January 21, 2022

No. 11 Buckeyes Fall in Five Sets to No. 2 UCLA

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 11th-ranked Ohio State men’s volleyball team (3-1) gave No. 2 UCLA (2-0) all it could handle on Friday night, battling back from a 2-0 deficit to force a winner-take-all fifth set before eventually falling to the Bruins 3-2 (18-25, 15-25, 25-23, 25-23, 8-15).

The match was held at historic Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles as part of the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. Action continues for the Buckeyes tomorrow at UCLA when it faces No. 12 USC at 8 p.m. ET.

Three players finished with double-figure kills for Ohio State: Jacob Pasteur (16), Martin Lallemand (12) and Samuel Clark (12). Parker Mikesch notched a team-high eight digs while setter Noah Platfoot had 40 assists.

Set One: The Bruins took the first set 25-18 thanks to a hot start that saw them hit .545 in the opening stanza and commit just two errors with 15 kills. The Buckeyes tied the score at 11-all midway through the set but UCLA scored four of the next five points to take the lead for good. UCLA also went on a 4-1 run late in the set to turn a 17-15 lead into a 21-16 advantage. Jacob Pasteur (four kills) and Samuel Clark (three kills) led the way on offense for the scarlet and gray.

Set Two: UCLA took a 3-0 lead in the second set and never trailed on its way to a 25-15 win and 2-0 lead in the match. Ohio State trailed 6-2 before getting a Justin Howard kill and Bruin attack error to pull within two (6-4) but got no closer. UCLA once again hit over .500, getting 11 kills and just one error for a .556 hitting percentage.

Set Three: Ohio State took the third set with a furious late comeback, erasing a 22-20 deficit by scoring five of the final six points to force a fourth set. The rally started with a kill from Jacob Pasteur and continued with a service ace by Justin Howard, forcing a Buin timeout. After the break, Noah Platfoot and Cole Young combined on a block to give the Buckeyes a 23-22 lead and after an attack error gave Ohio State set point, Pasteur finished off the set with a kill.

Ohio State jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set before UCLA scored eight of the next 11 points for a 9-7 lead. Overall, there were 12 ties and four lead changes in the third set.

Set Four: Much like the third set, Ohio State battled back late and forced a winner-take-all-fifth set thanks to a 3-0 run to turn a 23-22 deficit into a 25-23 win.

Trailing 20-17, Ohio State scored three straight points – on a UCLA service error and kills by Pasteur and Cole Young – to force a 20-all tie. From there, the teams traded points until the Bruins took a 23-22 lead. From there, though, it was all Buckeyes.

In a back-and-forth set, the teams were tied 19 times and changed leads on six occasions. The set-winning point came of a Justin Howard-Martin Lallemand block.

Set Five: After the team traded the first six points, UCLA went on a 9-2 run to take a 10-5 lead and went on to take the set 15-8.