Women’s Volleyball: No. 7 Ohio State sweeps Michigan in front of record crowd

The Lantern
The Ohio State women’s volleyball team celebrates during the Ohio State-Indiana game Sept. 29. Ohio State won 3-0. Credit: Gabe Haferman | Asst. Photo Editor

The Ohio State women’s volleyball team won 3-0 over rival Michigan at the Covelli Center in front of the arena’s largest crowd of all time — 4,098.

The Buckeyes (14-2) defended their home court against a Michigan team (10-5) that took down then-No. 8 Minnesota 3-2 Sept. 8. Michigan came into the match 3-2 in the Big Ten and led the conference in top statistical categories, including service aces.

“The energy that is in Covelli is something special,” head coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg said. “To see the student section and how much support they have for our student athletes, I think says a lot, but then as we continue to build and have that community support, we are just very grateful for that.”

Ohio State got off to a quick start in set one with help from an animated crowd to take the lead 5-1. Sophomore middle hitter Rylee Rader kept the Buckeyes’ momentum going with two early kills for a 9-4 Buckeyes lead. After another kill by Rader, Michigan was forced to take its first timeout, 16-11.

Following the break, Michigan got its middles going with junior middle hitter Jess Robinson getting a kill of her own to start a 5-0 Wolverines run, 16-all. A couple good digs by junior outside hitter Gabby Gonzales helped Ohio State retake the lead and force another Michigan timeout at 22-20.

After the timeout, a kill and a block by sophomore opposite hitter Emily Londot gave the Buckeyes set point, 24-21. The Wolverines were able to fend off one match point, but a service error gave Ohio State set one.

Michigan came out swinging in set two to take the early 5-1 lead. However, strong serving by Gonzales put the Buckeyes back within two points, 6-8. Michigan kept a two-point edge over the Buckeyes until three hitting errors in a row put Ohio State in the lead, forcing a Michigan timeout at 15-13.

Following the break, Michigan was still plagued by errors, helping the Buckeyes extend their lead 20-14. Back-to-back kills by sophomore outside hitter Jess Mruzik stopped the Buckeyes run, 21-16. Despite Michigan’s efforts, the Buckeyes’ block proved too much to handle, helping Ohio State take set two, 25-17.

Ohio State got off to a strong start, pulling ahead 7-1 in set three to force an early Michigan timeout. After the break, the Buckeyes continued to roll with strong serving from Londot to extend their lead to 11-3. Michigan did not back down and went on a 3-0 run to get back within five points, 13-8.

A block by senior outside hitter Mia Grunze extended the Buckeyes lead to seven points, forcing Michigan to take its second timeout, 20-13. The Wolverines could not handle the Gonzales serve, giving Ohio State a match-point, 24-14. A kill by Grunze finished the match for the Buckeyes, winning 25-15.

“The atmosphere was insane,” Gonzales said. “We really fed off the crowd and it was awesome to see all the fans in there. We really appreciate everyone who shows up.”

The Buckeyes hope to continue to build off the energies of the crowd and each other as they move forward in  Big Ten play, Oldenburg said.

“I couldn’t script it any better,” Oldenburg said. “The crowd, the alumni, I think all those things factor into just how excited people are to watch our team and for our team to respond well and play at a high level against a good team like Michigan, I think says a lot about where we are headed.”

Ohio State will seek revenge against No. 6 Purdue — who handed the Buckeyes their first loss of the season Sept. 24 — at 8 p.m. Friday at the Covelli Center.

Comments / 0

Published by

The Lantern is the independent, award-winning student voice of Ohio State, covering sports, campus, politics, and arts and life.

Columbus, OH

More from The Lantern

Comments / 0