Students and faculty might be just getting back in the swing of things after being relieved of their responsibilities from March 11 to Monday for spring break, but many Ohio State athletics teams did not enjoy that same luxury.
Things were business as usual for these squads, with some even using the time off from classes to pick up the pace of schedule.
While details about how the OSU wrestling and women’s basketball teams fared in their NCAA tournament action over the weekend can be found elsewhere in the section, here is a rundown of how six other Buckeye units fared.
OSU baseball played seven games over a nine-game stretch, starting with a four-game series in Las Vegas against University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The Buckeyes split those four games, including a win in the final one before getting on the plane back to Columbus for their first home series.
That series came against Hofstra, a team that came into the weekend just 5-11. That number became even worse, as OSU took care of business against the Pride with a three-game sweep.
OSU allowed just four runs over the three games. The Friday home opener was marked by a 12-run offensive explosion, but things cooled down from there. The Buckeyes needed a late rally in Game 2 to grab a 4-2 win, while senior lefty John Havird tossed seven strong innings in the final game to lift the home team to a 2-1 victory and sweep.
Now 11-6-1 on the year, eight of OSU’s next nine games are set to come at its home field at Bill Davis Stadium.
The NCAA tournament might have been devoid of scarlet and gray this year, but that does not mean OSU didn’t have any postseason action after its quarterfinal exit from the Big Ten tournament.
Coach Thad Matta and the Buckeyes accepted a bid into the National Invitational Tournament, where they were a No. 3 seed.
Their first draw came at the Schottenstein Center against Mid-American Conference runner-up Akron. In a tight game that featured 10 ties and 23 lead changes, it was fitting that regulation ended with the teams tied at 62.
The overtime period was all OSU, however, as the Buckeyes outscored the Zips 10-1 in the final five minutes to take a 72-63 win and earn a second-round meeting with Florida.
The matchup against the Gators proved to be a sloppy contest, with OSU shooting just 39 percent. Junior forward Marc Loving and freshman guard JaQuan Lyle combined for 39 of OSU’s 66 points, but it was not enough to top the Gators, who won 74-66, ending OSU’s tumultuous season.
Men’s ice hockey
It was Big Ten tournament time in St. Paul, Minnesota, over spring break, and the OSU men’s hockey team had as much momentum as anyone, coming in unbeaten in seven straight contests.
That momentum certainly carried over to the Buckeyes’ first-round matchup with Michigan State. A third-period goal by OSU sophomore forward Matthew Weis knotted the game up at 3, which it remained until overtime.
In that extra session, it was freshman forward Mason Jobst collecting a rebound and firing it into the net to keep OSU’s season alive for at least one more night.
But it did prove to just be one more night, as the Buckeyes were unable to hold onto a 1-0 third-period lead over top-seeded Minnesota. The Golden Gophers came alive in the final period, getting four pucks past OSU junior goalie Christian Frey. The Buckeyes tacked on a goal late, but it was not nearly enough to avoid the 4-2 season-ending defeat to the eventual Big Ten runner-ups.
After a promising 5-1 start, the then-No. 20 men’s lacrosse team faced a big test over spring break, as it had three ranked opponents on the schedule.
The Buckeyes, who could have asserted themselves nationally with a strong showing, instead stumbled, losing all three of those games.
They opened with an 8-5 loss on the road to then-No. 14 Hofstra before coming back to Columbus, where OSU fell to then-No. 10 Towson in overtime on March 15, 10-9.
At that point, the most difficult matchup still awaited the Buckeyes. OSU headed west to take on the defending national champions and top-ranked Denver. The Scarlet and Gray trailed by just one goal early on in the second half, but the Pioneers pulled away to win 15-6.
OSU, however, is set to get another chance to right the ship against a premier opponent on Saturday. The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on No. 2 Notre Dame at 1 p.m. inside Ohio Stadium.
The softball team had a successful trip to Southern California, winning four of the five games it played in San Diego, headlined by a win over then-No. 24 Fresno State. The 9-6 victory was OSU’s second over a top 25 team this season.
Fueled by a quick start, OSU (14-7) took down San Diego State 4-3 on Wednesday before playing four games in the San Diego State Tournament.
The Buckeyes dropped their opener against Long Beach State 5-3 after surrendering three runs to the 49ers in the bottom of the sixth inning. OSU bounced back, however, defeating San Jose State 8-3 on Friday.
The crown jewel of the trip was the Buckeyes’ victory over Fresno State. OSU rallied to tie the game in the fifth inning before sealing the deal in the sixth with three more runs.
OSU finished the trip off on the right note Sunday afternoon against Cal Poly. After falling behind 2-0, the Buckeyes rattled off seven unanswered runs en route to victory.
In the most recent polls, OSU was unranked but it received a few votes. But following their showing in Southern California, the Buckeyes now might break into the top 25.
Of all the teams mentioned, it is hard to argue that any is playing better than the OSU women’s lacrosse team. The No. 17 Buckeyes finished off a perfect five-game homestand with three victories over the week and a half of spring break.
The three wins were marked by stellar defense, as OSU gave up just 17 goals in the three games.
Senior midfielder Cian Dabrowski was the standout during the stretch for the Scarlet and Gray, scoring eight goals over the three contests. Senior goalie Katie Frederick came up big defensively, stopping 17 shots overall.
The wins were by scores of 11-5 over Cincinnati, 10-8 over Virginia Tech and 10-4 over Canisius.
Now with a three-game road trip ahead of it, OSU will look to keep its home success going elsewhere.