COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team dropped a 3-1 match at No. 6 Ohio State on Sunday afternoon at the Covelli Center.
The Buckeyes won the first two sets, 31-29 and 25-21, before the Huskers got on the board with a 28-26 win in set three. But Ohio State finished off the match with a 25-16 win in the fourth and final set.
Ally Batenhorst tied her career high with 15 kills to lead the Huskers (22-3, 13-2 Big Ten). Madi Kubik had 14 kills and 10 digs, and Whitney Lauenstein also hit double figures with 12 kills.
Nicklin Hames had 32 assists and a season-high 21 digs. Lexi Rodriguez led the Big Red with 24 digs. Kaitlyn Hord had seven kills and four blocks.
Ohio State topped Nebraska in hitting percentage (.254 to .168), kills (66-59), digs (101-86) and blocks (9-6). The Huskers had six service aces and 13 errors. Ohio State had three aces and nine errors.
Emily Londot led the Buckeyes (18-5, 14-1 Big Ten) with 23 kills and 21 digs.
Set 1: Ohio State took a 7-3 lead after a kill by Londot and two unforced Husker errors. The Huskers turned to Batenhorst on the left pin, as she produced three kills as part of a 4-0 Husker run that tied the score at 9-9. A block by Lauenstein and Hord gave Nebraska its first lead, 11-10. Ohio State reclaimed a 15-14 lead at the media timeout and increased the lead to 18-15 after back-to-back kills by Londot and a block. Nebraska trailed 19-16 when another Batenhorst kill, an ace by Knuckles and a Ohio State attacking error tied the score at 19-19. Ohio State answered to go back up 23-21 and earned set point at 24-22. After a timeout, Batenhorst posted her sixth kill, and Bekka Allick served an ace to tie the score at 24-24. The teams traded points, and then Lauenstein and Kubik recorded kills for a 27-26 Husker set point. Londot answered, and the Huskers hit long for a 28-27 Ohio State advantage. Lauenstein snuck a kill through a block to make it 28-28, and then she combined with Allick for a block and a 29-28 lead and another chance for the Huskers to win the opening set. Once again, Londot responded for the Buckeyes with back-to-back kills for a 30-29 OSU lead. This time, Ohio State took the set, 31-29, after a Husker hitting error.
Set 2: The Huskers got off to a better start in the second set with Lauenstein recording back-to-back kills and a block with Hord, and Kubik posting three straight kills for an 8-2 lead. Ohio State got within 9-6 after a three-point run, but Lindsay Krause notched her first kill of the match for a sideout. Batenhorst added a kill for an 11-7 Husker lead, but the Buckeyes responded with a 4-0 run to tie the score at 11-11. The Buckeyes took their first lead of the set, 16-15, after another 3-0 run when the Huskers led 15-13. After six sideouts in a row, the Huskers committed two straight attacking errors for a 21-18 Ohio State lead. The Buckeyes got to set point at 24-20 and claimed the 25-21 win.
Set 3: Ohio State used a 6-0 run to grab a 7-2 advantage. The Huskers pulled within 9-6 after kills by Kubik, Lauenstein and Krause, but the Buckeyes built the lead back up to six at 16-10. Lauenstein and Kubik answered with kills, and Krause and Batenhorst tacked on two more to cut the Ohio State lead to 17-15. A block by Allick and Krause made it a one-point game, 17-16. Ohio State stayed in front until a kill by Lauenstein and a Buckeye hitting error tied the score at 20-20. Adria Powell terminated for Ohio State, but a block by Hord and Kubik tied it again. Ohio State committed an attacking error for a 22-21 Husker lead, and with the score tied at 22-22, Lauenstein terminated again and served an ace for set point, 24-22. A service error allowed the Buckeyes to get within 24-23, and an Ohio State ace tied the score at 24-24. Kubik pounded a kill for a 25-24 lead, but Gabby Gonzales answered for Ohio State. Batenhorst came right back for the Big Red to make it 26-25, but Gonzalez answered once again. Batenhorst and Hord teamed up for a 27-26 set point, and the Huskers won 28-26 on an ace by Hames.
Set 4: The Buckeyes took a 13-5 lead after a 5-0 run keyed by four kills and a block. The Huskers fell behind 19-9 when Kubik had two kills, Rodriguez served an ace, and two Ohio State hitting errors cut the deficit to six at 19-14 after a 5-0 run. But Ohio State held on and finished off the match with a 25-16 win.
Up Next: The Huskers play at Iowa on Friday at 6 p.m. The match will be broadcast on KBBN 95.3 FM with coverage beginning at 5:30 on the Huskers Radio Network.