November 8, 2019

Ohio State Hands No. 4 Wisconsin its First Big Ten Loss



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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Covelli Center was rocking as the Ohio State women’s volleyball team upset No. 4 Wisconsin in four sets (29-27, 25-20, 20-25, 26-24) Friday night. The win lifts the Buckeyes to 13-12 overall and 6-7 in the Big Ten while the Badgers fall to 16-5 and 12-1 in conference outings.

Prior to tonight, Wisconsin had not lost since its final non-conference match on Sept. 21. The Buckeyes handed the Badgers their first loss in Big Ten play and snapped their 12-match win streak.

Ohio State dominated the match as it held Wisconsin to a season-low .202 attacking percentage. It is the first win over the Badgers since Nov. 3, 2017 and the first victory in Columbus since Sept. 27, 2015.

For the fourth time this season, Gabby Gonzales recorded a double-double (14 kills, 10 digs) and combined it with a career-high five blocks. Elle Sandbothe connected on 12 of her 22 attempts with just three miscues for a .409 hitting clip. Jenaisya Moore tallied eight kills, seven digs and four service aces, which tied her career mark.

Madison Smeathers chipped in eight kills, two aces and two blocks while Lauren Witte notched six kills and four rejections. Mac Podraza hit .364 (5-1-11) with 15 assists and four blocks. Becca Mauer added 26 helpers, eight digs and two aces. Defensively, Kylie Murr and Hannah Gruensfelder turned in 19 and 16 digs, respectively. Bia Franklin got in on the action by digging nine balls.

Ohio State also delivered 10 service aces, which tied its season high.

SET 1: Ohio State called its second timeout of the opening frame as it trailed 15-10. It was Wisconsin’s turn to use a timeout after the Buckeyes scored four straight points to pull within one, 16-15. The Badgers needed another break as they tried to hold on to a 22-21 edge. A kill by Sandbothe, Gonzales-Witte block and Moore service ace tied things at 24-all. Gonzales laid down a hard kill before serving up an ace to seal the set, 29-27.

SET 2: Wisconsin used a 5-0 run to go ahead 10-7. Ohio State made up the difference with a 7-2 run for an 18-15 advantage. Kills by Smeathers and Podraza sent the Badgers to their bench down 22-19. The Buckeyes scored five of the last six points to claim the set, 25-20.

SET 3: A kill and solo block by Sandbothe brought the Buckeyes within one, 14-13. The Badgers responded with four consecutive points to force an Ohio State timeout. The Buckeyes tried to keep things close but Wisconsin took the set, 25-20.

SET 4: It was a back and forth battle early but Ohio State scored five unanswered points to take a 14-9 lead. Wisconsin refused to back down as it cut the deficit to one at the 21-20 mark. The Badgers locked the frame at 24-all but a kill from Gonzales and attacking error by Wisconsin sealed the win for the Buckeyes, 26-24.


Ohio State is back in Covelli to face No. 6 Minnesota on Sunday at noon.