Redshirt sophomore Jake Hanes (16) prepares to hit the ball over the net at the game against George Mason Jan. 18, 2019, at St. John Arena. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Former Senior Lantern Reporter

For the fourth time in five matches, Ohio State men’s volleyball won a three-set sweep Friday. 

No. 15 Ohio State (5-0) conquered King (2-3) in straight sets (25-19, 25-11, 25-20) at the Covelli Center, including a dominating performance in the second set.

“I think our main focus tonight was on our offense,” Ohio State sophomore middle blocker Ethan Talley said. “Solid passes lead to good sets that end in kills. I think we’re still improving defensively and getting better at it each game. I was proud of the team both defensively and offensively tonight.”

Already down two sets, King put up its best fight in the third set.

King took its first lead of the night at 15-13 after a solo block and kill from Radek Bryja, and the lead was extended to 17-14 before the Buckeyes burned a timeout to stop the bleeding.

Ohio State regrouped to knot it at 17 and finished on an 11-3 run to end the match.

In the second set, both sides challenged a point after a touch challenge and potential net violation, but the Buckeyes won the point and didn’t look back.

“I’m just trying to give the guys what they deserve. I was more than willing to fight for that point until the right call was made,” Ohio State head coach Kevin Burch said. “It wasn’t about the score necessarily, but more about defending my guys, which is part of my job. In the end, that one point still helped us come out on top.”

An 11-3 lead following the challenge quickly snowballed into a 25-11 set win for Ohio State.

The Buckeyes started off the game hot with an untouched ace from Ohio State junior outside hitter Martin Lallemand in set one. Lallemand also had two consecutive kills to give the Buckeyes a four-point advantage midway through the set. 

The opening frame was hotly contested, as an ace from senior right side hitter Julian Young pulled King within two points — the score 21-19.

But the Buckeyes rattled off three straight points before a King timeout, and wouldn’t be denied the set-winning score. 

The Buckeye defense had success preventing the Tornado from scoring for much of the night. Ohio State tallied 3.5 total blocks and 13 total digs in the first set. 

Ohio State ended the night with 28 total digs, eight total blocks and 82-percent accuracy when attacking at the net. King was overmatched in each category, finishing with 19 digs, 4.5 blocks and 55-percent team attack accuracy. 

Ohio State hits the road next week for a 4:30 p.m. meeting with USC.