Nittany Lions Swept for Second Straight Night
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — No. 7 Penn State has slipped into a two-game losing streak after being swept by Ohio State at home on Saturday night. The Nittany Lions have lost two straight at home, falling to 4-4 on the season.
Penn State looked to start this game off strong after losing in three sets to Ball State the night prior. Ohio State, on the other hand, came into this game wanting to make a case to jump into the national rankings.
This matchup took place in the Nittany Lions’ typical gym in Rec Hall, as Friday’s match with Ball State took place in the South Gym due to a gymnastics event going on the main gym. Coach Pavlik touched on this and said that the different arenas should not have been an impact on the outcome of the game.
Penn State won its last matchup against Ohio State in March in three sets. The Buckeyes were seeking revenge from last season, and the Nittany Lions were looking for a bounce-back win. Both of these motives combined to form a recipe for a great Saturday night matchup.
The first set started off close and featured some impressive kills from Penn State’s Brett Wildman and Ohio State’s Reese Devilbiss. The Buckeyes led by a narrow 16-15 margin at one point until they went on a 4-0 run with multiple errors from Penn State, making it 20-15. Penn State climbed back, but it wasn’t enough, as Ohio State finished the set with a 25-22 victory.
The second set mirrored the first as it also finished 25-22. Although the score was close, the second set was complete dominance by the Buckeyes. Penn State’s offensive unit had many powerful kills from Wildman and Calvin Mende, but they were not powerful enough for Ohio State’s elite front-net defense.
The third and final set was tight for its entire duration, as Ohio State and Penn constantly traded points. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, they were unable to lead once during the set, losing 26-24. Ohio State’s Devilbiss and Martin Lallemand played huge roles in the final minutes of this matchup.
Penn State could have easily won this matchup if it were not for many unforced errors. They had a combined total of 38 errors, 16 of which came from service and many others from the attack. There were points throughout each match where Penn State could have easily taken the lead, but a subsequent error caused the momentum to shift back to Ohio State. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, constantly capitalized on Penn State’s errors, resulting in the road victory.
Ohio State will take on UC Santa Barbara next week, while Penn State will look to get back above .500 with a win over Long Beach State on Feb. 7.
Austin Groft is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.