The Ohio State women’s volleyball team fell short in Champaign on Friday evening in a three-set loss to a determined Illinois team; (25-23, 25-19, 25-20). In the Buckeyes brawl with the Ilini their late rallies just were not enough come the final tick of the clock. In the unfortunate loss the Buckeyes now fall to 10-8 overall and 3-4 in the Big Ten. The Fighting Illini improve to 14-4 overall and 5-2 within the conference.
Ashley Wenz led the Buckeyes’ offensive attack with 15 kills. She also bundled 13 digs with two blocks. Luisa Schirmer added 10 kills while Hannah Gruensfelder tallied 15 digs. Lauren Witte connected on seven of 11 swings with two errors to hit .455 on the evening along with three blocks. Taylor Hughes contributed with 35 assists and Ayanna Swan notched seven kills. Each of the 11 Buckeyes that took the court had at least one or more digs.
SET 1: Three straight points put the Buckeyes ahead in the opening frame. The Illini did not wilt though, continued to battle, tying the set at 18-all. Four consecutive points put the Buckeyes up 22-18 and sent Illinois to its bench. The Illini used a 7-1 run to take the set, 25-23.
SET 2: The Scarlet and Gray trailed 13-8 starting the set. Illinois continued to build its advantage, pushing the score to 20-14. The Buckeyes called a time-out. Ohio State cut the deficit to four on a 4-1 run but the stanza ultimately went to the Illini, 25-19.
SET 3: The Buckeyes trailed 10-6 early. But they starched their way back as two errors by the Illinois and a pair of kills, along with an ace from Schirmer, cemented the set at 18-18. Illinois fended off Ohio State’s comeback thanks to a 7-2 run for the win, 25-20.
It was a heart-wrenching loss for sure. But on the road with a determined opponent is always a hard chore to overcome. The Buckeyes must focus better, as they undoubtedly are the better team in some of their recent losses – specifically here against Illinois.
The Buckeyes now head to Evanston to square up against the Wildcats of Northwestern for a Saturday night matchup. First serve is set for 8 p.m. ET.
See you there!