PROVO, Utah – Nearly identical team stat lines predictably led to a combined difference of just nine points in No. 7 Ohio State’s 25-20, 25-23, 27-25 setback on the road at No. 5 BYU (1-0). The Buckeyes (2-1) and Cougars both attacked .325 on 80 attempts apiece with the home squad garnering one more kill (38-37) and one more dig (24-23) while OSU notched an extra block (4-3). The largest statistical discrepancy came at the service line where Ohio State committed a costly six more errors.
Jake Hanes carried the heaviest offensive load. He paced all players on both sides of the net with 23 kills. He took 42 of Ohio State’s 80 swings, attacking .405 for the night (23-6-42). Martin Lallemand was efficient as well, bouncing seven kills on 13 errorless attempts for a .538 hitting clip.
SET 1: The Buckeyes shot themselves in the foot a dozen times in the opening frame, recording 12 misfires from the service stripe to account for nearly half of BYU’s 25 points. Eight different Buckeyes contributed to the serving struggle with an error or two.
SETS 2&3: The second and third sets were mirror images of each other. Ohio State starkly reduced its service error total and Hanes crushed nine kills in each frame. Both sets also included six lead changes, a total of 28 tied scores and the minimal final separation of two tallies. Following a 25-23 loss in Set 2, the Buckeyes held a 17-13 upper hand midway through the third. That’s when BYU rattled off seven straight though, pulling ahead 20-17 and forcing an Ohio State timeout.
The Buckeyes responded well to the break in action, winning the next three rallies to even the ledger at 20-all. Ohio State later regained the lead and earned a 24-23 set point. BYU’s Davide Gardini denied the opportunity with a kill. Gardini rose up again moments later, registering two more kills to break up a 25-25 tie and close the door 27-25.
Ohio State returns to action Saturday (Jan. 12) night at No. 11 Stanford. First serve is set for 10 p.m. ET in Palo Alto, Calif.