- Ohio State def. 14-seed Kansas State 3-2 (25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 23-25, 17-15)
- Ohio State advances to the Sweet 16, where they’ll play 3-seed Wisconsin next weekend.
- Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, Kansas
- Attendance: 2,645
Saturday’s matchup between the Ohio State Buckeyes and 14-seed Kansas State Wildcats was a tailor-made instant classic in the Little Apple. After the Buckeyes were dominant early, then the Wildcats fought back to force extra points in the 5th set, Ohio State came away with their 16th trip to the NCAA Regionals.
“I a so happy for these two and our other seniors,” Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlson said after the game. “This team gets it. They get the family and the support. This team would do anything for one another, as would the staff. I am really blessed to be a part of this group. I am really fortunate and I am so happy for these guys. It was an epic match. It really was. Hats off to K-State. They made some really great adjustments. That was a game of heart by two really great teams. I am happy that we are moving on, but that was an incredible match. It was probably one of the best matches I have ever been a part of. Both teams played at a really high level defensively. It was a really incredible match to be a part of.”
Kansas State never hit better than .184 in any single set in the game – and Ohio State did just once. The Buckeyes sprinted out to a 2-0 lead, hitting .140 and .357, respectively, in the first two frames, while holding Kansas State to .000 and .133 percentages in the same.
Coming out of half-time, the Wildcats got their defense in order en route to 17.5 team blocks – including a career-best 11 from junior Bryna Vogel. She added 12 kills and 9 digs to very nearly score her first triple double.
“We dialed a little bit. We got different matchups,” said Fritz of her team’s adjustments. “That was probably the biggest thing that we did. Dialed, meaning we started in a different rotation so we had different people in front so serve-pass matchups were a little different and pass-block matchups were a little bit different. And, we got a little better look.”
Kansas State finished that 3rd set with four consecutive stuff blocks, and the 4th ended with a pair after 13 tie scores and 9 lead changes.
In the 5th, the Wildcats took an 8-6 lead at the mid-set switch, and then fought back two match points by the Buckeyes, before Luisa Schirmer put the game away for Ohio State. Schirmer was a consistent force for Ohio State throughout the game, putting up 4 kills-4 kills-4 kills-3 kills in the first four sets, respectively, before putting up 6 of Ohio State’s 13 in the final frame.
Her total stat line saw 12 kills (11 errors, 52 attacks, .192 percentage), an ace, 10 digs, and 5 blocks.
Ohio State was led offensively by Bryna Vogel, who had 12 kills (2e, 35ta, .286 percentage).
A subplot of this game was sister against sister – Ohio State’s standout senior Taylor Sandbothe finiished the game with 15 kills and 8 blocks, while her sister Elle Sandbothe at Kansas State had 8 kills and 6 blocks.
Ohio State advances to play Wisconsin next weekend, with that Sweet 16 matchup likely being played in Madison. The Buckeyes were swept by the Badgers in each of their regular-season matchups this year.