COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 14 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (3-5) dropped a five-set affair to the Red Flash of Saint Francis University (5-3) Friday (Feb. 1) night. The first two sets went to Saint Francis with the Buckeyes battling back to take the next two, until falling short in the fifth set (25-18, 25-21, 16-25, 25-27, 15-12).
The Buckeyes had five players with at least five rejections (Martin Lallemand, Blake Leeson, Reese Devilbiss, Sean Ryan and Ethan Talley), led by Leeson with nine blocks. Ohio State was able to out-block the Red Flash 16 to 11.
Ohio State debuted true freshman Sean Ryan, peeling his redshirt to fill in for an injured Jake Hanes. Ryan was one of three true freshmen in the Buckeye starting lineup, joining Parker Mikesch and Talley. Mikesch, a libero by trade, was forced into action as a setter with the injury bug hitting Ohio State’s setting group as well.
Set 1: SFU pulled ahead early, 7-6, and never looked back. The Red Flash ultimately came out on top 25-18.
Set 2: Power reigned supreme in the second as the two squads totaled 27 kills despite 10 blocks limiting the heavy damage. Mikesch set up 10 assists with Lallemand surfacing as the main beneficiary terminating five balls. The Buckeyes found themselves behind, facing a 20-13 deficit. Fighting to come back, Ohio State fell short 25-21.
Set 3: The Buckeyes came out blazing hot, hitting at a .714 clip on 11 kills. Lallemand and Ryan paired up for seven kills on eight error-free attempts and the Buckeyes blew past Saint Francis 25-16.
Set 4: The most hotly-contested set of the evening came next, seeing nine tied scores and one lead change. Eight errors on behalf of Saint Francis, one coming on set point, helped Ohio State secure the set 27-25.
Set 5: Action was heated in the fifth, tied at 7-7. Saint Francis jumped on top 8-7 prior to the courtside swap and maintained that lead to go on and win the match 15-12.