LONG BEACH, Calif. – The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team was denied victory by the country’s No. 1-ranked team, Long Beach State (12-0). The Buckeyes (4-8) out-blocked LBSU and pushed the defending national champions in the third set, but ultimately fell 25-19, 25-18, 25-21.
Sophomore Martin Lallemand hit .312 with nine kills while freshman Sean Ryan paced the Buckeyes with his 10 kills. Austin Gerwig’s two blocks matched The Beach’s team total for the match.
SET 1: Lallemand started off the evening by bouncing four kills in the first set. Blake Leeson cterminated a pair of kills on three attempts and paired with Reese Devilbiss for a block. Their efforts were spoiled though in a 25-19 LBSU win.
SET 2: Ryan carried the heaviest offensive load in Set 2, taking 11 swings. He put away five kills at a .273 clip. His teammates combined to go 7-for-12 with two errors, raising the team hitting percentage to .348 for the set. That’s an offensive rate which often produces a set win, but Long Beach State hummed along at .667 (13-1-18) to go ahead two sets to none.
SET 3: Ohio State refused to go away easily, battling to 11 tied scores and trailing by a lone point as late as 20-19.
Tied 12-12, the 49ers went on a 5-0 run for a 17-12 advantage. The Buckeyes whittled away at the deficit and back-to-back service aces from California native Chase Moothart forced an LBSU timeout at the aforementioned 20-19 mark. The break in action proved beneficial to the home squad, closing it out 25-21.
Ohio State’s road trip continues next week, jumping back into conference play for matches at Lindenwood and Quincy on consecutive evenings (Feb. 15-16).