Northwestern volleyball (13-17, 4-12 B1G) traveled to Ohio State (14-16, 7-11 B1G) and Maryland (13-17, 5-13 B1G) this weekend, winning both away matchups. The Wildcats destroyed the Buckeyes on Friday, winning 3-0, while on Sunday they prevailed 3-2 against the Terrapins.
At Ohio State’s senior night, the Wildcats started off the game by taking the first set 25-16. Nia Robinson stood out in this set as she served five straight points, benefiting off of Ohio State’s attack errors and giving the 'Cats early leverage over the Buckeyes. Temi Thomas-Ailara and Alana Walker maintained their status as key players, making kills and adding to the scoreboard early on.
The Wildcats took the second set 25-21, and it looked as though they would easily have the third one as well. But then they seemingly lost energy and gave six back-to-back points to the Buckeyes due to attack errors.
Robinson had a tough game, making 10 attack errors compared to 11 kills, resulting in an .022 hitting %. Even so, the Wildcats’ overall hitting % was .157 compared to the Buckeyes’ .049. They finally won the third and last set 27-25.
On Sunday Northwestern played a rematch against Maryland, who had previously beaten the 'Cats in October. In a back-and-forth game, Northwestern won the second, third and fifth sets. Although Maryland won the first set 25-17, Northwestern came back the next set and triumphed 29-27.
With Payton Chang recording 13 assists and serving five times in a row in set two, she played a central role in bringing the ‘Cats to winning over the Terrapins. Throughout the game, she contributed 53 assists, a drastic increase from her 24 on Friday.
Robinson also improved from Friday, making 19 kills and nine errors in a strong recovery to aid the team. She recorded the most kills, followed by Walker with 17 and Thomas-Ailara making 15. In such an even matchup against Maryland, the Wildcats brought their best game and came out on top.
Northwestern next plays at Illinois (15-12, 10-8) on Wednesday, before hosting the Illini on Saturday for the Wildcats' senior night.