The Ohio State men’s volleyball team’s season-opening winning streak extended to four Thursday against Lincoln Memorial, but the Railsplitters put an end to the Buckeyes’ three-game run of straight-set victories during an intense second set.
Ohio State (4-0) defeated Lincoln Memorial (3-2) in four sets. Ohio State junior outside hitter Martin Lallemand led all attackers with a career-high 18 kills, and the Buckeyes blocked 17 shots to the Railsplitters’ six.
“I think we responded well and did what we needed to do in order to recover from set two,” Ohio State senior outside hitter Reese Devilbiss said. “We were just getting a little too anxious, and we didn’t have the right mindset. We weren’t in the right positions to do great things.”
Outside the second-set battle, Ohio State won each set by at least seven points. It jumped ahead early in the fourth set, using an early 4-0 run to take a 7-2 lead it never relinquished. The Railsplitters failed to slice the advantage lower than four points, and the Buckeyes captured a 25-18 victory to capture the match.
Lallemand polished off seven kills in the set, including four consecutively at one point.
Lincoln Memorial handed the Buckeyes their first set loss this season in set two after a 10-tie, four-lead-change battle. Neither team held more than a two-point advantage, and the squads battled to a 20-20 draw before the Railsplitters capitalized on five of the next six points for a victory. Lincoln Memorial senior setter Evan Cory finished the job with a service ace.
The Buckeyes dominated the Railsplitters in set one, with 16 kills and 10 blocks overpowering Lincoln Memorial’s 11 kills and zero blocks. Ohio State junior outside hitter Tyler Alter tied with Lallemand in kills with a total of four each for the set.
A 25-15 win was the result of the output.
Ohio State head coach Kevin Burch said following the second set defeat that Ohio State did a better job with the mental aspects of its game.
“We make mistakes when we lose our confidence, and we get in our own heads subconsciously,” Burch said. “I think that’s what happened in set two. We did a great job fixing those mistakes and gaining back that confidence in set three.”
Ohio State cruised to another 25-15 victory in set three.
Ohio State will take on King at the Covelli Center at 7 p.m. Friday.