Nov. 10, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 15 Ohio State women's volleyball team earned its fourth-straight 20-win season with a 3-2 (25-23, 16-25, 25-23, 16-25, 17-15) win over Illinois Saturday night in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes improve to 20-8 overall and 11-5 in the Big Ten and the win marks the first time since 2007 the Buckeyes have swept the series with the Illini.
Senior Mari Hole picked up her 14th double-double of the season, finishing with 21 kills and 12 digs to guide Ohio State in the win. Her 21 kills was her seventh match this season with 20 or more. Junior Kaitlyn Leary totaled 17 kills, while senior Emily Danks had eight.
The Buckeyes totaled 16.0 blocks to tie a season-high this year. Sophomore Anna Faul tied a career-best with eight kills on one solo and seven block assists. Leary set a career-high with three solo blocks in the win. Danks had six block assists, while freshman Andrea Kacsits had five. Juniors Davionna DiSalvatore and Julianne Mandolfo had 14 and 12 digs, respectively.
Liz McMahon led the Illini (11-15, 5-11) with 20 kills, while Jocelynn Birks had 16 kills and 11 digs. Julia Conard had a match-high 17 digs and libero Jennifer Beltran added 14. Setter Annie Luhrsen had 63 assists with 15 digs.
Tied at four apiece in the first, an Illini service error followed by a Kacsits/Amanda Peterson block led to a 12-5 Buckeye lead. Illinois inched its way back and cut the lead to three at 14-11, but a kill and service ace by Danks set the score to 17-12. At 22-17 Ohio State, a kill by Birks triggered a 5-0 Illini run to set the score 22-22. A kill and solo block by Leary gave the Buckeyes set point and another Leary kill sealed the win, 25-23.
Illinois opened the second set on a 5-0 run and pushed ahead to 12-6. A kill by Faul and a solo block by Leary cut the Illini lead to 17-11, but the visitors battled to a 22-13 advantage. An Illini attack error triggered 3-0 Buckeye run highlighted by a service ace by Katie Mitchell, 22-16. Illinois, however, held on for a 25-16 win.
The Illini took a 6-4 lead to kick off the third set and held a 9-8 lead before a Leary solo block and a Danks kill pushed the Buckeyes ahead, 10-9. An Illinois run gave the squad a 17-15 lead to force an Ohio State timeout. Down three at 19-16, a kill by Faul triggered a 4-1 Buckeye run to tie score at 20 apiece. Illinois held a 23-22 lead before an Illini error followed by back-to-back kills from Hole gave Ohio State a 25-23 victory.
A Faul/Danks block and a solo block by Faul gave the Buckeyes a 4-1 advantage to start the fourth set. However, the Illini regrouped and put together 6-0 run for an 8-5 lead. A 5-1 Ohio State rally highlighted by three Buckeye blocks locked the score at 12 apiece, but Illinois didn't falter and regained its lead with a 6-2 run for a 20-14 advantage. The Illini forced a fifth set with a 25-16 win.
Tied at five in the fifth, two-straight kills by Hole led to a 7-5 Buckeye lead. Illinois battled back to lock it up at 10-10 before a Danks/Kacsits block and a DiSalvatore service ace gave Ohio State a 12-10 lead. The Illini were not through and put together a 4-1 run to earn match point at 14-13. A kill by Leary tied it up at 14 and a kill by Hole set the score 15-15. An Illini attack error gave the Buckeyes match point at 16-15 and a kill by Hole sealed the match, 17-15.
Ohio State travels to the state of Indiana for a pair of Big Ten road matches. The Buckeyes face Purdue in West Lafayette at 7 p.m. ET, Nov. 16. Ohio State closes out the weekend with another 7 p.m. ET match vs. Indiana, Nov. 17.