Lantern file photo
The Ohio State men’s volleyball team dropped a pair of road matches over the weekend to teams that sit below the Buckeyes in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association standings. The losses dropped OSU out of the nation’s top 10 for the first time since Feb. 1, from No. 8 to No. 11.
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) defeated the Buckeyes, 3-2 (28-26, 17-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-9), Saturday night.
OSU’s defense combined for 16.5 blocks, led by redshirt senior middle blocker John Tholen, who notched eight blocks. Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson totaled a match-high 16 digs, and has now reached double digits in the category 15 times this season.
On the offensive end, four Buckeyes finished with 10 or more kills. Redshirt sophomore setter Peter Heinen assisted on 51 of the team’s kills.
OSU was forced to take an early timeout following an 8-3 IPFW run out of the gate. The Buckeyes responded soon after with a 6-2 run to bring the match within a point, 11-10. A back-and-forth set played out from there, ending in a 28-26 win for the Mastodons.
A pair of late-set service aces from Tholen gave OSU the second set, 25-17.
The Buckeyes went on to take the third set, 25-20 but were unable to finish off their opponents in sets four or five.
Back-to-back errors by OSU gave IPFW the fourth set, 25-22, the fifth set, 15-9, and the match, 3-2.
Ball State swept OSU (25-15, 25-21, 25-21) Friday night in Muncie, Ind.
The winless road trip dropped the Buckeyes another game off the pace of league-leading Lewis, which went 1-1 across the weekend. OSU coach Pete Hanson’s squad remains in second place, 1.5 games behind the Flyers.
OSU (15-5, 7-3 MIVA) returns home to St. John Arena on Friday for a non-conference match against Mount Olive at 7 p.m.