The Ohio State women’s volleyball team (14-15, 7-11 Big Ten) dropped its second match this weekend to Iowa in three straight sets. With Saturday’s victory, Iowa (18-13, 7-11 Big Ten) completed the home-and-home matchup with two wins against the Buckeyes.
Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlston was notably disappointed in his team, particularly in their serving game, which he believed was one of the worst in the season.
“We just had so many hitting errors, offensively we didn’t have any rhythm tonight,” Carlston said. “Probably the most disappointing loss of the season.”
Senior outside hitter Ashley Wenz also acknowledged the multiple serving errors made by the Buckeyes and took some responsibility for how the game played out.
“I need to be a little more on my game in general, just really helping Becca get through. [She’s a] freshman setter, it’s really new to her so just being someone that can make her feel stable,” Wenz said.
The Buckeyes and the Hawkeyes were both eager for a win as they battled it out in the first set with 17 ties. Although Ohio State played a tight game with 15 kills and 25 digs, Iowa came out on top with two consecutive kills and won the set 25-23.
Iowa started the second set on a 4-0 run, but it wasn’t long before the set turned into another point-for-point game, this time with eight lead changes. Senior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer helped her team with eight kills, but the Hawkeyes came back with 11 blocks and took the set 25-23.
Both teams began the third set with yet another tight game, but the Buckeyes began to fall behind. With Iowa leading 18-12, Ohio State called a timeout. Iowa’s .344 attacking percentage and four blocks were enough to wear out the Buckeyes as Iowa won the third and final set 25-18.
Carlston was hoping to see the most improvement in the third set. But the Buckeyes appeared to regress.
“We weren’t putting a lot of pace on the ball and so they were in system. In-between [sets] two and three we said, ‘Let’s put some more pace on the ball,’ and we missed a ton of serves. It’s our gym, there’s no excuses,” Carlston said.
Freshman defensive specialist Hannah Gruensfelder had a successful evening with a match-best 19 digs. Sophomores middle blocker Madison Smeathers and outside hitter Bia Franklin were responsible for six kills each, while Becca Mauer contributed 35 assists.
The Buckeyes will have a chance to bounce back 7 p.m. Wednesday against Maryland in College Park, Maryland.