Volleyball: Northwestern drops road match to No. 19 Ohio State

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Daily file photo by Sam Schumacher

A pair of Wildcats leap for a block. Northwestern dropped to 0-3 in Big Ten play after a straight-set road loss to No. 19 Ohio State.

Aidan Markey, Reporter


Volleyball


The Big Ten continues to torment the Wildcats.

Northwestern (7-8, 0-3 Big Ten) dropped its fourth consecutive match Wednesday as it fell at No. 19 Ohio State (11-4, 1-2) in straight sets. The Cats played well in spurts, but were unable to keep up with the steady play of the Buckeyes.

“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” coach Shane Davis said. “(But) at times on our serve and pass, we didn’t do what we needed to do.”

NU kept it close in the first set, climbing back from deficits to tie the score on two different occasions in the set. An Ohio State run, though, closed out the set, 25-21.

The Buckeyes then dominated the Cats in the second set, 25-12. Davis said the team has to learn how to avoid these large defeats.

“A set like set two, it doesn’t happen all the time,” he said. “But when it does, you need somebody to step up and be able to get a perfect pass or get a great kill.”

NU came out of the intermission and played its best set, holding a lead until the final points of the match. Ohio State eventually proved to be too much for the Cats and took the third set 28-26.

Although Wednesday’s defeat was the Cats’ third straight-set loss in four matches, there were some positive notes for the team.

Junior setter Taylor Tashima notched her 2,500th assist in the match, and junior outside hitter Symone Abbott recorded double digit kills for the 25th consecutive match.

Senior right side Kayla Morin, who tallied six kills and two blocks in Wednesday’s match, recognized the significance that Tashima and Abbott have to the team.

“Taylor is such an asset as a setter,” Morin said. “(And) you can count on Symone in the big moments. We’re just really lucky to have them as teammates, and we all want to work harder to be able to be contributive to the team.”

As NU continues through its Big Ten schedule, it must prepare for grueling back-to-backs against consistently tough competition.

Senior middle blocker Maddie Slater, who had four kills against the Buckeyes, said the Cats must be ready to come out and compete in each Big Ten match.

“In order to stay focused and to play well each night, you really just need to focus on the next game ahead of you,” Slater said. “For us, it’s really important that we look to Iowa now and focus on their skills and our skills and how we’re going to beat them.”

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