After losing two straight matches without winning a set, having to face the No. 1 team in the country on their home court is not the best way to end a losing streak.
The struggling Buckeyes (4-8) were able to keep sets close early, but couldn’t gain enough momentum to get back in the match as No.1 Long Beach State (12-0) cruised to a victory in three sets, 25-19, 25-18, 25-21.
The Buckeyes took their first lead of the match in the third set after an attack error by Long Beach State gave them a 4-3 lead.
Back-to-back aces by junior libero Chase Moothart bookended a three-point run that brought the Buckeyes over the 20-point threshold for the first time in the match. But a kill by senior outside hitter TJ DeFalco and an Ohio State service error closed out the third set, 25-21, handing the Buckeyes their third-consecutive straight-set loss.
Ohio State was unable to establish a rhythm on offense in large part due to errors.
The Buckeyes committed 33 errors on the night, 19 service and 14 attack, while the Beach had only 24, 16 service and 8 attack.
Though the Buckeyes tallied 30 kills on the night, the 14 errors on 61 attacks limited them to a .250 hitting percentage.
Freshman libero Parker Mikesch had 26 assists and two digs as he continues his campaign as the Buckeyes full-time setter while senior Sanil Thomas is injured.
Freshman outside hitter Sean Ryan provided 10 kills for Ohio State, helping to fill in as a point finisher for the Buckeyes in the midst of sophomore opposite hitter Jake Hanes’ absence due to injury.
Ryan got off to a hot start in the first set with two kills, helping the Buckeyes keep pace with the Beach. But a kill by senior opposite hitter Kyle Ensing and an attack error by Ryan gave Long Beach State a 4-2 lead, which they would stretch to as many as seven points en route to a 25-19 first set victory.
Ensing and DeFalco combined for 21 kills, five digs, and an ace, leading the team to a .475 hitting percentage.
Both teams had their share of success from the service stripe, as the Buckeyes totalled three and the Beach came up with five.
After a close start to the second set, Long Beach used four Buckeye errors and an ace by redshirt senior middle blocker Nick Amado for five straight-points, taking a 16-9 lead.
Though Ryan contributed five kills and sophomore libero Luke Meidel added an ace, Long Beach State used kills by Ensing and senior setter Josh Tuaniga to close out the set, 25-18.
Ohio State returns to conference play against Lindenwood at 8 p.m. on Friday in Saint Charles, Missouri.