LEXINGTON, Ky. – Ohio State opened the national tournament with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-17) win against Notre Dame Friday. With the win, Ohio State improved to 23-10 overall and 13-2 in NCAA first round matches.
Ohio State’s offense powered the team in the victory as the squad finished with a season-best .512 attack percentage. Junior Kaitlyn Leary paced the Buckeyes with a .842 attack percentage, totaling 16 kills on 19 attempts with no errors. Senior Mari Hole totaled 14 kills, while Mariah Booth and Emily Danks had nine and eight kills, respectively.
Defensively, junior libero Davionna DiSalvatore notched her 30th double-digit dig performance of the season with a match-best 13 digs. Leary added seven digs for the Buckeyes. Booth led the match with four blocks, while Leary and Amanda Peterson each had two.
Notre Dame (20-10) was led by Jeni Houser with 16 kills. Setter Maggie Brindock finished with 32 assists and libero Taylor Morey totaled seven digs.
The Buckeyes opened with a 5-1 lead to start the match highlighted by a pair of kills and a solo block from Leary. A kill by Hole sent Ohio State on a 4-1 run to take a 15-11 advantage and kills from Leary, Booth and Peterson set the score 18-12. A kill by Danks gave the Buckeyes set point and Leary sealed the 25-16 set win.
Both teams battled back and forth to start the second. A kill by Booth and a solo block by Hole put the Buckeyes ahead at 8-7. A block by Anna Faul/Danks locked the score at 11 and kills by Leary and Booth pushed the Buckeyes ahead at 15-13. Ohio State put together a 3-1 run for a 21-17 lead and a kill by Booth gave Ohio State a 25-21 win.
Kills by Danks and Leary led to a 5-2 lead in set three for Ohio State. A Booth/Leary block triggered a 5-1 Buckeye run for a 15-9 advantage and the squad pushed ahead for an 18-10 lead on a solo block by Booth. The Fighting Irish held on and utilized a four-point rally to cut the Buckeye lead to five, but a kill by Danks followed by a Hole service ace gave Ohio State set point at 24-17. Leary notched her 16th kill to close out the match at 25-17.