Errors haunted the Ohio State men’s volleyball team in its straight-set defeat Saturday to No. 8 Lewis, 25-21, 25-17 and 25-18.
The loss means the Buckeyes (8-18, 3-9 MIVA) will likely receive the seventh seed in the conference tournament, while the Flyers (20-5, 11-1 MIVA) remain in a battle for the top spot with No. 11 Loyola Chicago.
While Ohio State outkilled Lewis 36-26, the Buckeyes committed 37 total errors — 23 attack and 14 service — to the Flyers’ 16 errors — seven attack and nine service.
The first 13 points scored by Lewis in the second set were due to Ohio State errors.
Ohio State sophomore opposite hitter Jake Hanes opened the second set with a kill but four straight Ohio State attack errors put the Buckeyes in a hole early. Lewis did not record an ace, kill or block in the second set until an ace by senior setter Matt Yoshimoto put the Flyers up 14-8.
The Buckeyes used kills by Hanes and sophomore outside hitter Martin Lallemand as well as three Lewis errors to cut the Flyers’ lead to 16-14, two aces by redshirt senior outside hitter Julian Moses and junior setter Ryan Van Loo helped Lewis regain a five-point cushion, 20-15.
The Flyers extended their lead to seven courtesy of three kills and a few Ohio State errors, winning the set, 25-17.
Redshirt junior outside hitter Ryan Coenen led Lewis with 10 kills and four total blocks, adding a dig and an assist. Yoshimoto, the nation’s leader in ace production, led the team with five bounces from the service stripe, adding a kill, two block assists and two digs.
Hanes led the Buckeyes with 16 kills and two aces, adding three digs and a block assist. Senior setter Sanil Thomas assisted 27 kills, adding three kills himself, a block assist and eight digs.
A Thomas-assisted kill by Hanes brought the Buckeyes to within one of the Flyers midway through the third set, but Lewis used an ace by Van Loo and four Buckeye attack errors en route to an 8-2 run and a 22-15 lead.
Hanes and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Tyler Alter each added a kill for the Buckeyes, but errors continued and a block by the Flyers proved too much to handle, giving Lewis a 25-18 third set victory and a straight-set triumph.
The Buckeyes held early leads in the first and the third sets, but struggled to maintain them. Once the Flyers took control, errors kept Ohio State from mounting any serious comeback.
Early in the first set, Ohio State rode a kill by freshman middle blocker Ethan Talley and back-to-back aces by sophomore opposite hitter Jake Hanes to take a 15-14 lead.
The Buckeyes and the Flyers split the next eight points before a Buckeye error, a kill by Coenen and an ace by Yoshimoto propelled Lewis to a 21-19 lead. Ohio State could only muster two more Hanes kills while the Flyers extended their lead to four points, taking the first set 25-21.
Ohio State returns to St. John Arena for the final time this season against No. 15 Purdue Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. Thursday and No. 13 Ball State at 7 p.m. Saturday.