Ohio State emerged victorious at the Covelli Center for the first time this season Sunday.
The No. 22 women’s volleyball team (5-8, 2-2) picked up their first home win of the season in a 3-0 sweep (25-23, 25-22, 25-12) of the Maryland Terrapins (12-4, 2-2).
Ohio State head coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg said the win is a sign of things to come.
“It’s the start of things we needed to get done,” Oldenburg said. “It’s the start of more wins at home because we have some opponents coming up that we should be able to take care of.”
The victory was solidified with a strong defensive performance at the net for the Buckeyes, as they swatted a season-high 15 blocks.
“To out-block a team like Maryland that’s statistically been at the top of the Big Ten for the past couple of years, that’s a good thing,” Oldenburg said.
Freshman middle blocker Eloise Brandewie led the charge with a career-high seven blocks along with five kills.
“It feels good, Kamiah Gibson did a great job stepping up and setting the block up for me,” Brandewie said. “I’m a freshman, so it feels good to finally come through with that.”
Her efforts were backed up by sophomore transfer setter Gibson, who made an impact in her first Buckeye start, totaling 21 assists, four digs, three blocks and a kill.
“I think Gibby killed it today in every aspect, offensively and defensively,” senior middle blocker Anna Morris said. “We play with her every day, so we know what she’s capable of.”
For Morris, it was her first appearance on the court not only for the Buckeyes but also in a college volleyball match, after playing basketball for three years as a Northwestern Wildcat.
“I was really excited for the opportunity,” Morris said. “I’m ready to keep working and contribute in any way that I can.”
Morris served in five points during the third set, winning four of them.
Ohio State took the first set in nail-biting fashion.
After taking a 16-10 lead, Maryland stormed back to make it 16-14. From that point, it was a back-and-forth set, as the Buckeyes pulled it out 25-23 off the strength of multiple challenges won by Oldenburg and the Buckeyes.
The second was close all the way through, with five lead changes and nine ties throughout. It was decided by a challenge as well, with Ohio State winning it on an error turned kill for senior outside hitter Emily Londot.
“When the team’s saying that a ball is in, or a ball was touched, I’m going to listen to them,” Oldenburg said.
The third set was much different, with the Buckeyes dominating the whole way, hitting at an efficient .296 clip in the set, as well as holding the Terrapins to a -.321 hitting percentage in the frame. They won it with a score of 25-13, their biggest lead of the match.
“We settled in a little bit better, played a little looser,” Oldenburg said. “It’s a testament to our focus and the intent in that last set.”
Gibson came through with a strong third set, dishing out eight assists in the 12-point set win.
“When we go back to how we scored so much in the third, I think she was a big contributor to that,” Brandewie said.
The Buckeyes go on to face Rutgers away Friday at 7 p.m.