Dec. 4, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State (25-9 overall) women's volleyball team came away with a 3-1 (25-20, 16-25, 25-15, 25-23) victory over Cincinnati (25-11) Friday night in St. John Arena. The first round match of the NCAA Championship was the second of two played in Columbus. Ninth-seeded California (19-10) defeated Lipscomb (28-4), 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-9) in the first match and will face the Buckeyes in the second round at 7 p.m. Saturday. That winner advances to the Gainesville Regional semifinals.

The Buckeyes received a team-high 17.5 points from Katie Dull with 16 kills (.400), one ace serve and one assist block. Emily Danks posted 14.5 points with 13 kills (.600), one solo block and one assist block and Kristen Dozier had 10.5 points with nine kills (.368), a solo block and one assist block. For Cincinnati, Stephanie Niemer recorded a match-high 19.5 points with 17 kills (.342) and five assist blocks. Missy Harpenau added 17.5 points with 13 kills, four ace serves and one assist block. Emily Hayden contributed 10.5 points with seven kills, one solo block and five assist blocks.

Tied at three in set one, a Jordanne Scott kill and an OSU error gave Cincinnati a 5-3 lead. Trailing, 16-12, Ohio State scored the next four points to tie the set at 16. The run began with a kill from Danks, a Susan Halverson ace serve, another kill from Danks and a second Halverson ace serve. Tied at 19, kills from Dozier and Dull gave Ohio State a 21-19 lead. A Scott kill made it 21-20. The Buckeyes made it 22-20 with a kill from Dull. A Cincinnati error made it 23-20. The Buckeyes reached set point with a Dull kill at 24-20. A Bearcat error ended the set to give Ohio State a 25-20 win and a 1-0 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .286 for the set to .133 for Cincinnati.

Cincinnati broke a 4-4 tie in set two off an OSU error, a Harpenau kill and a Becca Refenes ace serve to take a 7-4 lead. A UC error made it 7-5. The Bearcats, with a five-point run, broke open the set to take a 13-5 lead. OSU closed to within five at 19-14 but Cincinnati kills from Niemer and Harpenau and a Megan Turner ace serve quickly made it 22-14. A Hayden kill gave the Bearcats set point at 24-15. OSU stopped the set point with a kill from Allie Schwarzwalder at 24-16. Cincinnati, off an OSU error, won the set, 25-16, to tie the match at one game each. The Bearcats hit .350 for the set to .243 for Ohio State.

From a 3-3 tie in set three, Cincinnati took a 5-3 lead with a Harpenau kill and a Jaime Frey ace serve. A kill from Dull made it 5-4 and started a six-point Buckeye scoring run. An Anna Szerszen kill tied the set at five and a kill from Danks gave OSU a 6-5 lead. Two Cincinnati errors and a Barhorst kill gave OSU a 9-5 lead. A Harpenau kill made it 9-6. A kill and an ace serve from Barhorst and a solo block from Dozier gave OSU a 12-6 lead. The Buckeyes held the lead to reach set point with a Dozier kill at 24-15. Ohio State won the set, 25-15 with a Szerszen kill to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .385 for the set and held Cincinnati to .036.

Ohio State opened set four with a five-point run with two kills from Dull, one from Ashley Hughes and two Cincinnati errors for a 5-0 lead. Trailing, 10-4, Cincinnati scored the next five points to cut the margin to one at 10-9. The run began with a Niemer kill, a Harpenau ace serve. An Annie Fesl-Hayden block and one from Niemer-Hayden was followed by a Harpenau ace serve to cut the lead to one. OSU responded with kills from Szerszen, Hughes and Dozier and with a Cincinnati error to hold a 14-9 lead. At 20-15, an OSU error, a Harpenau ace serve and a Fesl-Neimer-Hayden block cut the margin to two at 20-18. A Bearcat error, a Dull kill and a Halverson ace serve opened a 23-18 Buckeye lead. A Niemer kill and a Lindsay Upton ace serve made it 23-20 Buckeyes. Ohio State reached match point at 24-20 with a kill by Hughes. A Niemer kill and Scott-Megan Turner block and a Buckeye error stopped three match points to cut the lead to one at 24-23. Ohio State won the set, 25-23, on a Dull kill to win the match, 3-1. The Buckeyes hit .407 for the set to .250 for Cincinnati.

Ohio State hit .320 for the match to .205 for Cincinnati. The Buckeyes had a 58-45 margin in kills while the Bearcats had a nine-to-five advantage in ace serves. Ohio State gave up nine service errors to six for Cincinnati. At setter, OSU's Hughes posted a match-high 40 assists with Fesl recording 37 for Cincinnati. Defensively, the Buckeyes had a 51-44 margin in digs with OSU's Chelsea Noble posted a match-high 15. At the net, Cincinnati had a 10.5 to four margin in team blocks. Hayden posted a match-high six total blocks (one solo, five assists) for Cincinnati.