March 3, 2024
No. 1 Men’s Volleyball Suffers 3-2 Setback to No. 15 Ohio State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 1 Penn State suffered a 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 22-25, 25-21, 15-13) setback to No. 15 Ohio State in a non-conference men’s volleyball match Tuesday night at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions fell to 18-3 overall, while the Buckeyes upped their record to 13-9.
 
Penn State and Ohio State split the two-match season series. The Lions won 3-1 in Columbus in January. Tuesday marked the 120th match in the all-time series between the teams.
 
Cal Fisher had a big match in a losing effort, hitting .500 with 19 kills, five aces, and six digs. The Lions hit .342 as a team behind 48 assists from Cole Bogner. Middle blockers Toby Ezeonu and Owen Rose each hit .692 with 10 and nine kills, respectively.
 
Penn State was hampered by 18 attack errors despite just one block by Ohio State.
 
Shane Wetzel had 15 kills to lead a trio of Buckeyes that reached double-digits in the category. Jack Stevens and Jacob Pasteur added 12 kills apiece. Stevens tallied his kill total while hitting .375.
 
The last time Ohio State and Penn State played when one of the teams was ranked first in the nation was on March 28, 2017. The 13th-ranked Lions upset the Buckeyes in five sets at Rec Hall.
 
Set 1
Ohio State jumped out to a 6-1 lead before recording its first attack and went on to win 25-21 in the opening set. Stevens led the way for the Buckeyes with four kills on five swings. Penn State got within two at 14-12, but Ohio State upped its lead to as much as seven at 22-15.
 
Set 2
Penn State came alive in set two, hitting .577 behind 13 assists from Bogner on its way to a 25-18 win. Brett Wildman paced the attack with five kills on .833 hitting. Ezeonu was perfect on his three swings, while Michael Valenzi started the set and had four kills. The Lions never trailed in the set after storming out to a 9-2 lead. Valenzi had four kills on his first four swings to help grab that seven-point lead.
 
Set 3
Bogner added another 12 assists and Penn State hit .455 in a 25-22 set-three win. The Lions trailed 16-12 before going on a 4-0 run to tie the score. Valenzi, Wildman, and Rose all had kills during the run. The Lions took the lead at 18-17 on a block by Valenzi and Rose. The teams traded points as they battled to a 21-21 tie before the Lions went on a 3-0 run thanks to two Ohio State errors and an ace by Ezeonu. Rose eventually clinched the set with a kill.
 
Set 4
Wetzel helped Ohio State tie the match with a 25-21 win in the fourth set, hitting .714 with five kills. The Buckeyes used a 3-0 run to go up 12-9 and then another 3-0 run to take a 21-15 lead. Pasteur eventually sent the match to a fifth set with a kill.
 
Set 5
Penn State looked poised to avoid the upset as it took an 8-5 lead before the teams switched sides. Fisher had three kills and two aces to help the Lions take the three-point lead. The Lions still led 11-9 before Ohio State went on a 3-0 run thanks to a service error, attack error, and a kill by Pasteur to take a 12-11 edge. Ezeonu stepped up with a kill and a solo block to give the Lions a 13-12 lead, but the Buckeyes closed the match with a 3-0 run. It started with a kill by Pasteur and ended with a pair of aces by Cole Young.
 
Up Next
Penn State travels to Harvard for a pair of EIVA matches on March 31-April 1. The Crimson are 6-10 overall and 0-4 in the EIVA.