Oct. 8, 2011
Site: Columbus, Ohio (St. John Arena)
Score: Northwestern #, No. 25 Ohio State #
Records: NU (10-7, 1-5 Big Ten), No. 25 Ohio State (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Friday, Oct. 14 -- vs. Michigan State (Welsh-Ryan Arena), 7 p.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Facing its second consecutive top-25 opponent in as many matches, the Northwestern Wildcats fell short Saturday night as they dropped a 3-1 (19-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-20) decision to the No. 25 Ohio State Buckeyes at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
The Wildcats fell behind early in the first set 7-1 prompting head coach Keylor Chan to burn an early timeout to try to squash the early momentum. The Buckeyes added another tally to make it 8-1 before Northwestern began to climb out of the hole. Chan's squad eventually cut the deficit to just two points at 16-14 following a four-point run that was punctuated by an ace served by freshman Hannah Crippen (Plainfield, Ill./North). Ohio State ended that rally and went on a four-point tear of its own to put enough distance between the two teams en route to a 25-19 win in the opening frame.
As it did in the second set against No. 8 Penn State on Wednesday, Northwestern reversed its fortune following the first set. After tying the game at 8-8 on a kill by Stephanie Holthus (Burlington, Ill./Central), the Wildcats went on a long 8-0 run to create comfortable separation in the second. The visitors would go on to claim victory in the second set, 25-18, to even the match at one heading into the intermission.
Ohio State seized the third set from the outset en route to an 11-point win, 25-14. With the both teams at six points apiece, the Buckeyes unleashed a ferocious attack and outscored the Wildcats, 19-8 the rest of the way. Mari Hole did a bulk of the heavy lifting for the scarlet and gray in the third game. At one point, the native of Norway scored six straight points by herself via the kill or the block.
In the fourth and ultimately deciding set, Northwestern and Ohio State traded punches early with the 'Cats grabbing their first lead at 12-11 on a kill by Kathryn Chrystal
(Crystal Lake, Ill./Central). The last tie score would come at 15-15 at which point, the Buckeyes went on a 4-1 run to create some space. The Wildcats would come no closer than one point, at 19-18, following a setter dump from Madalyn Shalter
Newcomers Yewande Akanbi (Houston, Texas/Dawson) and Katie Dutchman (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines) led the Wildcats with 10 kills apiece. Hole led all players in the match with 17 terminations.
Julie Chin (Naperville, Ill./North) dug out 16 attacks for NU, while freshman Caroline Niedospial (Chicago, Ill./Marist) had a career-high 10 digs for the purple and white.
Northwestern will return to Welsh-Ryan Arena for a three-match homestand that begins on Friday, Oct. 14 with a clash against Michigan State at 7 p.m. The Wildcats will also host No. 18 Michigan and No. 1 Illinois over the stretch.
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