Aug 30, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 23 Ohio State women’s volleyball team kicked off the 2013 season with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 26-24) win over Liberty in the opening match of the NIU Invitational Friday.
Senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary tied a career-high with 21 kills in the win to lead all student-athletes. The Parma, Ohio, product also tied a career-best with eight digs for the Buckeyes. Junior outside hitter Erin Sekinger notched a career-high with 15 kills, while classmate Taylor Sherwin finished with a match-high 40 assists.
The Flames (1-0) were led by Lillie Happel with 15 kills, while Jade Craycraft totaled 26 assists. Libero Gabrielle Shipe had a match-best 10 digs.
A kill by Sekinger and a solo block from junior Anna Faul led to a quick 2-1 lead to open the match. Kills from Leary and Andrea Kacsits pushed the Buckeyes ahead at 8-6 and another Sekinger kill sent Ohio State on a 5-0 run for a 20-14 advantage. The Flames battled back to cut the Buckeye lead to one at 22-21, but Ohio State sealed the set on a Leary kill, 25-22.
A trio of Liberty errors led to a 5-4 Ohio State lead in set two. The Flames once again rebounded and took a 12-10 advantage. A kill from Leary kicked off a five-point Buckeye rally to jump ahead, 16-13, and solo block by Leary set the score at 23-21. Sekinger gave Ohio State a 2-0 lead in the match with a kill to close out the set, 25-22.
Liberty grabbed an early 3-1 lead to start the third and the Flames led throughout the early part of the set, taking their largest lead at 16-12 to force a Buckeye timeout. Ohio State regrouped and a Leary kill sent the team on a 5-0 run to lock the set at 18 apiece. A Kacsits service ace gave the Buckeyes their first set point at 24-23 and Sekinger closed the match with a kill, 26-24.
Ohio State returns to action Saturday with a 1 p.m. ET match vs. Green Bay in DeKalb, Ill. The Buckeyes close out the NIU Invitational Saturday night, facing host Northern Illinois at 8 p.m. ET.