The Big Ten season opened on a sour note for the Wisconsin volleyball team, as UW (6-3) fell to Ohio State 3-1 in front of 4,520 fans at the Field House. The match was one of two in the conference's opening weekend for UW, which also takes on Penn State Sunday.
"It was kind of a rude awakening," UW's Sheila Shaw said. "It's something that I guess I'm glad happened early in the season. We need to take from this loss and learn from it and come back a better team on Sunday."
Three-time All-American Stacy Gordon led the charge for Ohio State (11-0), hammering 27 kills while hitting .339 for the match. She also contributed 20 digs.
The Buckeyes out-hit the Badgers .299 to .201 and out-blocked them 15.0 to 10.5. OSU also took advantage of 15 Wisconsin service errors in the match.
"We were not on our serving game," Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite said. "I think they beat us in every category. They played very consistently. We were not consistent from the beginning to the end. This isn't just about being young, it's about seniors, juniors, sophomore, freshmen, everybody playing consistently and we did not tonight."
UW held a brief lead in game one at 8-7, but OSU tied the score on a service error by Shaw and slowly opened up a lead and took the game by the score of 30-20. Gordon slammed six kills in the game and hit .750.
The Badgers rallied in the second game behind Jill Odenthal's five kills. The see-saw affair turned in UW's favor around the midway point when a pair of Buckeye attack errors and a service error gave the Badgers an 18-15 lead. Wisconsin held off Ohio State and took the game 30-23 when Shaw and Jackie Simpson teamed up to block Gordon for game point.
The Buckeyes dominated game three, hitting .514 in the game. Ohio State quickly opened up an 11-4 advantage and then stretched the lead to 23-12 on a kill from Ami Stevens. Gordon hammered home the final three OSU points and the Buckeyes won handily, 30-18.
"The only adjustment we made was to try and go back to what we did in the first game," OSU head coach Jim Stone said. "We kind of got out of our game plan and I thought we did a good job of jumping back into it in game three."
Wisconsin showed life in game four, but ultimately faltered in the end. After tying the score at 13, the Badgers ceded four consecutive points to the Buckeyes. UW pulled within three at 22-19, but would get no closer. Gordon fittingly recorded game point as the Buckeyes won the game 30-24 and the match 3-1.
With 17 in the match, Odenthal became the 13th player in Wisconsin history to record 1,000 career kills.
"We've got to forget about tonight—learn from it, but forget about it and go on to Sunday," Odenthal said.
Gordon, Ohio State too much for Badger volleyball
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