The No. 7 Ohio State women’s volleyball team opened conference play by splitting its weekend series with Iowa and No. 3 Nebraska.
The Buckeyes (5-5) won in straight sets Friday as Iowa (6-7) dropped its home matchup. On Saturday, the Cornhuskers (10-1) defended their home turf as they defeated Ohio State in a competitive five sets.
The first set began with eight ties before two four-point runs gave the Buckeyes a 17-11 lead. Ohio State would end the set on a five-point run, winning 25-16.
During the match, senior setter Mac Podraza became the ninth player in Ohio State women’s volleyball history to record 3,000 assists.
In the second set, after Ohio State got out to a 5-4 lead, the Buckeyes allowed just four more Hawkeye points in the set, winning it 25-8.
Podraza assisted on seven of Ohio State’s 10 set kills, ending the match with 28 assists.
The third set saw both teams go back-and-forth until the Hawkeyes scored four straight points to go ahead 16-12. The Buckeyes responded immediately and outscored Iowa 5-1 to tie the set at 17.
After another Iowa run gave the Hawkeyes match-point, the Buckeyes came back with four straight points to complete the sweep.
Junior outside hitter Emily Londot led all players in her ninth-consecutive game with 10 or more kills, ending the game with 13. Senior outside hitter Gabby Gonzales was second in the match with nine of her own.
It took five sets for Nebraska to pull a win away from Ohio State, as the Huskers capitalized on a series of miscues to come away with a crucial conference victory.
Ohio State fell behind early in the first set due to attack errors. Although the Buckeyes led the Huskers 14-8 in kills, Nebraska controlled the first set after a three-point run made the score 12-9, winning the set 25-22.
The second set began with 12 ties and four lead changes, highlighted by a six-point Ohio State run to make the score 20-14. The Huskers tied the score at 24 apiece, but a setting miscue for Nebraska led to a set-closing Londot kill.
Londot finished the match with 17 kills, extending her streak of at least 10 kills in every match so far this season.
The Huskers came into the third set hot, scoring the first five set points, but Ohio State responded by tying the set at seven and again at eight. A six-point Buckeye run made it 13-8, and they held on to win 25-19.
Gonzales added five kills to her match total of 15, including three consecutive points during Ohio State’s six-point run.
Senior outside hitter Jenaisya Moore got the Buckeyes on the board first in the fourth set, but Nebraska quickly tied the score thanks to a 5-0 run to make it 6-2. Ohio State tied the score at 13, 14 and 15 points, but Nebraska took a 16-15 lead it would not relinquish, winning the set by a score of 25-20.
The Huskers out blocked the Buckeyes 3-0 in the fourth set and 15-5 in the match.
The determining fifth set ended dramatically, with 10 ties and six lead changes. Gonzales and Londot scored back-to-back kills in the set to tie and give Ohio State a one-point lead, but a 3-0 Husker run flipped the score 12-11, and Nebraska held on to win 15-13.
With her 17 digs against Nebraska, senior defensive specialist Kylie Murr moved into third place on Ohio State’s all-time digs list and has collected 1,523 digs so far in her career.
Ohio State will take a midweek road trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to face an 11-1 Wolverine team coming off a road sweep of No. 9 Penn State. The Buckeyes and Wolverines will meet Wednesday at 7 p.m.