Ohio State Downed by No. 20 Illinois, 3-1
Nov. 22, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's volleyball team fell to No. 20 Illinois, 3-1 (20-25, 25-17, 21-25, 20-25), Friday night in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes honored their three seniors prior to the match - Davionna DiSalvatore, Julianne Mandolfo and Kaitlyn Leary.
Leary picked up her 13 double-double of the season, totaling 16 kills and 16 digs for the Buckeyes (16-13, 4-13). Junior Erin Sekinger and freshman Taylor Sandbothe finished with 13 kills apiece, while Sekinger tied a career-best with six blocks (1s, 5a). Sophomore Andrea Kacsits added six blocks (1s, 5a) and Sandbothe totaled four block assists. Mandolfo finished with a season-best 26 digs for Ohio State.
The Illini (15-12, 11-6) were led by Morganne Criswell and Jocelynn Birks offensively as each totaled 15 kills. Setter Alexis Viliunas had 38 assists and 16 digs, while Liz McMahon added 10 kills. Libero Jennifer Beltran chipped in 13 digs for Illinois.
Tied at three to start the first, a kill by Leary sent the Buckeyes on a six-run highlighted by two Taylor Sherwin aces to take a 9-3 lead in the set. The Illini responded with a 6-1 run to bring the score to 10-9 and the visitor's moved ahead with another run for a 15-13 advantage. An Illinois kill at the 19-15 mark forced a Buckeye timeout. Sekinger and Sandbothe recorded a block to bring the score to 22-19, but the Illini closed out the set with a 25-20 win.
A kill by Kacsits sparked a five-point run to start the second set and give Ohio State a 6-3 advantage over the Illini. Sekinger posted a service ace to force an Illinois timeout with the Buckeyes leading 10-6. Back-to-back kills from Maggie Heim pushed the Buckeyes up 23-15, while a block by Sandbothe and Heim clinched the second set, 25-17, for the Buckeyes and tie the match at 1-1.
Ohio State and Illinois exchanged points to start the third until a three-point run pushed the Illini ahead, 14-11, to force a Buckeye timeout. The Buckeyes chipped away at the lead with Katie Mitchell notching three kills to force an Illini timeout with Ohio State leading 16-15. Illinois rallied to take an 18-16 lead before Sandbothe and Mitchell teamed up to tally a block to bring the score to 23-21. The Illini, however, held on to win the third set, 25-21.
The Illini jumped ahead to an early lead, forcing Ohio State to call a timeout trailing 6-2. A kill by Sandbothe brought the Buckeyes within two at 10-8, but the Illini continued to surge ahead taking a 21-13 lead over the home squad. Illinois took a timeout following a kill from Leary leading 22-16 over the Scarlet and Gray. The Illini maintained momentum and captured the set, 25-20.
Ohio State returns to St. John Arena Saturday for an 8:30 p.m. ET match against Northwestern. Admission for any Ohio State match is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Ohio State students are free with a valid Buck-ID.
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