COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s volleyball team (10-14 overall, 1-11 Big Ten) extended 17th-ranked Illinois (18-5, 9-3) to four sets before falling 18-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-27 Saturday night in Huff Hall. Ohio State’s Katie Dull posted a match-high 19.5 points for the Buckeyes with 18 kills and three assist blocks. Allie Schwarzwalder added 14.5 points with nine kills and nine total blocks (two solos and seven assists). Michelle Bartsch posted a team-high 18.5 points for Illinois with 14 kills, a solo block and seven assist blocks. Laura DeBruler added 17.5 points with 15 kills, two ace serves and one assist block.

Illinois broke a six-all tie in set one with kills from Kylie McCulley and Abby Nelson to take an 8-6 lead. The Buckeyes cut the lead to one several times but the Illini held the lead reaching set point on an OSU error at 24-18. A McCulley kill ended the set at 25-18. Illinois hit .265 for the set to .056 for the Buckeyes.

In set two, Ohio State cut an early Illinois lead to one at 8-7 with a Kristen Dozier kill. An OSU error, a DeBruler kill and two DeBruler ace serves opened a 12-7 Illinois lead. OSU cut the lead to one at 16-15 before kills by Johannah Bangert and DeBruler took the lead to three at 18-15. Ohio State tied the set at 18 with a Betsy Hone kill, a Susan Halverson ace serve and a kill from Dozier. At 19-all, two Illinois errors gave OSU a 21-19 lead. Illini kills from Bangert and Bartsch tied the set at 21. A Bartsch kill and an Illini error tied the set at 22. An OSU block from Schwarzwalder and Kelli Barhorst and an Illinois error made it set point for Ohio State at 24-22. Illinois stopped the set point with a McCulley kill at 24-23. Dull, with a kill, closed out the set at 25-23 to tie the match at one set each. The Buckeyes hit .302 for the set to .130 for the Illini.

Illinois broke a 5-5 tie with kills from Nelson and McCulley to take the lead at 7-5. The Illini would hold the lead and reach set point at 24-20 with a McCulley kill. An Illinois error stopped their first set point at 24-21. A Bartsch kill ended the set at 25-21 to give Illinois a 2-1 lead in the match. Illinois hit .220 for the set to .133 for the Buckeyes.

Set four had 10 ties and four lead changes with the next-to-last tie at 21-all. A DeBruler kill and an OSU error gave Illinois a 23-21 lead. A Dozier kill cut the margin to one at 23-22. Illinois reach match point at 24-22 with a kill from Bartsch. The Buckeyes stopped two Illinois match points with kills from Hone and Dull to tie the set at 24. The Buckeyes earned a set point at 25-24 with a Schwarzwalder-Dull block. A McCulley kill stopped the set point to tie the set at 25. A Nelson-Bartsch block made it 26-25 for a third match point for the Illini. McCulley, with a kill, ended the set at 27-25 Illinois to give the Illini a 3-1 match win. Ohio State hit .216 in the set to .208 for the Illini.

For the match, Illinois hit .201 to .183 for Ohio State. The Illini had a 61-57 advantage in kills and a five-to-one edge in ace serves. The Buckeyes gave up nine service errors to five for Illinois. Defensively, the Illini had an 80-77 edge in digs with Ashley Edinger recording a match-high 24 for Illinois while OSU’s Chelsea Noble had a career-high 23. At the net, Illinois had a 13-11 margin in team blocks. OSU’s Schwarzwalder posted a match and career-high nine total blocks with two solos and seven assists. Hone posted a match-high 43 assists for the Buckeyes while Hillary Haen had 34 and Lizzie Bazzetta, 19 for Illinois.

Ohio State returns to St. John Arena next week to host Wisconsin at 7 p.m. Friday and Northwestern at 8 p.m. Saturday. The Saturday match will be carried live by the Big Ten Network.

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