Posted-October 11th, 2013 10:50 pm
COLUMBUS, Ohio --For the third time this season, the Wisconsin volleyball team defeated a top-20 ranked opponent. The 19th-ranked Badgers came back from a 2-1 deficit to down No. 14 Ohio State in Columbus Friday night. The Badgers took a 20-25, 26-24, 23-25, 25-21, 15-10 decision to improve to 15-2 overall and remain in third place in the Big Ten Conference at 4-1. This win marks the team’s first victory in Columbus since 2011.
After losing the first set, the Badgers battled back-and-forth, taking the second and fourth sets to eventually finish off the Buckeyes in five.
Wisconsin took a 3-0 lead to begin the first set, but the score was tied up six times thereafter. Ohio State jumped ahead to lead by five at 18-13 and did not look back. Despite five kills from junior Deme Morales, the Buckeyes took set one, led by eight kills from senior Kaitlyn Leary.
Wisconsin jumped ahead to 5-0 lead behind serve of senior Annemarie Hickey in the second set and did not trail once. Though a 6-1 run brought the Buckeyes within two points at 23-21, an ace from Morales and solo block from freshman Lauren Carlini solidified the win for the Badgers.
In the third set, Wisconsin pulled ahead and took a 12-7 lead in the third set, but Ohio State was able to tie up the score at 13-13 and eventually take the lead at 15-14 with an 8-2 run. The Buckeyes went on to win the third set 25-23 despite being out-blocked 3-2 and out-hit by the Badgers.
Set four was decided by defense as the Badgers put up 4.5 blocks compared to just two by the Buckeyes. Despite hitting just .062 (8 kills – 6 errors – 32 attempts), Wisconsin’s subpar offense was helped out by a negative .061 (10-12-33) attack percentage from Ohio State.
The Badgers commanded the fifth set, taking a 5-1 lead with the help of an ace and kill by junior Ellen Chapman. Two more service aces by Morales made the Badgers’ lead 10-5, and the team went on to finish the match with ease.
Overall, Wisconsin recorded a .161 attack percentage (52-26-161) compared to .139 (55-33-166) from Ohio State.
The Badger offense was led by three juniors putting up double-figure kills. Courtney Thomas racked up a career-high 19 kills, followed by Chapman with 11 and Morales with 10.
Defense was the name of the game, as blocks gave Wisconsin the edge this match. The Badgers put up a season-high 14.5 blocks against 10 from Ohio State, backed by junior Dominique Thompson who put up a career-high eight stuffs. Thomas also tied a career-best six blocks.
Four UW players recorded double-digit digs. Senior Annemarie Hickey led all players with 20 saves. Thomas (12), Morales (11) and Carlini (10) rounded out the defense with double figures.
Three Badgers also recorded double-doubles this match. Thomas tallied 12 digs to make her eighth double-double of the season. Carlini led the team with 40 assists for her tenth double-double, and Morales chalked up her seventh of the season.
Wisconsin recorded eight service aces in the match, including three in the decisive fifth set. Morales tied her career best with three aces, including two in the fifth set.
The Buckeyes were led by Leary, who put away 17 kills.
The Badgers wrap up a four-match road swing at No. 4 Penn State on Saturday night in University Park, Pa. First serve is at 7:30 p.m. from Rec Hall.