LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Notre Dame volleyball team saw its 2012 season come to an end Friday night at Memorial Coliseum on the University of Kentucky campus in the first round of the NCAA Championship as the Irish fell to No. 14 Ohio State, 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-17).
The Irish end their season at 20-10. The 2012 season marked the first time since 2009 that Notre Dame had won 20 matches and advanced to the NCAA Championship.
OSU dominated on the offensive end, as it tallied 52 kills on their way to hitting .512 for the match. Kaitlyn Leary was almost unstoppable for the Buckeyes as she had 16 kills on 19 hits with no errors to hit a remarkable .842. Mari Hole had 14 kills on 25 attacks to hit .400, while Emily Danks had eight kills and no errors in hitting .421. Mariah Booth wrapped up the attack barrage with nine kills in 14 chances as she hit .429.
The Buckeyes also had 34 digs to 24 for the Irish and out-blocked Notre Dame, 7-3.
Sophomore Jeni Houser pounded out 16 kills to lead the Irish, hitting .382 for the match.
The Buckeyes used a 14-6 run to end the first set to take a 1-0 lead over the Irish. OSU was powered behind the first-set dominance of Leary and Hole, who had eight and six kills, respectively. Leary was a perfect eight-for-eight, while Hole was six-for-seven. Up just one at 11-10, the Buckeyes used kills on four of the next five points to increase their lead to 15-11. Later in the set, OSU upped its lead to 19-12 on a pair of kills and a ball-handling error on the Irish. Holding a 23-16 lead, the Buckeyes closed out the set with kills by Emily Danks and Leary.
Ohio State took a 2-0 lead with a 25-21 win in set two. The Irish battled the highly ranked Buckeyes throughout the set, as Houser's nine kills in the set powered them. Notre Dame trailed by just two at 18-16, but kills by Hole and Leary upped the margin to four at 20-16. The lead was cut to three at 23-20, but Leary found the opposite side of the court yet again to give OSU set point. After an attack error on the Buckeyes made it 24-21, OSU closed out the match with a kill from Mariah Booth.
OSU closed out the match with a 25-17 win in set three. The Buckeyes led from the beginning and turned a 9-8 lead into a 15-9 advantage. Up 22-17, OSU ran off four straight points to close out the match and advance to the second round of the NCAAs.