Then-sophomore Martin Lallemand (6) hits the ball over the net at the game against George Mason on Jan. 18 at St. John Arena in Columbus. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Senior Reporter.

The Ohio State men’s volleyball team conquered the Urbana Blue Knights at the Covelli Center Tuesday. 

Ohio State (2-0) swept Urbana (0-2) 3-0, including a dominant 25-11 victory in set two, through a team attacking effort and strong defense. 

“We tried to focus more on us and what we were doing rather than putting the focus on them,” Ohio State head coach Kevin Burch said. “I thought our boys did a pretty good job at that for the most part.” 

Ohio State dismantled Urbana in set two, jumping out to an 11-2 advantage. Urbana gave away almost twice as many points as it scored, with 12 total errors against seven kills, as Ohio State took control with stout defense.

Stout defense proved to be a theme for the Buckeyes. The Blue Knights finished the match scoring 17.3 percent of its chances to Ohio State’s 43.8, with the Buckeyes owning a 6-1 advantage in blocks and a 30-21 edge in digs.

Ohio State junior outside hitter Tyler Alter paced both teams in digs and blocks, with nine and three, respectively.

On the offensive end, a trio of Buckeyes including junior outside hitter Martin Lallemand, freshman middle blocker Samuel Clark and freshman outside hitter Matt Tompkins piled up nine kills each. Their combined 27-kill effort nearly equaled Urbana’s team total of 28.

“Offensively, we did a great job. I do think we could work more on our defense and getting those blocks that we need,”  Ohio State junior outside hitter Martin Lallemand said. “Coming into this game, we knew we had to stay focused on our side of the court. We’re really cracking down on our defense.”

The second set wasn’t the only time Ohio State held a clear edge in the contest.

Urbana stayed within striking distance at the opening of the first set, but after a 6-1 Ohio State run vaulted its lead to 18-12 the Blue Knights called a timeout to stop the bleeding. The Buckeyes kept them at arm’s length in a 25-20 victory.

After a far tighter third set with 13 ties and two lead changes, Ohio State pulled away from a 16-16 tie to complete its sweep 25-19.

Ohio State’s next match is against Saint Francis at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Covelli Center.