Oct. 6, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Ohio State 3, Northwestern 0
Records: NU (12-5, 1-5 Big Ten), Ohio State (13-5, 4-2 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Friday, Oct. 12 -- at No. 25 Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 5:30 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern was plagued by 23 attacking errors and was never ever to find a consistent offensive rhythm as the Wildcats fell to No. 19 Ohio State at Welsh-Ryan Arena, 3-0 (13-25, 23-25, 23-25).
Sophomore Yewande Akanbi led NU with 11 kills at a clip of .292, while captain Katie Dutchman added eight kills on the night. Ohio State's Mari Hole led all players with 18 kills, 10 more than her closest teammate.
The Buckeyes played near flawless volleyball in the opening set. The visitors led by as many as 12 points down the stretch as the finished off a 25-13 win. Ohio State manufactured a five-point run, featuring four kills from Hole, when the score was tied 5-5 to create some permanent distance.
On the other side of the net, Stephanie Holthus tallied three of her seven kills in the first set, but as a team Northwestern mustered only eight kills and compounded it with seven attacking miscues.
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After falling behind early in the second set, 4-1, the 'Cats dug in and began to battle back. Northwestern put together a 7-2 run that featured a pair of kills form Akanbi and a pair of aces form Dutchman to take the lead, 8-6. The teams then went back-and-forth with Ohio State controlling the scoreboard for the majority of the set. Aided by another termination from Dutchman and an error by the Buckeyes, the Wildcats had roared all the way back to knot the score at 22-22. Following another error on OSU's Emily Danks, NU finally had its first lead since 14-13.
Ohio State called a timeout and Danks atoned for her error with a kill and an ace sandwiched around a block by teammate Kaitlyn Leary to help her team win 25-23.
The third set was similar in nature to the previous frame. This time around Northwestern took an early lead, but Ohio State was able to counter. The Buckeyes led 15-11, but a quick four-point run would even the ledger once again. Dutchman and Akanbi battled to keep the 'Cats close, but Hole garnered six kills down the stretch, including the final one of the match to win the third set, 25-23.
Madalyn Shalter led Northwestern in both assists and digs with 32 and 11, respectively. The fifth-year senior also tied Dutchman and Savannah Paffen with a team-high three blocks.
The Wildcats will begin a three-match road trip next Friday, Oct. 5 when they take on their third consecutive ranked opponent, No. 25 Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich. The trip continues on Saturday evening with a tilt against the Michigan Wolverines and concludes with a midweek showdown in Huff Hall against instate rival Illinois on Wednesday, Oct. 17.
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