The No. 15 Buckeyes defeated Lindenwood in their redemption match Friday, evening the season series on home courts.
Ohio State (14-9, 6-3 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) won 3-1 against the Lions, showcasing the Buckeyes’ reawakened confidence and winning three-straight after their five-match losing streak earlier this month.
Junior outside hitter Jacob Pasteur led the teams in kills with a total of 24 and freshman opposite hitter Shane Wetzel led the team with a total of four blocks. redshirt senior setter Michael Wright had a total of 41 assists, and he and Pasteur both had a total of seven digs.
“One of the bigger changes is our decision-making down the stretch,” Pasteur said.
The first set was a reflection of how loud and energetic the rest of the match was.
The Buckeyes began to gain quick control over the set through a 3-point run through a sophomore middle blocker Cole Young kill and service ace, and Wetzel kill 5-2.
With a Buckeye service error for Lindenwood’s point 11, the Lions gained three-consecutive points, tying with the Buckeyes at point 13 and taking the lead 14-13.
The run was served by Lindenwood’s senior outside hitter A.J. Lewis, who had a total of seven service aces leading up to the match.
The tie at point 14 occurred through a Lindenwood service error made by Lewis and allowed the Buckeyes to get three-consecutive points with Wright serving.
Two of those points were made through Pasteur kills, hit between Lindenwood’s attempted blocks.
“When teams have great defensive plans against you, the biggest thing that you can do is just make adjustments,” Pasteur said.
After a service error and attack error were made by Lindenwood, the Lions called for a timeout while Ohio State continued to remain in the lead 21-18.
Lindenwood gained one more point while the Buckeyes gained two through an attack error by Lindenwood’s freshman opposite hitter Ian Schuller and a Wright kill before the Lions called for their second timeout of the set.
“Definitely kudos to Michael Wright,” Pasteur said. “He really is expanding his comfort zone with this team and definitely a necessary part of our success.”
The Buckeyes reached set point and won the set through two Pasteur kills 25-21.
The second set began with a Wetzel kill hitting the ground.
Both teams would tie up to point 11 as the Buckeyes went into a three-point run through a Pasteur kill, Wright service ace and Wetzel kill.
With the Buckeyes gaining four more points, Lindenwood called for their last timeout of the set at 18-12.
The Buckeyes reached set point through a Pasteur kill assisted by Wright.
A kill made by Schuller delayed Ohio State from winning the set immediately after Lindenwood missed its next serve with the Buckeyes winning the set 25-21.
Similarly to the second set, the Buckeyes gained a two-point lead at 4-2 through kills by Wetzel and redshirt senior outside hitter Jack Stevens.
The gap reached a three-point difference after an attack error was made by Lewis 9-6.
The Buckeyes began to lose steam as a four-point run for the Lions started with a Stevens service error and a bad set from Pasteur.
“You honestly don’t keep track of anything,” Poole said. “You just play volleyball.”
The Buckeyes took their first timeout of the set at 16-14, favoring the Lions.
“I think a couple of plays we tried to do a little bit too much,” Pasteur said. “Everyone’s learning how to not go quiet and going to their shells in those moments cause it’s very easy to start overthinking.”
The Buckeyes called their last timeout only four plays after, with the Buckeyes only gaining one of those points through a Wieter service error 19-15.
A Stevens service error led the Lions to win the fourth set 25-20.
“We were aggressive the entire time,” Poole said. “The score might’ve not looked like we were up here, but we were up here the entire night.”
That small spark ignited something larger coming into the fourth set.
“Even though one aspect of your game is off doesn’t mean your whole game needs to be off,” Poole said.
Ohio State used two-point runs to take the lead, and by 15-9, Lindenwood called its timeout of the fourth set.
“I think we were at a high level the entire night and we were just like, ‘OK, it’s just our ball game,’” Poole said.
A three-point run for the Buckeyes ending with a Pasteur service ace forced Lindenwood to take its last timeout of the set 18-10.
With the Buckeyes nearing the end of the match, the stands radiated the same energy as the team on the court as fans were seen clapping and screaming with every point gain.
“It was fantastic,” Pasteur said. “It was a lot of fun to be a part of.”
The Buckeyes reached set point from a Young kill assisted by Wright.
The Lions gained one more point through a redshirt freshman outsider hitter Carter Stenmark kill before Stenmark failed his serve, allowing Ohio State to win the set and the match 25-13.
The Buckeyes will face Quincy Saturday at 4 p.m., and the match will be streamed through the Big Ten Plus streaming network.
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