ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – A 27-16 digging advantage for Ohio State Men’s Volleyball wasn’t enough to overcome No. 8 Lewis University (20-5, 11-1 MIVA) inside Neil Carey Arena. The Buckeyes (8-18, 3-9 MIVA) came out on the wrong end of a 25-21, 25-17, 25-18 final ledger.
Aaron Samarin and Sanil Thomas combined for 16 digs (eight apiece) to match the Flyer team total. The Buckeyes recorded 10 more kills (36-to-26) as well, paced by Jake Hanes’ match-high 16 kills.
Three statistical categories Ohio State did not lead in, however, were hitting percentage (.306-.169), aces (9-4) and blocks (7-3). The Flyers were also much less prone to errors. Lewis registered 16 misfires (nine serving, seven attacking) while the Buckeyes were off the mark 37 times (23 attacking, 14 serving).
The OSU middles were ultra-efficient, combining for eight terminations on 11 swings. True freshman Ethan Talley went 5-for-5 with fifth-year senior Blake Leeson dropping in 3-of-6.
SET 1: Half of Hanes’ kills (8) came in the starting set, hitting .545 (8-2-11) to keep Ohio State in contention. The Buckeyes attacked .393 as a team in an offensive sprint which Lewis swung at a .400 clip.
It was a defensive effort which earned Ohio State a 19-18 edge though when Leeson and Thomas paired up to block All-American Ryan Coenen. The Flyer countered immediately to even the score at 19-19 on a kill, igniting Lewis’ four-point run to go ahead 22-19. He’d tack on one more kill (his seventh of the set) before the frame ultimately concluded 25-21 for the Flyers.
SET 2-3: The Buckeyes got off track in the subsequent two sets, committing 29 errors and paving the way for a Flyer victory.
Regular season play comes to an end next week in Columbus. The Buckeyes host a pair of top-15 opponents when No. 15 Purdue Fort Wayne and No. 13 Ball State invade St. John Arena on Thursday (April 4) and Saturday (April 6), respectively.