Feb. 21, 2015
MUNCIE, Ind. – The No. 12 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (11-3, 5-1 MIVA) tasted defeat for the first time since Jan. 9, falling in a road contest at No. 15 Ball State (9-5, 4-3 MIVA). Ohio State closed the gap in each subsequent set but ultimately took the `L’ in three sets, 25-19, 25-22, 25-23.
Nicolas Szerszen paced the offense quantitatively with 13 kills and an ace while Shawn Herron shined qualitatively with six kills and a lone error on nine attempts (.556). Miles Johnson, the NCAA’s most deadly weapon from the service line averaging .62 aces per set, aced the Cardinals three times on 13 cuts from the service stripe.
The Neary-Szerszen duo teamed up for a block late in the opening set to tie it up at 17-all. Ball State went on an 8-2 spurt from there though, securing a 25-19 tally.
Stanza number two was tight as well, locked up at 20-20 following a Johnson termination. A Szerszen ace followed to push Ohio State ahead 21-20 before the Cardinals snared five of the next six scores to garner a 25-22 winner.
A quick glance at the stat sheet in set three would seem like a Buckeye victory as Ohio State dominated statistically. The numbers do, indeed, sometimes lie, however. Ohio State trailed by as many as six points early on prior to a late-set furry which pulled the Scarlet & Gray even at 23-23 and a chance to extend the bout to a fourth frame. Back-to-back BSU kills ensued though, putting an end to the evening’s contest, 25-23.
Ohio State continues a month-long hiatus from hosting duties next weekend, traveling to Phoenix for a pair of tilts at Grand Canyon (Feb. 27-28).