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Bucks earn tournament berth after sweeping through conference rivals

The women’s volleyball team finished big at home this weekend, upsetting No. 12 Michigan and defeating Michigan State en route to an NCAA Tournament berth.

A 3-0 sweep of Michigan earned the Buckeyes their second win over a ranked opponent this season. OSU won the three sets 25-20, 25-22 and 25-22.

The Buckeyes had the edge over Michigan in hitting. They had four ace serves, two of which came from the hands of Kelli Barhorst.

Several players shared match-highs against Michigan, including Katie Dull’s 16.5 points and three blocks. 

The Buckeyes entered their last regular season match at St. John Arena on Saturday evening.

With the momentum from blowing past Michigan and the Big Ten tournament on the horizon, the Buckeyes were on the attack.

The Buckeyes took an early 17-12 lead in the first set but got stuck behind a five-point run by Michigan State. Holding a 24-20 lead, the Buckeyes took the set off a Michigan State error. 

In the second set, senior Ashley Hughes began to rack up the 25 assists, five blocks, five kills and four digs she earned across the match.  

Dull added to her match-highs on the weekend with 17.5 points, 13 kills, and a career-tying three solo blocks.   

The Buckeyes added another 3-0 sweep to their weekend, winning all three sets against MSU, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-15. 

Following two big wins to close the season, seniors Kristen Dozier, Ashley Hughes and Chelsea Noble were joined by their families on the court. 

Dozier and Hughes played for the Buckeyes for four seasons, and Noble has contributed for two seasons. 

Each player was recognized for her career achievements and received her own framed jersey.   

In their final singing of “Carmen Ohio” in St. John Arena, the seniors joined arms with their families to remember every match played on their home court. 

The Buckeyes finished the season 23-9 overall and 12-8 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes finished tied for fourth in the Big Ten with Michigan.   

OSU concluded its perfect weekend by earning an NCAA Tournament berth Sunday. The Bucks will host Cincinnati in a first-round matchup Friday at St. John Arena. If OSU beats the Bearcats, it will advance to face the winner of Lipscomb-California at home Saturday.

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