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Season comes to an end for volleyball team

The Ohio State women’s volleyball team’s run in the NCAA tournament was cut short by a devastating loss Saturday night. 

The NCAA Tournament began Friday night when the Buckeyes faced Cincinnati in the first round.   

Behind a team-high 17.5 points from junior Katie Dull, the Buckeyes defeated Cincinnati 3-1 to advance to the second round. 

In the first set, two kills from freshman Emily Danks and two ace serves from junior Susan Halverson brought the Buckeyes out of a 16-12 deficit. 

Two Dull kills sealed the first game 25-20 for the Buckeyes.

The second game had quite a different rhythm as the Buckeyes fell 25-16. 

The Buckeyes felt the pressure and came back in the third 25-15 and a Dull kill in the fourth ended the game 25-23 and the match 3-1. 

The victory was short-lived as the team was focused on its next task, No. 9 California, who defeated Lipscomb earlier in the night. 

Both coach Geoff Carlston and Dull were excited to get the opportunity to play California on Saturday. 

“First of all, I thought it was a great match,” Carlston said. “You are going crazy through it but in the end, to be able to win a match like that against a great team is neat.”

Excitement immediately turned to focus.

The Buckeyes met California in St. John Arena on Saturday night. 

The Buckeyes were slow to start in the first and trailed the entire game, falling 25-13. 

Seniors Ashley Hughes and Kristen Dozier exploded in the second game, opening a run early. 

Ohio State edged California 25-18, and tied the match 1-1.

The third game was nothing short of a nail-biter. With 13 ties and four lead changes, the Buckeyes battle ended just short, 25-23. 

California held the lead throughout the fourth game. The Buckeyes only trailed by as many as eight points in the game, but fought back to stay within three points.

The Buckeyes fell 25-20 in the fourth and 3-1 in the match. 

Carlston credited the players for their success just as much as the players credited the coaching staff for believing in them. 

We knew we had a good team and we had something to prove,” Carlston said. “More than that, the coaching staff believed in us so every day. We came in determined to do something good with this season.”

Good is an understatement. 

The Buckeyes finished last season 15-20 overall. This season they finished 25-11 overall and received an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. 

The Buckeyes will have to say goodbye to three seniors this year, Kristen Dozier, Ashley Hughes, and Chelsea Noble.  

The team recognizes them for all they have given to the season and the program as they look to the future. 

“This year was our year to prove to the Big Ten that we are back on track and we are who we are,” sophomore Kelli Barhorst said. “We are Ohio State. We are looking forward to building on it next year.” 

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