COLUMBUS, Ohio – The ninth-ranked OhioState (16-7 overall, 9-1 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) men’s volleyball team overcame a 4-0 Mastodon lead in game five to win, 3-2 (27-30, 30-26, 30-26, 22-30, 15-13) Tuesday night at the GatesSportsCenter. The victory moves the Buckeyes into a tie for first place with eighth-ranked BallState (18-8, 9-1), OhioState’s next opponent Thursday at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena. Buckeye Brett Versen (5th-Sr., Centerville, Ohio) scored a team-high 21 points in the match with 19 kills and four assist blocks. IPFW’s Jason Yhost recorded a match-high 35 points for the Mastodons with a match-high 27 kills, four ace serves and eight assist blocks.
With game one tied at four, two Robbie Klein (Sr.-Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio) kills and a Versen-Ben Spurlock (Sr.-So., Stow, Ohio) block gave Ohio State a 7-4 lead. Trailing 15-11, IPFW scored the next four points to tie the game at 15. The run began with a Yhost kill. Two blocks, the first by C.J. Macias, Oliver Kook and Yhost, the second by Kook and Yhost and a Graydon Ainsworth ace serve completed the run. Two Mastodon errors and a Jason Tobkin (So-Fr., Fairfield, Ohio) kill put OhioState ahead, 18-15. Two Yhost kills cut the lead to 18-17. At 20-19, a Josh Stewart–Brock Ullrich-Ainsworth block tied the game at 20. Two OSU errors and a Yhost ace serve gave IPFW a 23-20 lead. The Mastodons held the lead to reach game point at 29-26 with a Yhost kill. A Tobkin kill stopped the point at 29-27. IPFW won the game, 30-27, on a Stewart kill. The Mastodons hit .382 for the game to .294 for the Buckeyes.
OhioState opened game two with a Tobkin ace serve and an IPFW error for a 2-0 lead. At 2-1, two Mastodon errors and kills from Versen and Ted Schoenfeldt (So., Northbrook, Ill.) gave the Buckeyes a 6-1 lead. Trailing, 20-16, IPFW rallied with a Ullrich kill, an Ullrich-Stewart-Yhost block, a Kook ace serve and a Yhost-Stewart block to tie the game at 20. The Buckeyes responded with a Versen kill, a Spurlock-Daniel Mathews (Sr., Shorewood, Wis.) block and an IPFW error to take a 23-20 lead. Leading 27-25, a Klein kill and a Mastodon error set game point at 29-25. An OSU error stopped the point at 29-26. OhioState won the game, 30-26, with a Spurlock kill to tie the match at one game each. OhioState hit .379 for the game to .176 for IPFW.
With game three tied at five, a Mastodon error and a Spurlock-Versen block gave Ohio State a 7-5 lead. At 10-8, an IPFW error and a solo block from Mathews made it 12-8. Leading 16-14, three consecutive kills from Tobkin and a Mathews-Spurlock block gave OhioState a 20-14 lead. At 22-17, two Stewart kills and a Ullrich ace serve cut the margin to two at 22-20. At 25-23, a Tobkin kill and two from Versen gave OhioState a 28-23 lead. A Yhost kill made it 28-24. Versen, with a kill, set game point at 29-24. A Yhost kill and a Buckeye error stopped two game points to make the score, 29-26. A Mastodon error ended the game at 30-26, to give Ohio State a 2-1 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .333 for the game to .139 for IPFW.
IPFW opened a 3-0 lead in game four with a Stewart kill, a Yhost ace serve and an OSU error. At 11-8, two Mastodon errors cut the IPFW lead to one at 11-10. Kills from Stewart and Klein moved the score to 12-11. The Mastodons, with a Yhost kill, an OSU error, a Macias kill and a Kook-Macias block opened a 16-11 lead. IPFW held the lead and reached game point at 29-22 with a Stewart-Yhost block. The Mastodons won the game, 30-22, with a Kook ace serve to tie the match at two games each. IPFW hit .533 for the game to .294 for OhioState.
The Mastodons opened game five with four consecutive points. The run began with a Yhost kill, two Yhost ace serves and an OSU error. A Versen kill stopped the run at 4-1. An OSU error made it 5-1. Back-to-back kills from Versen and then Spurlock tied the game at five. Kills from Macias and Mathews made it 6-6. A Spurlock-Mathews block and a Macias kill tied the game at seven. Kills from Versen and Macias made it 8-8. The game moved to 9-9 with kills from Versen and Yhost. Schoenfeldt and Yhost kill tied the game at 10. Errors by both teams moved the score to 11-11. Klein and Macias kills tied the game at 12. OhioState took a 13-12 lead with a Klein kill. A Mastodon error set match point at 14-12. IPFW stopped the first match point with a Yhost kill at 14-13. The Buckeyes won the game, 15-13, with a Klein kill to win the match, 3-2. OhioState hit .579 for the game to .263 for IPFW.
The Buckeyes hit .355 for the match with IPFW hitting .294. OSU had an 80-67 margin in kills while the Mastodons had an 11-3 advantage in ace serves. Yhost served a match-high four ace serves for the Mastodons. OhioState gave up 18 service errors to 15 for IPFW. Defensively, OhioState had a 57-43 margin in digs with OSU’s Brian Kues (So., Cincinnati, Ohio) recording a match-high 14. At the net, IPFW had a 16 to 12 margin in team blocks. Kook collected a match-high eight assist blocks for the Mastodons. At setter, OSU’s Mathews had a match-high 65 assists while IPFW’s Ainsworth recorded 57.
OhioState returns home to close out the regular season with matches against eighth-ranked BallState Thursday and Mercyhurst (5-18, 1-10) Saturday in 7 p.m. matches in St. John Arena.