March 4, 2020

Fast Start Fizzles Out in Setback to Ball State


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (10-8, 2-5 MIVA) came out like a ball of fire in scorching Ball State (11-6, 4-3 MIVA), 25-16, in the opening set. Back-to-back two-point ‘overtime’ sets in favor of the Cardinals followed, however, launching BSU to eventual victory in four sets (16-25, 29-27, 26-24, 25-18).


Martin Lallemand provided a team-high 19.5 points on 18 kills and three block assists. He attacked at a .484 clip (18-3-31) as one of three Buckeyes to hit .400 or better. Samuel Clark drilled eight kills on 17 swings with one error (.412) while Austin Gerwing went 6-1-12 for a .417 hitting percentage. Despite splitting libero duties with Parker Mikesch, Luke Meidel delivered 11 digs in a superb defensive effort.


Set 1: Trailing 4-3 early in the first frame, Ohio State rattled off nine consecutive points. The run was fueled by a long serving stint for Reese Devilbiss and pushed the Buckeyes ahead by a commanding 12-4 ledger. Ohio State racked up five blocks through the first 15 rallies of the match. The defensive dominance was matched by the OSU offense, terminating 14 of 23 error-free attempts (.609) in a 25-15 run-away set.

Sets 2-3:  The next two sets combined for 33 lead changes and 13 tied scores. Neither side could muster a lead of more than three points until Ball State stretched its advantage to 22-18 in the third. Cardinal momentum was short-lived when Ohio State countered with five in a row to go ahead 23-22. The subsequent two scores went the way of Ball State though to set up Set Point #1. Ohio State survived four Cardinal set points in total before finally giving way to a 29-27 equalizer for Ball State. Set 3 was similar in Ball State doing enough late to escape victorious, 26-24.

Set 4:  A slow start doomed Ohio State in the fourth, sliding back 11-5. The resilient Buckeyes didn’t go away quietly, battling back within a pair at 17-15 before ultimately having the door shut.

Ohio State’s rebound attempt comes Sunday (March 8) when the eighth-ranked Nittany Lions of Penn State come to town for a 3 p.m. ET match.