COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (3-0) registered its third consecutive sweep to open the 2020 season, topping Saint Francis (1-1) in straight sets (25-18, 25-20, 25-19). This marks the first time Ohio State won its first nine sets of a season since 2007. The Red Flash were coming off of a victory over No. 7 Stanford the night before.
Upperclassmen accounted for 23 of 30 OSU kills, paced by Martin Lallemand’s nine put-aways. He led the way with four blocks as well, including a pair of solo stuffs. Tyler Alter and Reese Devilbiss combined for 14 kills, attacking .250 and .286, respectively. Parker Mikesch donned the off-colored jersey as the Buckeye libero and delivered a match-high eight digs.
One pivotal key to victory was Ohio State’s stunting of the top Saint Francis offensive weapon. SFU outside hitter Michael Fisher ripped through the Stanford Cardinal for 29 kills at a .537 attacking clip 24 hours earlier. He also had previous success against the Buckeyes, racking up 27 kills in the Red Flash victory last season. This time around, Fisher’s efforts were futile. Ohio State rejected him twice and buried his hitting percentage at minus-.231 through the first two sets with just two kills. He would not see action in the third.
The Buckeye homestand continues next week when Lincoln Memorial and King on back-to-back nights (Jan. 16-17). Thursday’s contest versus the LMU Railsplitters is set for a 6 p.m. ET start while the Tornado of King University begin play at 7 p.m. ET on Friday.
Tyler Alter was the story of Set #1 for the Scarlet & Gray. He bounced all four attack attempts and got in on a pair of block assists. Ohio State led from start to finish.
Lallemand took over in the second, hammering home a half dozen kills at a .556 pace. Saint Francis kept up offensively in the set, but shot itself in the foot with eight service errors. The Buckeyes inversely excelled from the baseline, connecting on three aces including the 25th point.
The offensive load shifted to Devilbiss for the third, handling 10 of the team’s 28 attempts and recording five of nine kills.
Knotted at 15-15, Ohio State scored five straight points as the Red Flash wheels fell off a bit. The Buckeyes added one point to their final margin, a 25-19 clincher.