No. 17 Buckeyes Fall at Illinois, 3-1
Oct. 20, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The No. 17 Ohio State women's volleyball team was bested in a four-set match at Illinois Sunday, falling 3-1 (25-15, 15-25, 22-25, 20-25) in Huff Hall. The Buckeyes fell to 14-6 overall and 2-6 in Big Ten play.
Entering the match, senior Kaitlyn Leary needed five kills for 1,000 in her career. She reached the milestone in the first set and finished the contest with a match-high 20 kills. The Parma, Ohio, product became the 21st Buckeye in program history to notch 1,000 kills and has 1,015 in her career.
Leary also added 16 digs in the match for her 10th double-double of the year, adding a career-best three service aces. Senior Julianne Mandolfo finished with 15 digs, while freshman Valeria León and senior Davionna DiSalvatore had 11 and 10 digs, respectively. Sophomore Andrea Kacsits chipped in nine kills for the Buckeyes.
Illinois (8-10, 4-4) had three student-athletes finish with double-digit kills in the match. Liz McMahon led the team with 18, while Morganne Criswell had 15 and Jocelynn Birks totaled 14. Libero Jennifer Beltran led the squad with 14 digs.
The Buckeyes kicked off the match on a 9-2 run, highlighted by two kills and a service ace from Leary. A León service ace gave Ohio State a 13-6 advantage and another ace from Leary pushed the Buckeyes up 17-9. Kills from Leary gave Ohio State set point at 24-15 and the Buckeyes took the set, 25-15.
Illinois came out in the second set with a 7-3 lead and forged head for a 13-6 advantage, forcing an Ohio State timeout. A handful of Illini runs led to a 21-11 Illinois lead and the home team captured the set, 25-15.
The teams battled back and forth to start set three before the Illini used a 5-1 run to go ahead at 15-11. Another Illinois 5-1 run gave the team set point at 24-18 before a kill from Erin Sekinger triggered an Ohio State rally to bring the Buckeyes within two at 24-22. The Ohio State run fell just short as an Illini kill sealed the set, 25-22.
Ohio State grabbed a quick 4-2 lead in the fourth on kills from Leary. Illinois came back to tie the set at seven and responded with a 6-1 run to jump ahead at 14-10. A kill from Kacsits and a Taylor Sandbothe / Maggie Heim block brought the Buckeyes within two at 16-14. The Illini, however, pushed ahead with a 4-1 run to force a Buckeye timeout at 21-16. Illinois took the match with a 25-20 win.
The Buckeyes travel to nationally-ranked Penn State, Oct. 23, for a 7 p.m. ET match on ESPN2. Ohio State then returns to St. John Arena, hosting nationally-ranked Nebraska in a 7 p.m. ET Big Ten tilt, Oct. 25.