COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 10 Lewis University (12-4, 5-0 MIVA) entered St. John Arena with a 12-0 sets advantage in conference play this season after sweeping each of their first four MIVA opponents. Several hours later the Flyers escaped with a five-set squeaker after Ohio State (5-10, 1-4 MIVA) took a pair of sets (25-21, 18-25, 26-24, 17-25, 15-11).
Making his second career start, Tyler Alter sprinted out of the gates attacking .500 through three sets for a match-high 13 kills. He would tack on six more kills by the end of the night, totaling 19 and hitting .325 (19-6-40). Blake Leeson had himself a night, too. The fifth-year senior bounced 10 of 13 attempts (.769) and got in on a half dozen blocks. He was responsible for four of 11 Ohio State points in the fifth set, going a perfect 3-for-3 offensively and pairing with Martin Lallemand for a block.
Overall team statistics washed out nearly identical:
Ohio State | 53 kills, 49 assists, six aces, 21 service errors and 47 digs
Lewis | 55 kills, 51 assists, five aces, 21 service errors and 47 digs
Blocking totals were also neck-and-neck heading into the fifth set. That is when the Flyers front court came alive, however, getting up for a match-turning five rejections.
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) February 22, 2019
SET 1: Coach Hanson threw everything at Lewis in the opening frame, sending 11 different Buckeyes onto the court. It was Alter carrying the heavy load though, dropping in seven kills at a .600 clip. Alter didn’t receive much help unfortunately. The team hit just .148 and dropped the opening period, 25-21.
SET 2: Undeterred, Alter kept bringing the heat to the tune of four more kills on five attempts. This set, he was surrounded by superb play as the Buckeyes attacked .542, dug 10 balls and rejected a pair of Lewis attacks. Behind 4-2 early on, Ohio State seized four straight to pull ahead for good. The Buckeyes never trailed for the remainder of a 25-18 equalizer.
SET 3: More Alter was accompanied by more teammate kills in the third. While Alter contributed five put-aways, the rest of the Scarlet-clad group tacked on nine more. Alter evened the set three different times in the waning moments, drilling kills knotting the score at 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23. Reese Devilbiss and Leeson then took the baton and finished it off with kills of their own in a 26-24 triumph.
SET 4: Lewis wrestled control on a 7-3 run midway through the fourth. The Buckeyes couldn’t threaten after that and the contest headed to a decisive fifth frame.
SET 5: The Flyers burned an early T.O. following Ohio State’s accumulation of four straight points to lead 4-1. Lewis responded with a six-point surge which included three stuffs. The Buckeyes mounted several comeback attempts, but each were ultimately denied. Lewis closed it out 15-11.