On Wednesday evening at St. John Arena, the No.12 Ohio State women’s volleyball team opened Big Ten play with a loss at home, falling to No. 21 Minnesota in five sets (22-25, 12-25, 25-23, 25-19, 11-15).
Both OSU (11-2, 0-1) and Minnesota (9-2, 1-0) came into the game on extended winning streaks. The Buckeyes had not lost since their opening match against Wyoming and the Golden Gophers came into the game having won eight straight matches.
Minnesota won the first two sets of the night as it attempted to win its eighth straight game without dropping a single set. Minnesota gained leads of 4-1 and 15-2 in the first and second sets, respectively, forcing the Buckeyes to play from behind. OSU did not hold a lead at any point until midway through the third set.
But OSU battled back, winning the hotly contested third and fourth sets before ultimately falling in the fifth.
“We fought back and for as bad as we were the first two sets, we could have rolled over and died, but we didn’t. So, I’m proud of my team for that,” OSU coach Geoff Carlston said, finding a positive in the loss.
However, Carlston said he was disappointed that the Buckeyes fell behind by such a wide margin early, a hole they were unable to recover from.
“We almost had them. We’re better than they are. And we’re at home and we’ve got to show some more pride in how we go about things,” Carlston said.
Senior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell led OSU with 22 points, including 18 kills. However, she said she sees room for improvement.
“I think we made a lot of mistakes. Just little things like being in the net or serving the ball into the net or out of bounds. So, if we can control our aspect of the game, I think that we can play a little bit better,” Campbell said.
Carlston noted the errors at crucial points in the game as the reason the Buckeyes could not complete the comeback in the fifth set. The Buckeyes were called for a net violation late in the fifth and final set which gave the Golden Gophers an 11-9 lead that they held onto, ultimately winning 15-11.
The Buckeyes are next set to face their fifth ranked team of the season on Sunday when they’re slated to host No.16 Wisconsin. The game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at St. John Arena.