CHICAGO, Ill. – The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (9-5, 1-2 MIVA) stumbled in a four-set loss to Loyola University Chicago (5-9, 2-2 MIVA) Friday night in the Windy City. The final scoreboard read 25-20, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22 in favor of the Ramblers. These two squads combined to win four consecutive NCAA Championships from 2014-17.
Three Buckeyes posted a dozen or more kills, highlighted by freshman Samuel Clark terminating 13 of 15 error-free attempts for an .867 hitting percentage. Martin Lallemand accumulated the most kills at 15, adding two aces and three blocks assists for a team-high 18.5 points. Reese Devilbiss reached 12 kills as well.
Ohio State owned a 53-49 advantage in kills, but fell victim to 10 Rambler blocks. Both sides were a bit erratic from the baseline, combining for 33 service errors. Loyola Chicago was able to counteract it a bit, however, registering four more aces than the Buckeyes (9 to 5).
Set 1: Loyola earned the opening point and never looked back in a 25-20 ignitor. Clark and fellow middle Austin Gerwig each hammered home three of four attempts to keep the Buckeyes within striking distance. Five Rambler blocks proved too much to overcome in the end.
Set 2: The Ohio State offense awoke in the second, humming along at a .571 attacking pace. Clark, Devilbiss and Lallemand racked up 14 kills in total, doing so on just 20 swings with zero errors. A kill from Lallemand broke up the 7-7 early on and the Buckeyes never relinquished the edge en route to a 25-21 equalizer.
Set 3: Ohio State shot itself in the foot too much, missing the mark 10 times with six service errors and four attacking errors. A 6-1 run for Loyola transformed an 8-8 stalemate into a 14-9 edge. That five-point margin remained at set’s end, 25-20.
Set 4: The Buckeyes were unable to capitalize on Loyola’s mishaps in the fourth. Cole Schlothauer’s five kills helped offset the Ramblers seven serving gaffes and allowed LUC to close out the match, 25-22.
Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association play continues Saturday night when the Buckeyes arrive in Indiana to take on No. 14 Purdue Fort Wayne.