Indiana volleyball beat Ohio State 3-2 in the final home sporting event of homecoming on Saturday.
The Buckeyes entered the match 7-11 on the season, entering the match with the hardest strength of schedule in the nation Ohio State looks to end their two-match losing skid. Indiana on the other hand with one of their best seasons in recent history, 5-4 in conference play and 15-6 overall.
Indiana struggled defensively to open the first set. They allowed the Buckeyes to go up 9-6 before needing a timeout and went down 16-8 before using their second timeout. They then began to find their rhythm, cutting the lead down to three at 20-17, but the Buckeyes ultimately took set one 25-21.
Graduate middle blocker Kaley Rammelsberg led Indiana with six kills hitting .545 in the opening set. Ohio State senior outside hitter Emily Londot had seven kills on 13 attempts.
The right-side block of sophomore outside hitter Avry Tatum and Rammelsberg controlled Londot’s attack, picking up two blocks early in set two. A back-and-forth opening ensued trading points until two straight service aces from junior setter Camryn Haworth gave Indiana the lead 12-11. Out of the Ohio State timeout, Indiana continued the momentum with a solo block from sophomore outside hitter Candela Alonso-Corcelles. Ohio State was able to tighten up its defensive effort late in set two, pulling closer down a pair 22-20 before an Indiana timeout, but an Indiana block closed the second set out for the Hoosiers winning 25-23.
Londot leads all with 13 kills and hitting .385. For Indiana, both Rammelsberg and Alonso-Corcelles paced the offense through the second set with nine kills apiece.
An ace from Haworth opened the third set before a back-and-forth defensive battle. Senior outside hitter Morgan Geddes gave the Buckeyes the lead 11-10 with two consecutive attacking errors. Alonso-Corcelles showed her two-way prowess with a solo block sandwiched between two kills to even the set 14 all. After failing to convert on three crucial plays late in the set, Indiana won 25-22.
Both teams struggled offensively hitting .176 a piece. Indiana had four service aces in the third set alone and nine overall through three sets.
Indiana head coach Steve Aird had to use two challenges early in the fourth set, split the calls and ultimately lost a challenge. A Buckeye attacking error gave Indiana the point on one of the longest rallies of the match, putting them 10-8. Londot made two straight kills to put the Buckeyes up 16-14 before an Indiana timeout.
Indiana fell apart a bit in the middle of the set and allowed 5 straight Buckeye points down 19-14. A kill from Tatum halted the 8-0 run from the Buckeyes. Indiana continued to fight back, Tatum with another kill and an ace to help cut the lead down to four. A pair of attacking errors from junior outside hitter Mady Saris gave the Buckeyes set 25-20 and forced a winner take all fifth set.
Early in the fifth set, the Buckeyes continued to rely on their All-American Londot, contributing to the first three points of the set with two kills and a block. A solo block from Indiana senior middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede tied the set up at 5 all. Two straight kills from Alonso-Corcelles, and the Hoosiers were the first to 8, prompting the changing of sides. After a service error from the Buckeyes, the Hoosiers led 13-11, and a Tatum kill ended the match to give Indiana the win 15-13.
Londot led all with 25 kills on 71 attempts. Rammelsberg had 15, and Alonso-Corcelles had 14 to lead Indiana. Both teams ended with 72 digs, and Indiana had 14 blocks to seven from the Buckeyes.
The Hoosiers will hit the road for two away matches on Oct. 25 and 29. They will look for the season sweep over the Illini in a midweek match at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The Hoosiers will then stay in Illinois and travel up to the campus of Northwestern at 2 p.m. Oct. 29.
Follow reporter Michael Livingston (.@mblivingston_) for updates throughout the Indiana volleyball season.