COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 13 Ohio State University women’s volleyball team (13-2, 2-1 Big Ten) topped Iowa in four sets (25-22, 25-19, 18-25, 25-11) Friday night in the first of two Big Ten battles contested at St. John Arena this weekend. The Buckeyes take on No. 4 Nebraska (12-1, 3-0) Saturday evening at 7 p.m.
Ohio State’s latest victory over the Hawkeyes (10-6, 0-3) marks the 13th consecutive in the series and 60th overall. The Buckeyes have taken 27 of the last 28 against Iowa and own a 60-9 advantage in the all-time series. Big Ten Network is slated to re-air the match on national television Tuesday (Oct. 6) at 9 a.m. ET.
Four different Buckeyes contributed 11 or more points, paced by Elizabeth Campbell’s 17.5 tallies. She recorded 14 kills, three block assists and a pair of service aces. Taylor Sandbothe put forth 15.5 points on a dozen kills and seven block assists. Audra Appold and Katie Mitchell were responsible for 12.5 and 11 points, respectively.
Freshman setter Taylor Hughes posted her seventh double-double, compiling 41 assists and 11 digs. Her dig total was second to only Valeria León’s team-high 20 digs. Three of Mitchell’s points came via a career-high three solo blocks.
León opened the match by acing the Hawkeyes and giving Ohio State a lead it would not relinquish the entire first set. Campbell drilled six kills on nine errorless swings while Tyler Richardson put away three of four attempts. The Hawkeyes would force an OSU timeout at 22-21 before the Buckeyes regrouped to seize three of the next four tallies and conclude the first set as 25-22 victors.
Ohio State attacked from all angles in set number two, hitting .400 as a team and receiving multiple kills from six different players. The Buckeyes took nine of 10 points during a mid-set run and held on for the 25-19 triumph.
Iowa would not go away quietly, however, emerging from intermission seeking a comeback. The Hawkeyes forced a fourth frame, stretching the lead to as many as eight points during a 25-18 match-extender.
Set number four was just the opposite, dominated by the Scarlet & Gray. Ohio State threw up eight blocks in the final set alone, smothering the Hawkeyes to a minus-.138 attacking percentage. All three of Mitchell’s solo stuffs came in the 25-11 drubbing. Mitchell put on an absolute show in set number four. During a seven-point span, she registered three solo stuffs and connected on two kills. León was in the spotlight late, too, toeing the service stripe for separate Buckeye runs of five and six points. She dropped in two aces during the first Buckeye burst which transformed a 3-2 deficit into a 7-3 advantage. Her late stay at the line virtually sealed the deal putting Ohio State ahead 23-10. Three points later, Sandbothe drilled the final nail on her 12th kill and OSU moved to 13-2 overall, 2-1 in Big Ten Conference action.