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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 seeded Ohio State Buckeyes (21-9, 15-5 B1G) swept (25-21, 25-17, 25-16) six-seeded USC (22-11, 13-7 Pac-12) on Saturday evening in the second round of the NCAA Tournament inside Covelli.
The first set was tied 11 times before Ohio State finished strong to earn the 25-21 set win. The Buckeyes used a pair of 4-0 runs to pull away to a 25-17 win in the second set. Ohio State took control of the third set early and earned the 25-16 set win.
How it Happened
Adria Powell and Emily Londot opened scoring with a block as the teams traded pairs of points. USC had its first lead at 5-4. The score was tied six more times before the media timeout with the Trojans holding the 15-13 advantage. Ohio State’s deficit was 17-14, but the Buckeyes scored three-straight to tie the set at 17 and took the 21-20 lead on a 4-1 run, forcing a USC timeout. OSU scored the final three points amidst a second Trojans’ timeout to claim a 25-21 set win on an ace from Gabby Gonzales.
Ohio State again scored the first two points of the set before each team had three-unanswered points. The Buckeyes used a 4-0 run to build an 11-6 lead amidst a USC timeout. The Trojans called their second timeout of the set after a 3-0 Buckeye run extended the OSU lead to 16-10. Ohio State used a 4-0 run and scored the final two points to cap a 25-17 set win with Londot’s 10th kill of the match.
The Buckeyes were strong early, taking an 8-3 lead to force a USC timeout. Ohio State scored two more points out of the timeout to extend its run to six-unanswered points. Back-to-back OSU points gave the Buckeyes the 13-5 advantage, prompting the Trojans’ second timeout of the set. Ohio State stretched its lead to as large as 13 points at 22-9. USC won back-to-back challenges on OSU match point before a kill from Gonzales sealed the 25-16 set win.
S1: Set point
S2: Set point
S3: Match point
- Ohio State advances to its third-straight NCAA regional semifinal, making its 19th regional appearance as a program.
- This is the Buckeyes’ 11th sweep of the season.
- OSU’s nine service aces was the most of the season in three-set matches.
- Emily Londot was the first in the match to reach 10 kills, doing so for the 27th time this season. She totaled 13 kills tonight.
- Kylie Murr was the first in the match to 10 digs, recording 10+ for the 27th time this season. Murr finished with 14 digs.
- Sarah Sue Morbitzer (4) and Rylee Rader (3) each tied their career-high in aces.
- Jenaisya Moore had her 22nd match of the season with 10 or more kills.
- Gabby Gonzales moved up to 19th on the Buckeyes’ all-time career kills list as she now has 1,191 kills.
- Adria Powell recorded her 400th career kill and 200th career block.
- S1: Ohio State hit .417 during the set.
- S2: The Buckeyes did not trail after tying the set at three.
- S3: OSU hit .464 in the set and limited USC to hitting .184.
What They Said
- Head Coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg: “Now it’s time to put our schedule to the test. I think those battles early on in the season and throughout the Big Ten really prepared us. I don’t know that there’s any other team that’s more prepared. I’m excited for the conversations we just had in the locker room. Last year, it was a moment of relief and then it was ‘let’s go focus on Georgia Tech’. Now it’s ‘let’s focus on us and we’re going to be great’. There’s a different vibe and I love it.”
- Senior libero Kylie Murr: “My last game in Covelli – there’s no other way I would want to go out of here. It was a really good feeling to see everyone doing their jobs. Everyone had a smile on their face. It was just really fun. It was enjoyable, every second of it.”
- Senior outside Gabby Gonzales: “What does this program not mean to me? This place has been my home for the past four years. Yeah, thinking about it makes me a little sad, but also happy at the same time that we went out on such a good game. I really just proud to be here with all these girls, staff, everyone here – it’s awesome. The environment we created here. It wasn’t like that my freshman year and now coming in, it’s a hard place to play. I’m really proud of how far it’s come.”
Ohio State will travel to the Texas regional site and face the winner of No. 2 Minnesota and UNI on Thursday.