COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State opened its Big Ten schedule with a 3-1 (25-22, 25-27, 25-20, 25-17) victory against rival and No. 10 Michigan on Friday night in front of 4,500 fans in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes continued their unbeaten streak, standing at 13-0 on the year and 1-0 in the league.
Senior Kaitlyn Leary picked up her sixth double-double of the season, having a match-high 22 kills and adding 12 digs. Freshman Taylor Sandbothe put together a stellar performance, totaling 12 kills and a career-best eight blocks (3s, 5a). Classmate Kylie Randall chipped in 11 kills and four block assists for the Buckeyes.
Senior libero Davionna DiSalvatore had a match-best 24 digs to lead the Buckeye defense. Julianne Mandolfo tied a season-high with three service aces, while DiSalvatore and Leary added two each. Junior setter Taylor Sherwin finished with 50 assists on the night.
Molly Toon led the Wolverines (10-2, 0-1) with 16 kills and Jennifer Cross added 12. Lexi Erwin totaled 11 kills, while libero Tiffany Morales finished with 14 digs.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 7-4 lead to start the first before Michigan responded with a four-point run to take an 8-7 advantage. The two teams battled back and forth throughout the set until, tied at 21 apiece, a kill by Sandbothe forced a Michigan timeout at 22-21. A solo block by Sandbothe gave the Buckeyes set point at 24-22 and another kill from the Lee's Summit, Mo., product sealed a 25-22 win.
Kills from Leary and Sandbothe guided Ohio State to a quick 10-4 lead in set two. A Mandolfo service ace gave the Buckeyes a 16-10 advantage and kills from Erin Sekinger and Leary pushed the team ahead at 20-12. The Wolverines began to chip away at the Buckeye lead before Ohio State reached its first set point at 24-18. Michigan held on and used a 7-0 run to earn its first set point at 25-24. The visitors took the set, 27-25.
Down a point at 7-6, a pair of Sekinger kills and two Mandolfo aces led to a 10-7 Ohio State lead in set three. Michigan began to inch back and tied the set at 15 apiece. Kills from Sekinger and Leary followed by a Sandbothe/Sekinger block pushed the Buckeyes ahead at 20-18. A quartet of Leary kills gave Ohio State a 24-20 lead and a Sandbothe/Randall block secured a 25-20 win.
A kill by Sandbothe triggered an 11-1 Ohio State run, giving the Scarlet and Gray a 12-5 lead to start the fourth set. Kills from Randall and Sekinger led to a 16-9 advantage and a Leary/Sandbothe block pushed the squad up 20-13. A kill by Randall set the score 24-17 and a Randall/ Andrea Kacsits block gave the team a 25-17 win.