Columbus, Ohio – The seventh-ranked Ohio State (0-1) men’s volleyball squad dropped the opening match of the season, 3-1 (25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 25-21) to third-ranked Pepperdine (1-0) Sunday night at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif. OSU’s John Klanac collected a team-high 18 points with 14 kills (423) and a match-high four ace serves. Kevin Heine added 15 points with 14 kills (.571) and two assist blocks. Chase Ross recorded a match-high 22.5 points for Pepperdine with 20 kills (.581), one ace serve and three assist blocks. Maurice Torres added 17 points with 13 kills (.308), two ace serves and four assist blocks.
A Pepperdine error opened set one with a Ross kill tying the set at one. Kills from Shawn Sangrey and Heine and a Grayson Overman ace serve gave the Buckeyes a 4-1 lead. The Waves tied the set at six with a Ross-Jaynes Tyler block. Tied at eight, three OSU errors gave Pepperdine an 11-8 lead. A Cory Riecks kill made it set point at 24-19. OSU stopped the set point with a Jason Tobkin kill at 24-20. The Waves won the set, 25-20, with a Matt Pollock kill. Pepperdine hit .545 for the set to .250 for Ohio State.
Pepperdine opened set two with two kills from Torres. The Waves expanded the lead to six at 10-4 and never trailed. OSU, down 22-18, used a Klanac kill, a Sangrey solo block and an Overman ace serve to cut the lead to one at 22-21. After a Pepperdine time out, a Buckeye error and a Klanac kill made it 23-22 Waves. A Pollock kill made it 24-22 and set point for Pepperdine. Heine, with a kill, stopped the set point at 24-23. A Jaynes kill gave the Waves a 25-23 set win and a 2-0 lead in the match. Pepperdine hit .323 for the set to .300 for Ohio State.
Ohio State took a 1-0 lead in set three with a Sangrey kill. A Torres-Jaynes block tied the set at one. An Overman kill and an error by the Waves made it 3-1, OSU. Pepperdine trailed, 8-6, when a Ross kill and his ace serve tied the set at eight. A Wave error and a Jaynes-Coryblock tied the set at nine. A Klanac kill and a Heine-Sangrey block gave Ohio State the lead at 11-9. At 13-11, Ohio State scored the next seven points to open a 20-11 lead. The run began with two kills from Heine and two ace serves from Klanac. After a Pepperdine time out, two Tobkin kills and one from Klanac completed the run. Ohio State held the lead reaching set point at 24-19 with an Overman kill. A Ross kill stopped the set point at 24-20. A Pepperdine error ended the set at 25-20 to cut the match lead to 2-1. The Buckeyes hit .391 for the set to .333 for Pepperdine.
Kills from Torres and Overman tied the fourth set at one. An OSU error, a Torres ace serve and kills from Pollock and Kasey Crider opened a 5-1 Pepperdine lead. The Waves would not trail the rest of the set but at 17-14, a Klanac kill and his ace serve cut the Pepperdine lead to one a 17-16. Two OSU errors made it 19-16 Pepperdine. An OSU error gave the Waves match point at 24-20. A Wave error stopped the match point at 24-21 but a Buckeye error ended the set at 25-21 for Pepperdine to give the Waves a 3-1 victory. Pepperdine hit .577 for the set to .360 for Ohio State.
Pepperdine hit .437 for the match to .318 for Ohio State. The Waves had a 56-55 advantage in kills while each squad recorded 55 assists. OSU’s Steven Kehoe posted a match-high 51 assists with Pepperdine’s Crider recording 46. The Buckeyes had a 9-4 margin in ace serves with Klanac tying his career high of four for Ohio State. The Buckeyes gave up 15 service errors to 13 for the Waves. Pepperdine edged Ohio State in digs, 29-27. OSU’s Mik Berzins posted a match-high 11 digs while Crider had a team-high eight for the Waves. At the net, Pepperdine had an 11.5 to 6.5 advantage in team blocks. Jaynes posted a match-high nine assist blocks for the Waves while Sangrey had a solo and three assist blocks for the Buckeyes.
The squads complete the two-match series Monday night at 7 p.m. PT.