Women's volleyball: Ohio State hands No. 13 Purdue first home loss of the season
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Luisa Schirmer and Madison Smeathers combined for 41 kills as the Ohio State women’s volleyball team upset No. 13 Purdue in four sets (25-19, 25-22, 32-34, 25-23) on Saturday night at Holloway Gymnasium. The Buckeyes improved to 9-4 (2-0 B1G) while the Boilermakers fell to 11-2 (1-1 B1G).
The Buckeyes extended their win streak to four matches by handing the Boilermakers their first loss at home of the 2017 season. It was also the first time the Scarlet and Gray defeated Purdue on their turf since 2012.
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Schirmer was on fire with a career-high 25 kills, hitting .385 (25-5-52) on the evening. Smeathers came through with a career-best 16 kills on 31 attempts and three errors for a .419 clip.
Taylor Hughes tallied 12 digs and dished 52 assists, just two shy of her career mark. Hannah Gruensfelder scooped a match-high 15 digs while Ashley Wenz and Ayanna Swan earned seven kills apiece.
As a team, the Buckeyes recorded 13 blocks, paced by Lauren Witte with six. Smeathers and Hughes had five rejections each and Wenz finished with four blocks.
Beat #13 in the country pic.twitter.com/BRSNETWt9o— OhioStateWVolleyball (@ohiostatewvball) September 24, 2017
After trialing to start the match, the Buckeyes used a 5-0 run to take a 13-9 lead. Back-to-back blocks by Ashley Wenz and Lauren Witte pushed the gap to 21-16. The squad kept grinding to a 25-19 win.
Ohio State fell behind 7-3 early in the frame. Purdue called a timeout after its advantage dwindled to two and the Buckeyes took their first lead of the set, 20-19, thanks to five consecutive points. The Scarlet and Gray wrapped up the set on an 11-4 run for a 25-22 triumph.
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Neither team was willing to give up much ground as they tied the score 16 times in the third. The Buckeyes needed a break as they trailed 14-11. Kills from Schirmer, a service ace by Gruensfelder and blocks by Hughes and Smeathers cut the deficit to 23-22. A Purdue blocking error tied the set at 24 and the two teams traded the next 17 points until the Boilermakers were able to get a 34-32 decision.
It was another touch-and-go outing in the fourth. After Ohio State gained a slight advantage, the Boilermakers refused to back down as they locked the score at 22. Wenz and Witte added another block to the stat sheet and Schirmer floated the ball into the left corner for the win, 25-23. The Buckeyes held Purdue to a .140 hitting percentage in the final set.