Ohio State women’s volleyball overcame an eight-point second-set deficit and a loss in the third set to pull off a victory against Miami (Ohio) in four sets Thursday.
Ohio State (5-5) lost its rhythm in a second set that it barely held onto before dropping the third, but the Buckeyes rallied for a 3-1 defeat of Miami (4-5), 25-18, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20.
“I think the second set we kind of got antsy and jumpy,” junior setter Becca Mauer said. “With volleyball, it’s an avalanche effect. It can go either way, and it happened to go our way, and once we got rolling, you can’t stop teams like that.”
Miami took a six-point lead in the third set, but the Buckeyes once again clawed back to knot it up at 20 apiece before the Redhawks got the eventual edge.
“I think we battled back, but we just made a couple of errors that didn’t go our way and a couple of calls that didn’t go our way,” Mauer said. “I think they got fed up by us storming back and they had their foot on the gas and we were in defense.”
The Buckeyes were able to stifle Miami’s chance at a fifth set, though, as they picked up a five-point win in the fourth and final set.
“You’ve got to keep your composure but also be excited and freak out and celebrate your teammates,” senior middle blocker Elle Sandbothe said. “Having each other’s backs and being super mentally tough on the little things we need to do to score that point.”
The Redhawks were able to take early control in the second and third sets and keep the Buckeyes at bay with key performances from junior opposite side hitter Avarie Powell, who racked up 13 kills, and senior middle hitter Margaret Payne, who collected 12. Payne was responsible for five of Miami’s six second-set blocks.
The Ohio State offense rose to the challenge. Sophomore opposite side hitter Vanja Bukilic supplied 12 kills for the Buckeyes while junior outside hitter Mia Grunze contributed 11 to the team’s 56 total match kills.
The Buckeyes have been dealing with lineup changes due to injury, but Thursday’s win was Mauer’s first game back at home after missing the beginning of the season with an injury.
“There were definitely nerves in it,” Mauer said. “I am still working out the kinks of playing again, it’s definitely very different. But I was super excited for this match.”
Ohio State will try to make it three straight wins when it faces off against Illinois State at 10 a.m. Friday at the Covelli Center.