March 18, 2023

Wetzel’s 19 Kills Leads No. 15 Buckeyes Past No. 11 Ball State 3-2


Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Box Score | Photo Gallery |

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Freshman Shane Wetzel collected a season-high 19 kills and six service aces to lead No. 15 Ohio State to a 3-2 victory over No. 11 Ball State on Saturday evening inside the Covelli Center. The Buckeyes dropped the first two sets before rebounding to win the final three (23-25, 24-26, 25-18, 26-24, 15-12).

The teams split their series this week as Ball State took the match on Wednesday evening in Muncie, Ind. The Buckeyes are now 12-9 on the season and 5-3 in MIVA action.

Wetzel was coming off a previous season-high 17 kills on Wednesday night. He also added a season-high six service aces to go along with five digs on Saturday. Jacob Pasteur seemed to come up with a kill at the right moment all night as he finished with 18 kills and a team-high tying seven digs. Jack Stevens finished one-off his career-high with 12 kills. Noah Platfoot was injured in pre-match warmups so Michael Wright stepped in and had a great match. He had a career-high 57 assists to go along with his six digs.

Ohio State hit .361 for the match while limiting Ball State to a .230 clip. After a good start, the Cardinals hit just .182 over the final three sets.

How it Happened 

Set 1
Ohio State opened the match with the early lead, and following back-to-back kills from Pasteur and Wetzel, the Buckeyes would lead 16-11. A Ball State timeout did little to slow the run until a Cardinal kill at 20-16 sparked a 6-1 run to pull BSU ahead 22-21. The teams would side-out through 23-23, leading to a pair of Ball State points to give the Cardinals the opening set 25-23.

Set 2 
The Buckeyes answered Ball State’s early 4-0 run with a pair of 4-0 runs of their own to build an 11-7 lead. Ball State responded by winning six of seven points in a stretch that saw the Cardinals grab a 20-18 advantage and force an Ohio State timeout. Pasteur then had a kill and Wetzel added a service ace two points later to pull the Buckeyes back in front 21-20. The teams traded points until Ball State thwarted a Buckeye set point and won back-to-back points to take the second set 26-24.

Ohio State got on the board with a solid 25-18 victory. The Buckeyes raced-out to a 12-6 lead early in the set and would hold that advantage throughout. Ohio State hit a match-high .425 in the set and closed strong by winning four of the last five points.

Set 4
Kills by Pasteur and Jack Stevens gave the Buckeyes an 18-15 lead and forced BSU to call the first timeout of the set. The Cardinals responded with three consecutive points to even the set at 18-18 and it was the Buckeyes’ turn to take timeout. After four side-outs, the Buckeyes took advantage of a couple of Ball State errors to grab a 22-20 lead and forced a second BSU timeout. A huge back-row kill from Pasteur gave the Buckeyes set point at 24-22 but Ball State countered with a pair of kills to even the score at 24-24. Wetzel had a kill and then an error out of the back row by BSU would send the match to a fifth set.

Set 5
Ball State jumped out quick 4-2 before Cole Young had a kill and then an ace to pull the Buckeyes even. Ohio State led 8-7 at the change over and the teams would then trade the next six points. As he seemed to have done all night, Pasteur came up with a big kill, putting the Buckeyes in front 12-10 and forcing a Ball State timeout. Pasteur then saved a broken play with a beautiful pass leading to a Wetzel kill that kept the Buckeyes in front 13-11. Following BSU’s second timeout, Justin Howard had a big solo block to give OSU match point at 14-11. After a service error, Samuel Clark finished the deal with his lone kill of the match.

Up Next 
The Buckeyes head to Penn State this Tuesday, March 21, for a 7 p.m. match. The Nittany Lions won the first meeting this season, 3-1, back on Jan. 7 in the Covelli Center.