Ohio State  then-freshman opposite hitter Vanja Buklić (13) spikes the ball while team watches on Sunday, Oct. 14 at St. John’s Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Michigan State in 3 matches. Credit: Claire Kudika | Former Assistant Design Editor

Ohio State women’s volleyball won its second game of the season opening Sports Import Classic tournament against Virginia Commonwealth University in four sets Saturday. 

In a comprehensive defensive and offensive performance, the Buckeyes (2-1) bounced back after a Friday night loss to Texas Tech to beat the VCU Rams (1-2) in four sets (25-19, 25-16, 24-26, 25-17). The win was crucial for the Buckeyes, as they came in focused on responding positively to the defeat.

“Every day is a new day,” freshman outside hitter Jenaisya Moore said. “We were coming in ready to restart and re-check ourselves and evaluate what we needed to do next and push forward and I believe we really did that today.”

A consistent force all weekend, Moore had an especially dominating performance at the net against the Rams. With 23 total match kills and a .347 hitting percentage, Moore collected key points that contributed to the Buckeye wins in the first, second and fourth sets. Moore also dominated the first set, when she racked up 11 kills.

“Everybody contributes to everything I do,” Moore said. “I think everyone doing their little things helped me at the net for sure.”

Her performance rivaled that of the VCU defense, which provided 51 total digs and 11 blocks.

VCU’s strong defensive performance, coupled with a slow set from Ohio State, fueled a Rams win in the third, forcing the match to the fourth set. 

However, Moore said Ohio State’s Friday loss inspired the team to respond with a quick and decisive fourth set win to clinch the match. 

“I definitely think we had something to fight for, which was redemption,” Moore said. “You’re more likely to fight more when you have that fire in you.”

Strong defense complemented the strong Buckeye attack in the final set, which worked to stifle VCU.  Ohio State freshman libero Kylie Murr collected 14 of the 62 match kills and sophomore defensive specialist Camryn Moeller tacked on 12 more.

Murr says the entire defense focuses on “you and me” communication so they can ensure they’re all on the same page before every play.

“It comes crazy fast, we’ve got to talk to each other so much and nothing can happen if we don’t play defense,” Murr said. “I think it’s important that we communicate and know that we have each other’s back and know that we can do this.”

Coming out of the weekend with a winning record, Murr said the team is excited to have ended this opening weekend with a win. 

“As a team and as a unit, ending the weekend with a win felt really good,” Murr said.

The Buckeyes are looking to take this energy and move it forward as they continue their 2019 season. However, Murr said with every match there is something to take and improve upon for the next. Murr said she’s focusing on being a leader and providing a strong voice to the Ohio State defense, which she said she struggled with against Texas Tech.

“As a freshman I let the nerves take over me and I think I lost my personality on the court,” Murr said. “Tonight, I tried to learn from that as much as possible… and I think, moving forward, me showing my personality on the court whether I’m playing well or not will be important to our success.”

The Buckeyes will travel to Pittsburgh Sept. 6-7, where they will take on the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University and Green Bay University.