Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
The Ohio State women’s volleyball team helped coach Geoff Carlston achieve a milestone victory but had its four-match winning streak snapped immediately thereafter.
OSU helped Carlston to his 100th career win as coach with a 3-1 triumph against Wisconsin on Friday at St. John Arena. The No. 15 Buckeyes then fell at home to No. 10 Minnesota, 3-2.
Despite OSU’s fast start, the Golden Gophers rallied for the victory, leaving the Buckeyes with an 18-8 overall record and 9-5 record in Big Ten Conference play.
It seemed the Buckeyes were clicking on all cylinders, knocking the Gophers out in set one. The Buckeyes won their second set before perhaps letting their guard down against Minnesota.
“We got a big lead in the second game and we kind of let them catch up to us a little bit, so that kind of gave them their mojo and the energy back,” said senior outside hitter Mari Hole.
The game might have been a story of two halves, as senior middle blocker Mariah Booth said OSU didn’t match the Gophers’ energy.
The Buckeyes “died down,” she said.
“I feel like Minnesota took it up a notch, and we didn’t kick it in gear,” Booth said. “I think that was the big difference in the match as a whole.”
Unlike the Buckeyes’ Oct. 26 win against No. 4 Nebraska, OSU lost out on a chance to beat a ranked team.
“They were high-ranking, so it would have been great to beat them,” Hole said. “We knew we were so close when we played at their place earlier in the year, so of course it’s a bummer to lose.”
Carlston said the fourth set was a huge disappointment because he saw Minnesota become the more assertive team.
“We got to check and take a look at the mirror and figure what we need to do in that situation,” Carlston said.
Booth said that the difference in aggression might have been the difference in the contest.
“I think it’s definitely hard to be on the aggressive side a lot because you don’t want to make mistakes at the same time,” Booth said. “I felt like, for our team, aggressive works. When we started losing the game, it wasn’t because we started not being aggressive. We just didn’t match their energy at all.”
Booth said the Buckeyes’ first loss in five conference matches was a learning experience.
“I definitely think all losses are lessons,” she said. “We lost the fifth game, we were there.”
Carlston is now focused on how OSU will respond in its next game against Northwestern on Wednesday at St. John Arena.
“The big thing is going to be how we respond,” Carlston said. “We play again Wednesday at home so that is our focus now, because we can’t do anything about that. This match is over and (we will) get back to work on Tuesday.”
Booth said she still believes the Buckeyes haven’t reached their fullest potential.
“I’ve always thought our team hasn’t fully peaked yet. There’s always stuff to work on,” Booth said. “I felt like our team has gotten a lot better since the first half, but it’s going to be interesting to see us grow from the beginning of the second half to the end of the second half.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: November 7, 2012
An earlier version of this story stated that Ohio State’s basketball team helped coach Geoff Carlston achieve a milestone victory. In fact, it was the volleyball team.