March 3, 2019

Bearcats Get Past Ohio State in Five Sets


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Buckeye errors, both attacking and service, proved to be the difference in a five-set loss to McKendree (7-8, 4-4 MIVA) Sunday afternoon. Statistics were nearly identical across the board with the exception of Ohio State’s six additional errant attacks and five more serving gaffes than the Bearcats. The Buckeyes drop to 6-12 overall and 2-6 in MIVA play following the 23-25, 25-19, 25-22, 22-25, 15-10 final score.


Fifteen student-athletes dressed for Ohio State and all fifteen saw action, including Jamie Wolmering making his season debut. Andrew Hillman checked in to serve two days ago in his return from an injury which had held him out since the Fall semester, but he made his first serving stint of ’19 in this one. Hillman assisted 21 kills while directly contributing five points of his own (two kills, two aces, two block assists). He is the fourth different setter to play for Ohio State during this injury-riddle campaign. Adding salt to the wound, starting outside hitter Martin Lallemand missed Sunday’s contest with an illness.

Jake Hanes’ full-time services did return this weekend though, compiling 49 total kills (22 on Sunday). He added 10 digs for a double-double in Game 2 of the week, matching Aaron Samarin for the team high.

SET 1:  Offensive fireworks were on display in the opening set. Ohio State bounced 17 kills at a .481 clip while the Bearcats weren’t far behind hitting .357 for 14 kills. The two squads combined to record just 14 digs (nine for OSU) in the high-powered period. Trailing 21-19, Tyler Alter quickly changed the set’s trajectory. He connected with Luke Lentin for kills on three consecutive rallies, pushing Ohio State ahead for good in the eventual 25-23 winner.

SET 2:  Ohio State’s offense tailed off in the second (.161), but the Bearcats did not in attacking .375 (10-1-24). McKendree was handed the set’s first point via a Buckeye service error and never looked back in leading for the entirety of a 25-19 equalizer.

SET 3:  The Buckeyes owned a 15-12 edge when McKendree burned its first timeout of Set 3. The break in action did the trick, followed by five in a row for the Bearcats to jump up 17-15. Ohio State couldn’t regain control of the lead in a 25-22 setback.

SET 4:  Wire-to-wire went the Buckeyes, surging out to a 5-1 advantage before holding on for the 25-22 triumph. The Buckeyes put up six blocks in the set, led by three block assists for both Hanes and Austin Gerwig. Offensively it was a balanced attack as five different Buckeyes registered multiple kills and no one tallied more than three.

SET 5:  Ohio State was victimized in serve-receive, committing four reception errors. In the truncated nature of a decisive fifth set, the four free points were too much to overcome. McKendree earned its first ever win over the Buckeyes, capturing a 15-10 clincher.

The Buckeyes head out west next week for matches on the campus of Southern California. Ohio State is set to face both the host Trojans and UCLA during its visit to La La Land.