EVANSTON, Ill. - The Ohio State women's volleyball team bounced back with a dominating effort over Northwestern, outscoring the Wildcats by 29 points in three sets (25-13, 25-18, 25-15). The Buckeyes move up to 11-8 overall and 4-4 in conference action as Northwestern drops to 12-8 (2-6 B1G).
Ohio State smothered Northwestern's offense as it limited the Wildcats to a .074 attacking percentage. The Buckeyes hit .308 on the night (39-11-91) and earned nine team blocks.
For the third straight match, Ashley Wenz paced the squad with 11 kills and notched three blocks. Taylor Hughes tallied a match-high 29 assists, five blocks, three aces and hit .800 (4-0-5). Lauren Witte connected on seven of 12 swings with two errors for a .417 clip and paired it with four rejections. Luisa Schirmer chipped in eight kills while Ana Beatriz Franklin (5) and Madison Smeathers (4) also got in on the offensive attack. Hannah Gruensfelder added a match-best 15 digs, followed by Wenz and Schirmer with seven apiece.
SET 1: Ohio State surged ahead early to begin the evening. The opening stanza was all about the Buckeyes, who jumped out to a 12-4 lead to send NU to its bench. Back on the court, the Wildcats used a 9-3 run to cut the margin to 15-13. OSU responded by scoring the final 10 points of the set for a 25-13 win.
SET 2: Northwestern took it to the Buckeyes in set number two as the teams traded points. Ohio State finally got ahead 17-13 to force the Wildcats to call a timeout. Three of the next four rallies went to the Scarlet & Gray to extend the advantage. The Buckeyes came through with a 5-1 sprint as Schirmer's ace closed the set, 25-18.
SET 3: The Wildcats needed a timeout as OSU claimed the first four points of the third set. Back-to-back blocks by Hughes and Witte sent NU to its bench for a second time. The Buckeyes doubled up on Northwestern with a 20-10 lead. The Wildcats did not give up as they strung together four straight points but kills by Franklin and Witte with a Wenz-Franklin block wrapped things up, 25-15.
Ohio State starts its four-match homestand with a midweek contest versus Minnesota on Wednesday (Oct. 18) in St. John Arena at 8 p.m. ET. Fans will be able to tune in live on the Big Ten Network.
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