Updated Sun, Dec 8, 2013 2:51 am
Ohio Volleyball saw its season come to an end Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 loss to No. 20 Michigan State, 21-25, 22-25, 19-25.
"I'm really proud of our team and the season we've had," Ohio head coach Ryan Theis said. "It's been a whole lot of fun and they'e played their hearts out trhough injuries all year. Hats off to Michigan State, and we hope to be back next year."
Center back Mallory Salis sat out the match due to a concussion. Outside hitter Katie Horton played in the back row in her absense and recorded eight digs. Horton also led the team with 12 kills.
Ohio (27-6) had the lead early in the first set, but a 4-0 Spartan run brought the score to a tie at 11-11. Michigan State (22-11) capped a side-out exchange with another 4-0 run to take the lead, 20-15. The favorite won four of the last five points in the game to take a 1-0 lead.
In the second set, Michigan State took a 10-4 advantage. Ohio battled back to close the deficit to 2 points at 14-16, but a 4-0 run brought the lead back to 6 at 20-14. A 4-0 string for Ohio was not enough to come back, as the Spartans took a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
Michigan State surged ahead late in a tight third set to move on to round two, closing the match on a 10-4 run.
Kelly Lamberti had 10 kills while Karin Bull added eight on 12 swings.
Michigan State outblocked Ohio 11.0-2.0 behind six blocks in the second set.
Graduate middle blocker Alexis Pinson had five kills and two block assists to move her into second place on Ohio's single-season block assists list.
"We fell a little short today, but I'm so proud of the season we had and so grateful for this experience," Pinson said.
Ohio is now 5-9 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. Michigan State moves on to play 15-seed Kentucky Sunday afternoon.