Top-Ranked Penn State Men’s Volleyball Drops Heartbreaker Against Ohio State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On Tuesday, Mar. 21, the Penn State Nittany Lions lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Ohio State Buckeyes in a men’s volleyball match that went all five sets in Rec Hall.
The Nittany Lions fell by a score of 15-13 in the final set leaving every fan on the edge of their seat.
The Buckeyes were victorious in a dominant first set where Penn State never had a lead. The scarlet and gray confidently won 25-21. Penn State then proceeded to tie the match at a set apiece by a 25-18 win in the second set.
A big help in this was Cal Fisher, who led PSU in all scoring categories which included 19 kills. However, Fisher politely declined to talk about his scoring efforts post-game.
This seven-point margin would be the largest victory by any team all night long.
The third set of this men’s volleyball game was what you would exactly expect whenever the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions meet. A tooth-and-nail set that went “punch for punch” between these two teams was taken by the Nittany lion 25-22 and gave the blue and white a 2-1 set lead over Ohio State.
The fourth was then taken by the Columbus natives by a score of 25-21 where neither side showed signs of slowing down. This set was just as entertaining as the third, but with a different outcome inside Rec Hall.
Finally, in the fifth and final set, everything seemed to be going the Nittany Lions’ way. They had the crowd on their feet and great motivation until Penn State hit the eight-point mark and the teams switched sides.
The Buckeyes came out of this quick break hotter than they ever were the whole night and quickly, a lack of communication became the Nittany Lions' downfall.
“You know we've had a very disjointed March with spring break,” Penn State head coach Mark Pavlik said. “We've got to be effort based the rest of the way and from there this group will take care of itself.”
Ohio State quickly made a run tying the set and ended up winning the entire match 3-2 by taking the set 15-13.
“We had to overcome a lot tonight and I think that's what gives me and I hope gives the guys a lot of confidence going into the next few weeks,” Ohio State head coach Kevin Burch said. “We don't have to play perfect, we just got to be able to stay tough and battle through our imperfections and good things are gonna happen.”
When the final ball hit the ground the Buckeyes were ecstatic and gave some “goodbye” waves to the blue & white student section.
Even though these two schools are not in the same conference for men’s volleyball, they will always be rivals at heart.
Chris Machado is a junior studying broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org