(RV) Illinois Survives Five-Set Battle At Ohio State

  0 Kyp Harasymowycz | November 26th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News


  • (RV) Illinois def. Ohio State, 3-2 (17-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22, 15-13)
  • Illinois improves to 21-10, 12-8 Big Ten; Ohio State drops to 15-16, 8-12 Big Ten
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Attendance: 1195
  • Box score

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a match the Buckeyes had to win in order to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive, the Fighting Illini got all it could from Ohio State in a five-set victory. The match now ends OSU’s hopes of going to the NCAA Tournament because their overall record is below .500. The Buckeyes could be invited to the NIVC, but that will not be determined until later Sunday evening after the NCAA Tournament participants are selected.

Illinois was led by Megan Cooney with 13 kills (.435) with 4 blocks. Outside hitters Jacqueline Quade and Beth Prince both pounded 12 kills each. Ali Bastianelli rounded out the double-digit kill producers with 10 kills and a match-high 7 blocks for the Big Ten-leading blocking team. Setter Jordyn Poulter added a double-double of 46 assists and 15 digs to go along with her 5 kills and 3 blocks. This was Poulter’s 11th double-double of the season and her 21st career double-double. Defensive specialist Caroline Welsh matched a career-high with 16 digs, while libero Brandi Donnelly finished with 14.

Ohio State was led by their seniors on Senior Night. Ashley Wenz finished with a match-high 24 kills, hitting .412, with 14 digs, 4 blocks and 2 aces. The other impactful senior, Luisa Schirmer, also had a double-double with 14 kills and 15 digs. Schirmer finishes her career at 1,004 digs, placing her on the prestigious 1,000 kill/1,000 dig list. Setter Becca Mauer notched career-highs of 56 assists and 4 blocks while chipping in 7 digs and 3 kills. Libero Hannah Gruensfelder finished with a match-high 21 digs.


Courtesy of Illinois Athletics

COLUMBUS, Ohio. – The Illinois volleyball team ended the regular season with a thrilling five-set (17-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22, 15-13) victory over Ohio State on Saturday (November 25) night in St. Johns Arena.

The Illini wrapped the 2017 regular season with a 21-10 overall record and a 12-8 mark in the Big Ten Conference, and will await their postseason fate until Sunday evening’s NCAA Selection Show on ESPNU at 8 p.m. CT.

The Buckeyes conclude the season with a 15-16 mark and an 8-12 finish in the league.

Freshman Megan Cooney led four Illini hitters in double figures with 13 kills on a .435 hitting percentage, while sophomore Jacqueline Quade and redshirt-sophomore Beth Prince each totaled 12 kills and junior Ali Bastianelli added 10 in the win.

Junior Jordyn Poulter turned in her 21st career double-double and 11th this season with 46 assists and 15 digs.

Bastianelli led all players with seven blocks, while Cooney added four on the night.

Defensively, sophomore Caroline Welsh equaled a career-high with a team-high 16 digs, with senior Brandi Donnelly also contributing 14 in the win.

After the Illini fought back to force the match to a fifth set, they continued the momentum in the decisive stanza by taking the set’s first two points en route to a 6-3 lead following a Bastianelli kill on a slide play. OSU battled back to tie things with three-straight points as the two teams sided out. With the Buckeyes leading 11-10, the Illini scored the next three points to pull ahead at 13-11. A Bastianelli slide kill then set up match point at 14-12 as the Buckeyes fought off the first set point, before an OSU attack went long for match point. The Buckeyes challenged the call, but it was confirmed and the Illini took the fifth, 15-13, for the 3-2 victory.

The Illini jumped out quickly in the opening set as a kill from Prince made it 5-2, but the Buckeyes rallied to knot the score at 8-8, before six-straight points gave the home team a 16-11 advantage. Back-to-back Illini points stalled the run, but OSU then put together an 8-1 run – including five-straight points to start the run – put the Buckeyes up at 24-15. UI fought off two set points, before a Luisa Schirmer kill finished of the 25-17 set win.

After an early 5-2 OSU edge, the Illini came back to tie things on a Prince kill at 6-6 in the third. The two teams went back-and-forth over the next several points, before back-to-back Ayanna Swan kills broke a 12-12 tie to give the Buckeyes the 14-12 advantage. The Illini responded with four-straight points –including back-to-back points from Cooney – to pull ahead at 16-14. Following a Bastianelli block that made it 21-17 in favor of the Orange and Blue, the teams traded points until a Cooney kill gave the Illini a 25-21 set win and evened the match at 1-1.

It was a back-and-forth start to the third until the Buckeyes used a 6-2 run to take a 15-11 lead. A kill from freshman Tyanna Omazic closed the deficit to one at 16-15, but a 4-1 run for the home team again pushed the edge to 20-16. OSU continued to hold a four-point lead until Schirmer kill sent the Buckeyes to a 25-21 set victory.

Following a side-out beginning of the fourth, the Illini broke a 6-6 tie with a 6-2 run to build a 12-8 advantage, capped by a Bastianelli and Poulter block. Illinois continued to hold the lead as four-unanswered points pushed the advantage to six as an ace from freshman Morgan O’Brien mad it 18-12 in favor of the visitors. OSU responded with its own 7-2 run to pull within a point at 20-19, but three-straight Illini points stalled the run. After a Bastianelli kill gave the Illini set point at 24-20, the Buckeyes killed off two set points, before a Poulter dump ended the set in favor of the Illini at 25-22.

Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Seniors Ashley Wenz and Luisa Schirmer combined for 38 kills as the Ohio State women’s volleyball team fell in five sets (17-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22, 15-13) to Illinois Saturday night at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes end the 2017 season with a 15-16 overall record and 8-12 mark in the Big Ten.

In her last time wearing Scarlet & Gray, Wenz did a little bit everything for the squad behind a match-best 24 kills, 14 digs, four blocks and two service aces. Schirmer added 14 kills and 15 digs in her ninth double-double. She boosted her career digs total to 1,004. Schirmer also surpassed 1,000 kills this season.

Madison Smeathers chipped in nine kills while Lauren Witte posted eight kills and five blocks. Becca Mauer had career marks with 56 assists and four blocks. Hannah Gruensfelder dug 21 balls.

As a team, Ohio State recorded 11 blocks and held the Fighting Illini (21-10, 12-8 B1G) to a .200 clip.


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