The No. 1 Ohio State men’s volleyball team continued its winning ways Thursday night, defeating the No. 6 Lewis Flyers in four sets (25-13, 20-25, 25-14, 25-17) for the Buckeyes’ 35th straight victory.
OSU has now won 32 of 52 previous meetings with Lewis and has defeated the Flyers in five of their last six matchups.
Junior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen, senior opposite hitter Miles Johnson and middle blocker Driss Guessous combined for 44 of OSU’s 59 kills. Lewis had no player reach double digits in kills, with Trevor Weiskircher leading the Flyers with nine.
OSU and Lewis had a tightly contested start to the first set with the Flyers’ deficit coming to within one point at 13-12. However, a kill from Szerszen ignited a 12-1 run to secure the 25-13 set win.
OSU coach Pete Hanson said that the 12-1 run showed the Buckeyes’ ability to overpower teams at the net.
“It gives (the team) confidence that we have a guy like Nick or a guy like Miles and all of a sudden get on a run and just blow a game wide open,” Hanson said. “What we are trying to learn from that is we may have finished that game on a huge run, but it doesn’t carry over to set No. 2. You start fresh at 0-0.”
The momentum at the end of the first set did not last for the Buckeyes going into the second set. OSU and Lewis had a total of 13 ties and three lead changes in the second half, but six kills from Flyers’ outside hitter Trevor Weiskircher proved to be too much for the Buckeyes, losing the set 25-20.
Hanson thought OSU lost its identity in the second set.
“We got really complacent, we lost our focus, we didn’t play with the same reckless abandon, if you will, and want to go out and pummel those guys,” Hanson said.
OSU came out of the locker room hot after a rough second set, starting the third set with a 9-1 run. Szerszen and Johnson combined for 12 of the 17 OSU kills in the 25-14 set win.
“We have gotten really confident playing with one another and we know how to win in different circumstances,” Johnson said. “Tonight we lost the second set and then we figured out what we needed to do.”
A kill by middle blocker Driss Guessous secured an OSU win as the Buckeyes won the fourth set 25-17. The Buckeyes are now five wins away from matching Loyola’s 40-match run that was set in 2014-15.
The Buckeyes will take on No. 10 Loyola at St. John’s Arena this Saturday at 7 p.m.