Huskers Fall to Buckeyes in Five Sets

Posted By: Sports

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Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

Lincoln – Ohio State rallied from down 14-11 in the fifth set by scoring five points in a row to upset the No. 8 Nebraska volleyball team 3-2 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday night.

The Huskers dropped to 9-4 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play, while Ohio State moved to 11-5 and 2-2 in Big Ten action with its second straight win.

Kadie Rolfzen led Nebraska with 20 kills and added eight digs. Kelsey Fien had nine kills off the bench, while Cecilia Hall had eight kills and a season-high nine blocks. Mary Pollmiller had a season-high six kills with 40 assists and nine digs. Amber Rolfzen also had six kills and a season-best six blocks. Annika Albrecht and Justine Wong-Orantes led NU in digs with 18 apiece.

Ohio State had three players with 19 or more kills, led by Elizabeth Campbell’s 23, the most by a Husker opponent this season. Campbell also had a match-high 20 digs. Erin Sekinger added 20 kills, and Katie Mitchell had 19 kills. Taylor Sherwin had 59 assists and 19 digs, and Valeria Leon had 10 assists and 22 digs.

Nebraska hit just .197 on the night, while Ohio State hit .232. The Huskers made up for it with a season-high 18 blocks. Ohio State outdug NU 84-70 and had a 74-54 advantage in set assists.

The Huskers opened up a 12-7 lead in set one, keyed by two kills and two service aces from Kadie Rolfzen. But Ohio State responded with a 5-0 run to tie the set at 12-12. NU reclaimed a 13-12 lead on an Alicia Ostrander kill, and the teams traded points until Ohio State’s Mitchell killed off a block for a 17-16 Buckeye lead. But Pollmiller posted a kill, followed by two from Meghan Haggerty for a 19-17 Husker lead. Ohio State rallied with a 4-0 run to go up 21-19. Ostrander ended it with a swing from the left side, and then Ohio State committed a net violation and a back row block error to give NU a 22-21 lead. But the Buckeyes reeled off three straight points to earn set point at 24-22. Pollmiller snuck a dump kill and then Hall won a battle at the net to level the score again. Tied at 25-25, Albrecht’s kill gave NU set point and a double-stuff block from Kadie Rolfzen and Hall ended the set at 27-25.

The Huskers trailed 4-3 in set two before a 7-0 run put them up 10-4 with Wong-Orantes on the service line. Pollmiller won a tussle at the net to give the Huskers a 14-7 lead, but Ohio State closed the gap with an 8-2 run to get within 17-16. But the Huskers maintained the lead and Hall and Fien’s combined block gave the Huskers set point at 24-22. However, this time it was Ohio State that would rally from a 24-22 deficit to win 27-25, just as the Huskers had done in the first set. Taylor Sandbothe’s kill and a Sekinger/Sandbothe block tied it at 24-24. After Amber Rolfzen’s kill gave the Huskers set point again, Ohio State scored three straight to even the match, culminating with a kill by Mitchell.

The Huskers went up 2-1 in set three on a Kadie Rolfzen kill, and the teams went back-and-forth with the Huskers never able to gain more than a two-point edge early on. Ohio State reclaimed the lead at 18-17 on a kill by Campbell and again at 19-18 on a Sekinger kill, but the Huskers tied it immediately each time on kills by Hall and Kadie Rolfzen, respectively. Pollmiller’s timely dump kill restored a 20-19 Nebraska lead. Another successful attack by Pollmiller made it 22-21 Huskers before Ohio State hit long, giving NU a 23-21 lead. Haggerty’s first service ace of the season gave NU set point at 24-21. After Ohio State cut it to 24-23, the Buckeyes served wide, ending the set.

The Big Red fell behind 7-4 in set four and weren’t able to recover, as the Buckeyes extended the lead to 13-8 on a Sekinger kill and then 19-12 on a Husker attacking error. Ohio State took the 25-17 win, hitting .343 in the set, while the Huskers hit just .179.

In the decisive fifth set, Ohio State grabbed an early 4-0 lead. Fien’s kill finally got the Huskers on the scoreboard, and a block from Hall and Amber Rolfzen cut it to 4-2. Ohio State then hit wide twice, tying the set at 4-4. After an OSU timeout, Amber Rolfzen’s tip kill gave NU a 5-4 lead, but a two-hit call on Pollmiller tied it at 5-5. Kadie Rolfzen slammed one down and then softly touched one over Ohio State’s back row to make it 7-5. Haggerty and Kadie Rolfzen then stuffed Campbell to put NU up 8-5 at the midway point. Kadie Rolfzen hammered down again off a back-row set from Wong-Orantes to make it 9-6 and terminated again for her fourth kill of the set and a 10-6 lead. OSU cut the deficit to 10-9 with two kills by Sandbothe, but Haggerty hit just inside the line, making it 11-9. Later, Haggerty won a net battle for a 13-10 lead. NU grabbed set point at 14-11 but Ohio State answered with three straight to tie it at 14-14. A service ace by Mitchell gave OSU set point at 15-14 and the Buckeyes won the match on Sekinger’s 20th kill of the match.

The Huskers head to Michigan next week to face Michigan State on Friday at 7 p.m. and Michigan on Sunday at Noon.