Three hard fought sets brought the defending national champions to a record of 2-2 on the season as the eighth-ranked Ohio State men’s volleyball team fell to seventh-ranked Penn State.
The Buckeyes never allowed PSU to run away with the match. Although the Nittany Lions swept OSU, each set was won with a small edge — 22-25, 23-25, and 17-25.
A service ace from PSU’s redshirt senior setter Edgardo Goas gave the team a 5-3 lead. From then on, the Nittany Lions maintained a two-point lead throughout most of the first set.
Miscommunication by PSU caused the ball to drop midcourt, and an attack error tied the game at nine.
The Nittany Lions pulled ahead, 15-17, and OSU was forced to call its first timeout. A service error by junior middle blocker Grayson Overman put the set at 18-20.
Freshman outside hitter, Michael Henchy, and redshirt freshman middle blocker, Shawn Herron, had consecutive kills to tie the set at 21.
As PSU reached set point, OSU called its second time out before the Buckeyes watched a close serve from Aaron Russell land in bounds to take the first set.
The second set was much like the first. PSU kept a comfortable two to three point lead during most of the set.
It wasn’t until late in the set that the Buckeyes began to close the gap with a three-point run. An Overman kill and two PSU errors made the score 19-20.
A PSU serve sailed into the net giving momentum to the Buckeyes. Senior opposite Shawn Sangrey and Herron assisted on a block, while Mik Berzins, a senior outside hitter, got a kill to tie the game at 23 a piece.
The Buckeyes thought they had arrived at set point, when confusion among the referees stopped the game. PSU was awarded a point before it was quickly revoked and the serve was replayed.
The Nittany Lions officially reached 24-23 prior to a Herron ball handling error which sealed the set.
OSU was 12-for-29 in kills in the second set, while PSU attacked 6-of-26.
In the third set, a ball handling error by PSU junior middle blocker Nick Turko tied the set at six. Tom Comfort, a junior opposite from PSU, had a kill to tie the teams again at eight.
Sangrey’s serve sailed out of bounds giving PSU a four point lead, 12-16. Late kills from Berzins and Sangrey gave OSU a chance to turn the game around.
At 17-23, the Nittany Lions succeeded in taking the match with two more well-placed kills.
OSU’s head coach Pete Hanson said he wasn’t happy with the way his team received serves.
“(Penn State) is a physical team and we couldn’t get the ball to the setters like we wanted to,” said Coach Hanson.
OSU will host the Sacred Heart University Pioneers on Tuesday at 7 p.m.