COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 15 Ohio State men’s volleyball team went on the road for the first of two matches this week against No. 12 Ball State and came away with a three-set loss to the Cardinals Wednesday evening, 26-24, 25-15, 25-20 at Worthen Arena. The two teams had been in a third-place tie in the MIVA with 4-2 records, but Ball State moves ahead by a game at 5-2 in the league and 12-7 overall, while Ohio State drops its fifth consecutive match to fall to11-9 overall and 4-3 in the MIVA.
Ball State out-hit Ohio State, .405 to .226, and had six fewer attack errors with nine compared to 15 for the Buckeyes. Ohio State led in blocks, 13 to 7, while assists were about even with Ball State holding a 39 to 35 edge.
Individually, Shane Wetzel had a career-high 17 kills to lead the Buckeyes, and he also led with a .536 hitting percentage with 28 attempts. Noah Platfoot had 19 assists and Michael Wright had 13. Jacob Pasteur had 10 kills. Ball State had a trio of players with double figure kills, led by 12 apiece from Tinaishe Ndavazocheva and Kaleb Jenness. David Flores had a game-high 31 assists.
How it Happened
Ball State won a terrific first set, 26-24. Ball State held the lead throughout the majority of the set after breaking an early 3-all tie. The Cardinals built leads as large as five points – 18-13 – but the Buckeyes battled back, finally tying it at 22-all off a Ball State attack error. The score was tied again at 24-all before the Cardinals finally put away the Buckeyes with points off a service error and a set-winning kill by Dyer Ball. Team stats were even: Ball State held a .394 to .361 lead in hitting percentage while both teams had 16 kills and three errors. Jacob Pasteur and Shane Wetzel had six and five kills, apiece, respectively and Noah Platfoot had 15 assists.
Set two was Ball State’s. The home team built an early 6-2 lead that was helped by a couple Ohio State errors, extended it to 12-7 and then never led the lead go below five points in the 25-15 set win. Hitting percentage and errors were the story of this set: the Cardinal out-hitting the Buckeyes, .417 to .065 and Ohio State with seven attack errors compared to just three for Ball State. Dyer Ball, like he did in the first set, had the set-clinching kill … number nine for him on the evening to tie him with Kaleb Jenness for the team lead.
Ball State completed the sweep with a 25-20 set three win. After no more than a two-point lead through the first 24 points of the set, Ball State went on a run and built the lead to as much as 17-11. Ohio State fought back to trail by only 21-19 and again by 22-20, but the Cardinals were too good on this Wednesday evening, scoring the final three points of the set.
The second half of this home-and-home series this week between Ohio State and Ball State will feature a 7 p.m. game Saturday between the two schools at the Covelli Center. Admission is free.