Buckeyes Top Middle Tennessee State, 3-1, in NCAA First Round
Dec. 1, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's volleyball team notched a 3-1 (25-23, 25-27, 25-21, 25-18) win over Middle Tennessee State to open the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship. The Buckeyes will face 14th-seed and host Tennessee Friday at 7 p.m. at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.
Leading Ohio State (20-14) was All-Big Ten performer Mari Hole with a match-high 18 kills and 14 digs. Junior Emily Danks followed with 16 kills and one service ace, while junior setter Amanda Peterson totaled 52 assists to go with three block assists. Junior middle blocker Mariah Booth added 10 kills and three block assists. Defensively, Ohio State libero Sarah Mignin totaled 14 digs.
Middle Tennessee State (21-12) was led by Lindsay Cheatham and Maria Szivos with 11 kills apiece. Setter Morgan Peterson had 33 assists and 13 digs, while Cheatham had a match-high five block assists.
The Buckeyes opened the match with a two-point victory in the first set, taking a 25-23 win. The two teams engaged in a back-and-forth battle to start the frame until a block and two kills by MTSU gave the Blue Raiders a 12-8 advantage. Ohio State fought back and rattled off a 5-1 run that included a pair of kills from Hole and Booth to take a 16-15 lead. Down a point at 23-22, a block from Peterson and Kelli Barhorst locked the score at 23 then an ace from Davionna DiSalvatore and kill by Hole gave Ohio State the win.
The second set opened the same as the first until the Blue Raiders went on a 10-1 run to put them up, 16-11. Booth proved an asset, serving the Buckeyes on a 5-0 run to bring the team within a point at 20-19 that including a service ace. Down two at 24-22, a kill by Danks and a block from Booth and Hole locked the score at 24. Hole provided a well-timed kill to again tie the match at 25-25 before the Blue Raiders claimed the set, 27-25.
Ohio State moved a set closer to a win after taking the third set, 25-21. The Buckeyes took advantage of three Blue Raider errors, including two attack errors, early on to take a 5-4 lead. Down 12-10, OSU reeled off a 7-2 run with the help of kills from Booth and Hole and a pair of MTSU attack errors. The Scarlet and Gray ended the set by scoring four of the last five points, including a kill from Danks and a set-ending block from Booth and Amy Schwarzwalder.
Assisted by six kills by Danks, Ohio State clinched the victory with a 25-18 win in the fourth set. Tied at five apiece early, the Buckeyes jetted ahead with a 6-1 run featuring back-to-back kills from Peterson. Later in the set, kills from Booth, Danks and Hole helped Ohio Statenotch the score at 24-16 with a 5-1 run. After giving up a pair of points to MTSU, Danks shut the door on the Blue Raiders with a kill off an assist from Peterson.
The Buckeyes face the Lady Vols Friday at 7 p.m. ET in Knoxville. Tennessee advanced to the second round following a 3-1 win over Duke Thursday.