A return to the Eastern time zone was all the Ohio State men’s volleyball team needed to get its first two wins of the season.
After dropping three matches last weekend in Hawaii as part of the Outrigger Hotels Volleyball Invitational, the No. 15 Buckeyes (2-3, 0-0) returned home to sweep Lees-McRae and George Mason on back-to-back nights at St. John Arena.
In Saturday’s match against the Patriots, the Buckeyes took the three games by a combined 11 points (25-23, 25-22, 25-19) behind a match-high 16 kills from redshirt-junior opposite Andrew Lutz.
After the three losses to start the season, the team had been working on certain things all week leading up to its first home weekend of the season.
“I think being in Hawaii really exposed what we needed to work on, and in practice the whole week we just worked on those things, and during the game this weekend it definitely showed,” junior middle blocker Dustan Neary said.
Friday against Lees-McCrae, OSU was in control from the outset and dominated, winning the three games by scores of 25-12, 25-12 and 25-14. Lutz led the way against the Bobcats, tallying 11 kills.
The Buckeyes held Lees-McCrae to a -.133 hitting percentage.
OSU has some new faces this season, two of them being redshirt-freshman middle blocker Driss Guessous and Neary, who transferred from Moorpark Community College this year. Neary said getting a chance to play the first home matches of his OSU career was special.
“You work really hard in practice to be able to play during the games, and to have that experience on your own court was really cool,” Neary said.
Friday, Guessous totaled five kills and five blocks.
Guessous said it is “awesome” to be considered a substantial player in the game, and he hopes to be a part of future victories this season.
Neary contributed three kills and three blocks Friday night and chipped in eight kills Saturday, which helped the Buckeyes get their second win of the season.
“It is cool to know the rest of your team trusts you enough,” Neary said.
Up next, OSU is scheduled to travel to Quincy, Ill., to take on the Quincy Hawks (2-1, 0-0) Friday. The match is set to begin at 8 p.m.