LONG BEACH, Calif. – The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (4-7) fell in the first of two matches this weekend out west, coming up short in a 25-22, 25-22, 25-12 ledger to No. 6 Santa Barbara (10-3.). The Buckeyes owned leads in the second half of both the first two sets before letting it get away a bit in the third.
There were a total of 23 tied scores and 13 lead changes in the match.
Reese Devilbiss paced the Scarlet & Gray with 10 points, nine coming via the kill at a .263 attacking rate. Fellow pin hitters Martin Lallemand and Kyle Skinner combined to add a dozen kills to the effort. Skinner matched Aaron Samarin for the team lead in digs as well, each digging seven balls.
SET 1: Parker Mikesch spread the ball around in the first, setting up five different teammates for kills. The Buckeyes were also beneficiaries of 10 Gaucho service errors, and despite a .455 UCSB hitting percentage, Ohio State owned an 18-15 lead. The good times ended there though as 10 of the next 14 rallies went in favor of the Gauchos in a 25-22 triumph.
SET 2: Different set, same score in the second. Devilbiss did his part, terminating six of nine attempts and ripped an ace. His superb play was flanked by three kills each for Lallemand and Skinner. The Buckeyes were ahead 14-13 before seeing the next five go the wrong way to look up at UCSB for the remainder of the night’s second 25-22 final.
SET 3: Competitiveness slipped away in the third with UC Santa Barbara throwing up three blocks and attacking .444 in the 25-12 sealer.
Ohio State is back at it again Saturday night, taking on the nation’s top-ranked squad (Long Beach State) on their home court.