The No. 7 Ohio State men’s volleyball team split a weekend series with a win against Fort Wayne on Friday and a loss to Ball State the following night to end the regular season.
The Buckeyes won their first match of the weekend Friday night, beating Fort Wayne in three sets (25-18, 25-23, 25-16).
Senior outside hitter Maxime Hervoir did not disappoint, leading Ohio State with 16 kills. Senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen and redshirt freshman opposite Jake Hanes also aided in the team’s offensive dominance with 10-plus kills each.
On the defensive end, Szerszen, redshirt junior libero Aaron Samarin and junior setter Thomas Sanil had the court on lockdown. They thwarted the Fort Wayne’s attacks with 22 combined digs from the back row.
The Mastodons started off the night attacking well with a .429 team hitting percentage. But they were unable to maintain their momentum, dropping to a hitting percentage of .033 by the third set.
After beating Fort Wayne Friday and winning the first two sets Saturday against Ball State, Ohio State melted down, allowing the Cardinals to storm back and win 3-2.
Ball State senior middle blocker Matt Walsh came alive in the third set, nailing nine kills and helping his team take the next three sets.
The fifth and final set was a matter of two points. And though it could have gone either way, it ended in the Cardinals’ favor with a kill from Walsh to give Ball State the 15-13 tie-breaking win.
Despite losing, Hanes found his tempo in the five-set match, leading both teams with 19 kills. Thomas juggled both defense and offense with 18 digs and 49 assists.
Though Ohio State split the two matches, it will head into the postseason as the top team in the MIVA. Ball State is now the third-ranked team.