20, 26-24) to Western Kentucky (8-1) in the nightcap.
MATCH ONE: Tulane 3, Ohio State 1
Vanja Bukilić had a season-high 12 kills to lead the Buckeyes’ offensive unit. Lauren Witte connected on nine of her 14 error-free swings to hit .643. Gabby Gonzales chipped in 10 kills, six digs and a career-high four blocks while Mia Grunze had 11 digs, nine kills and two rejections. Becca Mauer and Mac Podraza dished 26 and 19 assists, respectively. On defense, Kylie Murr had 19 digs and Hannah Gruensfelder came through with 13.
SET 1: A 4-0 run in the opening set put the Buckeyes up 9-5 and forced a Tulane timeout. It was Ohio State’s turn to call a timeout after the Green Wave locked the score at 18-all. The two teams traded the last 18 points as the set went into extras, ending in Tulane’s 32-30 win.
SET 2: Ohio State needed a break early as it trailed 8-1. The Buckeyes tried to make up the difference but it was too much as they fell 25-18.
SET 3: The Buckeyes had a 9-7 edge to get things going. Tulane stayed close before eventually taking an 18-16 lead. Witte’s kill and an error by the Green Wave put OSU back in front, 21-20. The last three points of the set belonged to Ohio State for a 25-20 rally.
SET 4: It was a back and forth battle until a 6-0 sprint gave Tulane an 11-8 advantage. Ohio State responded by tying the frame at 16-16, which sent the Green Wave to their bench. Out of the break, Tulane held off the Buckeyes for a 25-22 triumph.
MATCH TWO: Western Kentucky 3, Ohio State 0
Bukilić and Grunze tallied nine kills apiece. Gonzales added eight kills and seven digs. Witte had five kills, two blocks and two digs while Murr dug 18 balls and handed out eight helpers. Mauer did a little bit of everything with 26 assists, six digs and two kills.
SET 1: Ohio State and Western Kentucky traded points to get the match underway. Down 20-17, the Buckeyes chose to call for time. Ohio State bounced back with five unanswered points for a 23-23 tie, which forced WKU to use a timeout. Back on the floor, the Lady Toppers had the final points, 25-23.
SET 2: The Lady Toppers rolled to a 15-8 lead as Ohio State quickly burned both of its timeouts. The Buckeyes managed to cut the deficit to four but late OSU errors secured the set for WKU, 25-20.
SET 3: Three straight kills by Grunze gave the Buckeyes a 16-15 edge. A 5-1 run gave the lead back to WKU at the 20-17 mark. Ohio State kept fighting and capitalized on the Lady Toppers’ miscues to knot the score at 22-all but fell short, 26-24.
The Buckeyes are set to face Bowling Green at 5 p.m. ET Saturday.