PALO ALTO, Calif. – The No. 7 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (2-2) wrapped up its west coast trip dropping a four-set (25-22, 24-26, 25-20, 25-21) match at No. 11 Stanford (4-0). Ohio State out-killed The Cardinal, 53-46, but fell short 24-18 in the digs category while committing twice as many service errors (26-13).
The match was tightly-contested from start to finish, evidenced by a total of 36 tied scores and 16 lead changes (an average of nine tied scores and four lead changes per set).
Redshirt sophomore Jake Hanes shouldered a heavy offensive workload again. The 6-foot-10 opposite hitter terminated 24 kills on 42 swings. The next closest Buckeye totals were 10 kills and 21 attempts for Martin Lallemand and Reese Devilbiss, respectively. Lallemand paced the team in hitting efficiency by posting 10 kills, one error and 17 attacks (.529).
As a team, Ohio State swung at a .311 offensive clip (53-20-106) while The Cardinal hit .360 (46-15-86).
Set 1: Toe-to-toe is the best way to describe the evening’s opening period. Sans a 10-8 pit stop, neither team could muster a lead of greater than one point until the 21-19 point of the set. The lead exchanged hands five times and despite Hanes’ 9-kill effort, Stanford came away as 25-22 winners.
Set 2: The Buckeyes evened the match at one set apiece, 26-24. The middles, Blake Leeson and Austin Gerwig, stepped up and provided five kills on six attempts while Aaron Samarin dug four balls to aid in limiting Stanford to a .000 hitting percentage. Thirteen more tied scores and four lead changes occurred in the second as the two squads continued to grind it out. The Cardinal had first crack at set point leading 24-23. An attacking gaffe spoiled the chance and Ohio State capitalized by seizing the next two points and the set. First a block by Reese Devilbiss and Gerwig, followed by Sanil Thomas connecting with Hanes for the set-ending put-away.
Set 3: Keeping pace with its two predecessors, Set 3 produced an additional five lead changes. Hanes and Lallemand combined for more kills (11) than the entire Stanford side (10), but 13 OSU misfires (eight serving, five attacking) impeded the team’s success. Tied up 16-16, an errant serve handed The Cardinal a lead it would not relinquish en route to a 25-20 win.
Set 4: Sophomore transfer Kyle Skinner logged his first extended on-court stint as a Buckeye. He contributed a pair of kills and a block assist as one of the starting outside hitters in the third frame. The Buckeyes again posted a respectable offensive clip (.333) but struggled to slow down Stanford. The Cardinal bounced 14 kills at a .409 rate and closed out the contest, 25-21.
The Buckeyes return to St. John Arena next weekend (Jan. 18-19), playing host to George Mason and Erskine.