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Feb. 26, 2014

Box Score

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 13 Ohio State men’s volleyball team fell to No. 14 Ball State, 3-1 (20-25, 26-24, 25-20, 26-24), Wednesday night in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes moved to 7-7 overall and 4-3 in the MIVA with the loss.

Freshman Miles Johnson led the Ohio State offense with a career-high 16 kills in the match. Setter Peter Heinen notched his first double-double of the season, collecting 47 assists and a team-high 11 digs for the Buckeyes. Redshirt freshman Driss Guessous and junior Michael Henchy each chipped in 12 kills, while Johnson and freshman Gabriel Domecus had nine digs.

Ball State’s (8-5, 4-2) Marcin Niemczewski led all attackers with 18 kills and Shane Witmer added 17. Matt Leske totaled a match-best 11 blocks (1s, 10a), while Matt Sutherland and David Vandermeer each finished with 10 digs.

The two squads exchanged points to start the first set until a Henchy kill sparked a 6-2 run for the Buckeyes to give them a 12-9 advantage. The Buckeyes maintained the lead and used a 4-1 rally to go up 18-14. Another Henchy kill forced a Cardinal timeout with Ohio State leading 21-15. A kill from Guessous closed out set one, 25-20, for the Buckeyes.

In a second set that saw 14 tie scores, a Henchy ace prompted a Cardinal timeout with Ohio State leading 12-10. The Buckeyes responded with a small run before Ball State went on a 4-0 run to retake the lead, 15-14. Following a Cardinal block, the Buckeyes took a timeout before chipping away the lead to tie the score at 22-all with a kill from Dustan Neary. Back-to-back Cardinal kills clinched the set, 26-24, to tie the match.

A kill by Johnson opened a 5-1 run to give the Buckeyes a 6-3 lead to start set three. Ball State chipped away at the Ohio State lead and locked the set at 13. A kill from Andrew Lutz kicked off a 4-0 run, highlighted by a Henchy block, to give the Buckeyes an 18-15 advantage. The Cardinals once again rallied back, forcing an Ohio State timeout at 18-all. The Cardinals wrapped up the set on a 3-1 run to win, 25-20.

Ball State grabbed a quick 5-2 lead in the fourth, forcing an early Ohio State timeout. The Buckeyes battled back and a kill from Guessous sent the squad on a 5-1 run to go ahead at 8-7. The teams exchanged runs throughout the middle part of the set before another Guessous kill triggered a three-point OSU run for an 18-16 lead. The Cardinals weren’t through and locked the set at 21 apiece. Ball State took its first match point at 24-23 and finished the match with a 26-24 win.

The Buckeyes take a week off of competition before traveling to MIVA rival and nationally-ranked IPFW, March 5, for a 7 p.m. ET match. Ohio State returns to St. John Arena two days later and hosts non-conference rival and nationally-ranked Penn State. The Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions face off at 7 p.m. ET, March 7, and admission is free.