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FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (9-6, 1-3 MIVA) started with a bang, winning the opener 25-19, before fizzling out in a four-set defeat at No. 14 Purdue Fort Wayne (8-4, 3-2 MIVA). The Mastodons took the final three sets 25-23, 25-20, 25-17.
Reese Devilbiss was electric at the pins and dropped in a few bombs from the back row. He totaled 12 kills at a .458 attacking rate to go along with a solid defensive effort which included six digs and four blocks. Martin Lallemand scored from all angles, lighting the scoreboard with 13 kills, four block assists and two aces for a team-leading 17 points. Tim Baldwin found success offensively, bouncing seven kills on 15 swings with a lone error.
Set 1: Purdue Fort Wayne burst onto the scene, nabbing the night’s first four points and forcing an extremely early Buckeye timeout. Ohio State responded to the temporary break in action by snatching the next four points to erase the deficit. Devilbiss and Lallemand combined to put away nine of 11 swings, lifting the Buckeyes to an extended run earning 25 of 40 points after the slow start. Ohio
Set 2: Ten of 12 Buckeye kills came from the Devilbiss-Lallemand combo, exchanging blows with the Mastodons as neither squad could muster an edge of more than three points throughout the entire set. That three-point cushion belonged to Ohio State at 22-19 before Purdue Fort Wayne rattled off a 6-1 run to sneak out a 25-23 equalizer.
Set 3: A late-set surge vaulted the Mastodons to triumph once again. Tyler Alter tooled a kill off the block to pull OSU within a lone tally at 21-20. Four straight Purdue Fort Wayne points followed, however, to close the door 25-20.
Set 4: Baldwin did his best to carry the Buckeyes. He knocked down five kills at a .400 hitting pace and dug three balls. Unfortunately, the team performance surrounding him was insufficient and Purdue Fort Wayne sealed the deal 25-17.
The MIVA slate continues next week (Feb. 28-29) when Ohio State rolls over to Quincy and Lindenwood.