After a straight-set loss at No. 15 Purdue Fort Wayne, the Ohio State men’s volleyball dropped its’ second consecutive match in straight sets to No. 6 UC Santa Barbara on Friday.
In the third set, a kill by freshman outside hitter Sean Ryan put the Buckeyes (4-7) down 19-12, but UC Santa Barbara (10-4) put together six straight points, including two aces by senior outside hitter Corey Chavers and two kills by freshman outside hitter Ryan Wilcox, to close out the set and the match.
The third set, which saw only four ties and two lead changes, as well as a 13-point margin of victory, was a bit misleading when considering the overall performance by both Ohio State and UC Santa Barbara.
To start the match, the Buckeyes seemed to be in control of an error-heavy first set.
The Buckeyes first six points came off of Gauchos errors, and 25 out of the 47 points in the set were scored off errors.
Ohio State led for most of the first set, taking an 8-6 lead after two kills by freshman middle blocker Ethan Talley.
The Buckeyes would extend their lead to as many as four points after kills by junior outside hitter Reese Devilbiss and redshirt senior middle blocker Blake Leeson, but they failed to keep the lead at the end of the set. The Gauchos rode a 5-1 run, including two Ohio State attack errors, to a 25-22 victory.
Devilbiss led the team with nine kills and an ace. He was one of four Buckeyes with a point from the service stripe, the others being Leeson, sophomore outside hitter Kyle Skinner and sophomore outside hitter Martin Lallemand.
Attack errors were a thorn in the Buckeyes’ side all night. Ohio State recorded 20 errors to the Gauchos four. Errors largely contributed to Ohio State’s lackluster .107 hitting percentage and often times killed momentum for the Buckeyes in crucial moments.
Ohio State used a Lallemand kill and an ace by Skinner to open up an early 7-5 lead in the second set, but a service error and two Buckeyes attack errors helped stunt the offense.
The Gauchos took advantage, mounting a 6-1 run, featuring back-to-back aces by Chavers to give UC Santa Barbara a lead of 15-20.
The Buckeyes would cut the Gauchos lead down to 22-21, but a couple Chavers kills helped push UC Santa Barbara to a 25-22 victory, putting them ahead of the Buckeyes two sets to none.
Chavers finished with team-high 10 kills and four aces, adding two digs and a block for the Gauchos.
Ohio State will face No. 1 Long Beach State Saturday at 10 p.m. in Long Beach, California.