No. 11 Buckeyes Defeat No. 4 Huskies In Four Sets
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Head Coach Keegan Cook said it wasn't the result the Huskies wanted, but it was the experience they were looking for to start the season. No. 4 Washington (1-1) was defeated tonight by 11th-ranked Ohio State (2-2) in one of the marquee matches of the NCAA opening weekend.
The Buckeye defense held the Husky offense to a .126 attack percentage at Nationwide Arena tonight, and while the Husky defense was dug in as well, Ohio State was able to transition from defense to offense more often than the Dawgs. Washington won the first set, and made a late run to nearly steal the third, but Ohio State hung on to that pivotal set and won 23-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-18.
"It felt like a pretty high level match most of the way, which we like to see in the first week of the season," said Head Coach Keegan Cook. "I was impressed by Ohio State's defensive intensity. I think we've made improvements defensively but I think we saw a higher standard on their side tonight. The good news and the bad news is we know the spaces where we have to get better, and a match like this gives all those film sessions more meaning. As we always do we'll get back to work."
Ohio State had a 71-59 edge in digs, and a 61-43 lead in total kills. The Buckeyes also had seven aces compared to three for the Dawgs. Claire Hoffman led the Huskies with 12 kills, Madi Endsley added nine and Samantha Drechsel had seven. Ella May Powell had 36 assists, Shannon Crenshaw led with 16 digs, and Lauren Sanders had a team-high seven blocks.
"We got exactly what we wanted out of the match, it wasn't the result we wanted, but I think we accomplished what we wanted in coming here to set the tone for the rest of the year," said Cook.
— Washington Volleyball (@UWVolleyball) August 28, 2021
UP NEXT: The Huskies are back on the road in Big Ten country with a chance to bounce back against Illinois and Iowa. The Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge will be hosted by the Fighting Illini in Champaign, Ill. Sept. 3 the Huskies face Illinois at 6 p.m. Pacific and the next day, Sept. 4, Washington takes on Iowa at 3 p.m. Pacific.
SET 1: Sanders and Drechsel got the Huskies a 4-3 lead with the first block of the match, and then Madi Endsley put down two kills in a row to make it 6-4 Dawgs. Grote then put up a wall against several OSU quick attempts, getting a pair of stuff blocks and throwing in a kill as well, as the Huskies build a 12-7 lead and forced the first OSU timeout. Endsley aced the Buckeyes for a 14-7 lead before OSU snapped the run. A marathon rally was capped off by a rejection by Hoffman and Sanders, and then Drechsel stepped inside the court to hit down a Powell bump set for 18-10. Ohio State chipped away at the lead with some tough serving and a couple blocks to make it 20-17 and force a Husky timeout. Endsley went high hands for a big kill out of the break for 21-17. A couple OSU aces pulled the Buckeyes within one at 21-20. A couple OSU service errors led to 23-all, and then Hoffman had a big kill on the right for set point at 24-23. On the next rally, Endsley had one big swing get dug, but Powell went back to Endsley and she ripped one up the line for the kill and the set, 25-23.
The Huskies outhit Ohio State, .280 to .154 in the set, surviving five aces. Endsley's five kills led the way.
SET 2: A couple Sanders kills helped the Huskies to a 5-3 lead in the second set, but Ohio State got a run going, scoring eight of the next nine points to force a Husky timeout. Grote and Powell teamed for a block to make it 8-11, but OSU answered with the next two points. Down 14-20, the Huskies had an amazing rally finally ended by a Hoffman swing up the line to make it 16-21, but that was as close as UW would get, as Ohio State went on to a 25-19 win.
The Huskies hit just .146 while Ohio State hit .282 in the set. Sanders had four kills on her five attempts in the frame.
SET 3: Powell dumped for a kill on the first point of the third. After a Hoffman kill, the Dawgs got a pair of blocks to go with a Crenshaw ace for an early 5-2 lead. But the Buckeyes then reeled off five in a row until Drechsel snapped it with a blast for 6-7. The Huskies took timeout trailing 7-10, with Grote putting one away out of the break to get within two. But another OSU run followed, with five in a row before UW used its last timeout down 8-15. Emoni Bush scored her first kill and teamed with Sanders for back-to-back blocks as the Huskies got within 12-16. But OSU wouldn't be rattled, scoring the next three points to build the lead back to seven. Grote had a pair of kills for the Dawgs and kills from Drechsel and Hoffman helped trim it back down to a four-point gap once again at 18-22. Hoffman hammered another off the defense, and then Sanders and Drechsel stuffed one as the Dawgs got to 21-23 and forced a Buckeyes timeout. Out of the break, Hoffman put another off the block for 22-23, but OSU got the next point for a set point. Their first chance resulted in the clincher, getting a transition kill to win it, 25-22.
Ohio State hit .275 in the frame and held the Huskies to .116 despite a great set from Hoffman who had five kills on 12 swings without an error. Crenshaw added seven digs in the set.
SET 4: A pair of Drechsel kills and one from Bush accounted for early offense but UW found itself down early again, 3-6. Drechsel finished from the back row as the Huskies got back within one. Houghton laid out for a dig that led to a Hoffman kill in transition for 7-8. Another Drechsel finish from the left and some tough defense that forced an OSU error made it 11-12 Buckeyes. But Ohio State went on a 3-0 run to force a Husky timeout at 11-15. The run continued as UW again had trouble in the middle part of the set. Down nine, Endsley and Hoffman had back-to-back kills and Sianna Houghton found the back corner for an ace to make it 18-23 and force a Buckeyes timeout. But that was it for the Dawgs, as OSU came out of the timeout with a kill and a block to end it, 18-25.