The last two matches for the Buckeyes resulted in one positive final outlook while the other was dismissal. Unfortunately, both finalized in a loss.
On Sunday, the 22nd was the positive – if a loss could be summarized in such a manner. The Buckeye’s Women’s Volleyball team stepped up into a scrappy display, though fell short come the final whistle as they loss to TTUN, 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 26-28, 25-19), on Sunday afternoon in St. John Arena. This brought the Buckeyes overall record to 11-10 overall and 4-6 in the Big Ten while the Wolverines move to 14-8 (4-6 B1G).
Ashley Wenz tied her career high with 18 kills for her fifth straight match as the Buckeyes’ offensive leader. She also tied her career mark in blocks with eight rejections. Lauren Witte and Luisa Schirmer finished with nine and eight kills, respectively. Madison Smeather tallied a career-best eight block assists and tied her career high for total blocks (8). Taylor Hughes had 43 assists and Hannah Gruensfelder notched a match-high 20 digs. Ana Beatriz Franklin served up three aces.
The Buckeyes, as a team, documented 12 blocks, the sixth time this season the Buckeyes have reached double digits.
SET 1: Back-to-back service aces by Franklin gave the Buckeyes a 7-5 edge to start the afternoon. The two teams kept the this set close with 15 ties deep into the rally, eventually locking the score at 23-each. An error and kill broke the tie with TTUN getting the set, 25-23.
SET 2: TTUN went ahead 19-14 – which made the Buckeyes go to their bench. A breather was just what the Buckeyes needed before hammering on a 8-1 run, which featured successive blocks by Witte and Wenz, giving the Scarlet and Gray a 22-20 lead. Unfortunately, the Wolverines answered with the final five points and taking the set 25-22.
SET 3: The roar from the crowd was just the medicine needed for the Buckeyes squad – a thriller came to roost. It was playing out as if the Wolverines would pull this one out too with a 24-21 advantage. But then came a sweet Wenz-Smeathers block with a Wenz kill – tying it at 24-24. Both teams then locked into a battle – exchanging points to make it 26-26. Then, as if on que, Wenz and Smeathers came through again with a rejection at the net and Wenz laid the ball down hard for a fantastic and exciting 28-26 victory.
SET 4: Here the Buckeyes were forced to burn a timeout early as they were down 8-4. Ohio State fought to get within a pair, 16-14. But TTUN recovered swiftly and went on to get a 25-19 triumph. And that was it.
On Wednesday, the 18th it was a whole different performance.
The Buckeyes rallied late but it just wasn’t enough as they dropped a 3-0 decision (25-15, 25-20, 25-18) to the Nation’s 5th ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers at St. John Arena. This loss made the Buckeyes (at that time) 11-9 overall and 4-5 in Big Ten play while the Golden Gophers improved to 18-2 (7-2 B1G).
Ashley Wenz led the offensive attack for the fourth straight match thanks to 10 kills and paired it with seven digs. Taylor Hughes chipped in 24 assists and Luisa Schirmer tallied nine kills. On defense, Hannah Gruensfelder collected a match-high 21 digs and Ana Beatriz Franklin had 10. Lauren Witte came up with six blocks, including two solo rejections, while four other Buckeyes had two blocks apiece. So, there was some shining moments – just not enough to conquer.
The Buckeyes now will meet up with the 17th ranked Boilermakers of Purdue on Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. ET. At St. John’s. It can be watched on BTN Plus.
See You There. Go Buckeyes.