For the Ohio State men’s volleyball team, the stakes are high this weekend.
The team is hoping to get out of its four-match slump as it seeks revenge against No. 12 Ball State, which defeated the Buckeyes earlier this season.
The Buckeyes are set to travel to Muncie, Ind., to take on the Cardinals for the second time this season, this Sunday at 4 p.m.
The last meeting for the Buckeyes and the Cardinals ended in a 3-1 loss for OSU at St. John Arena in February. Coach Pete Hanson said the team is preparing for an even harder match against Ball State this weekend.
“Ball State is on a roll right now. They are in their home court and they beat us the last match, so this is going to be another tough match for us,” he said.
Ball State is currently 15-5 for the season, and just won its eighth consecutive match against Harvard on Sunday.
“It is going to be an uphill battle,” Hanson said.
The Buckeyes fell to Harvard Tuesday, making that their fourth consecutive loss of the season and putting their record at 8-12.
Redshirt-freshman outside hitter Alex Judkins said the most important thing the team is working on in preparation for Ball State is its offense.
“We will be doing a lot of serving and passing during practice, after what we saw in our match against Harvard,” he said.
Freshman setter Christy Blough said the main thing the Buckeyes have to work on is teamwork, which has been their focus during practice over the past weeks.
“We need to play more as a team for our match against Ball State. We played individually in the beginning during the Harvard match and I think that is what really hurt us,” he said.
Hanson said although the team is starting to improve in certain areas, there are still many aspects of the game that need to become better.
“We are continuing to work on the same things, which is serve/receive, being strong with our attacking and trying to get better with our block and defense. All phases of the game need to become better. It’s not one big thing that has to improve; it is a little bit of everything,” he said.