The Ohio State women’s volleyball team (12-5, 3-2) defeated its second straight ranked opponent by downing No. 15 Illinois (11-5, 3-2) Wednesday in five sets (25-14, 22-25, 25-14, 27-29, 16-14).
After splitting the first four sets, the Buckeyes found themselves facing a 14-10 deficit in the fifth as the Illini prepared to escape Columbus with a win.
But OSU was not having any of it, as the Buckeyes ran off six straight points to pull off the victory in five sets.
The Buckeyes were led during that stretch by junior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell, who was served for the last six OSU points.
OSU coach Geoff Carlston said following the game that it felt great to pull off the win, especially at home.
“Awesome win for our program and to do it in front of our fans made it even better,” Carlston said.
Coming into Columbus, the Fighting Illini had won eight of their last 10 matchups. And the Buckeyes’ last win against the Fighting Illini came in Columbus on Nov. 10, 2012 in five sets.
The first set was in the Buckeyes’ favor from the beginning, as the team held a lead no less than six for the final portion of the frame.
At intermission, the Buckeyes led the Fighting Illini in overall kills with 31-26. Leading the Buckeyes on offense were senior outside hitter Erin Sekinger with eight kills and senior setter Taylor Sherwin with 26 assists.
After the break, the Buckeyes regained the momentum they started with, and cruised by the Fighting Illini to take the third set, 25-14.
In the fourth set, the Buckeyes were down as many as six points (18-12), but were able to find a way and come back to eventually tie the set at 24 before the Fighting Illini eventually got back-to-back points to take the fourth set.
Campbell had 14 kills and 11 digs and Sherwin ended up with a game-high 55 assists and team-leading 16 digs. Junior outside hitter Katie Mitchell and Sekinger led the Buckeyes in kills with 15 each and sophomore middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe had 14. Sophomore libero Valeria León led all players in service aces with three, while Richardson led all with six blocks.
Sekinger said the fans were the reason the team was able to come back even while the momentum continuously shifted throughout the game.
“The crowd, all our fans made it awesome for us tonight. That’s how we came back and won, because they never doubted us,” Sekinger said.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on No. 24 Northwestern (13-3, 3-2) on Saturday. The match is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.