Around the Oval: Men's Volleyball Drops Title Rematch to BYU, Women's Tennis Competes in Ann Arbor and More

By Jimmy Longo on January 15, 2018 at 1:05 pm
Nicolas Szerszen
via Ohio State Athletics

Before, after and during Ohio State basketball's successful run over the last week, other Ohio State sports have been doing the same.

MVB drops title game rematch to BYU

With graduated veterans and new faces emerging into a title-defending lineup, the target on the back of the Ohio State men's volleyball team is larger than ever. That was none the more evident against the BYU Cougars on Saturday night at St. John Arena, as the Cougars dealt the Buckeyes their first loss of the season in a five-set triumph.

It was all the more statement game for the Cougars, as the Buckeyes have defeated them in the national title game for two straight years. Alas, it's still the regular season and the Buckeyes have their number come tournament time, but the loss for Ohio State still counts.

The loss to BYU was the second straight night at which OSU had to try and down a top 10 opponent; the Buckeyes defeated Stanford in four sets Friday night, 25-18, 25-22, 22-25 and 25-23. Nicolas Szerszen led the way for the Buckeyes against The Cardinal with 17 kills and a .438 attacking percentage. 

Service errors were the Achilles heel for the Buckeyes against BYU — Ohio State had over a set's worth of points lost on them with 28 total on the night. 

After winning the first set despite 11 of those service errors, Ohio State had to battle back as BYU won the next two for a commanding match lead. The fourth set saw four lead changes and 13 ties throughout it, with the breathing room in the set coming off four service aces for Sanil Thomas at 15-15.

Though after the all important fourth set, the Buckeyes ran out of steam in the deciding one, as the Cougars blew by Ohio State for a 15-8 fifth set victory.

Maxime Hervoir and Szerszen led the way for the Buckeyes in the effort, having 20 and 19 kills respectively.

Women's Tennis Starts 2018 campaign in ann arbor

The first action of 2018 for the 13th-ranked Ohio State women's tennis was on display in Ann Arbor last weekend as the Buckeyes competed in the Michigan Invitational against the Wolverines and a bevy of other schools.

In singles, Andrea Ballinger highlighted the stat sheet for the Buckeyes as she finished the weekend with a 2-1 slate. 

The junior from Columbus defeated Gabriel Tenorio of Texas Tech 6-3, 6-0 on day one before downing Michigan's Alex Najarian 7-6, 6-4 the following day. The lone setback for Ballinger came from a three set heartbreaker to Kara Hall of Michigan. 

Newcomer Emma DeCoste started her Buckeye career with a win in singles and doubles. The freshman from Stuart, FL who just joined the Buckeyes for spring semester defeated Najarian 6-2, 7-6 on day one of competition before teaming up with Danielle Wolf and defeating the Wolverine tandem of Mira Ruder-Hook and Bella Lorenzini 6-0. DeCoste 1-1 overall in singles for the weekend.

Yoder pommels way to two individual titles

The No. 3 Ohio State men's gymnastics team competed at the Rocky Mountain Open in Colorado Spring, CO last weekend, taking home a second-place finish with a score of 405.5.

They were led along the way by junior Alec Yoder — the all-around performer won two individual titles in the still rings and the pommel horse.

Yoder dusted the rest of the competition in the pommel — he was the only competitor to score over a 15 in the competition with a 15.050. After the pommel performance, Yoder finished with a 14.700 on still rings for a back-to-back winning show. 

After finishing second to Nebraska in the overall team race, the Buckeyes will get another chance to show their skills as they head to Lincoln on Saturday for a dual meet with the Huskers.

T&F compete in Lexington

Ohio State track and field went down to the University of Kentucky and claimed numerous golds against a full slate of other schools and professional competitors.

Reynoldsburg native Karrington Winter registered the fastest 400 meter time in the nation to date, running 53.41 for gold in the event. Her time is registered as the fifth-fastest in school history. Later, she'd compete on the 4x4 relay team that would capture another gold and another nation leading time in 3:34.92.

Alongside Winters in the race was freshman Syaira Richardson (55.0), sophomore Halimah Barlow (53.5) and anchored by Maggie Barrie in 53.0.

Led by last week's Big Ten track athlete of the week Nick Gray, the men won the 4x4 relay as well in a time of 3:12.88. 

The field events had Ohio State competitors at the top of the leaderboard as well.

Nick Demaline won the shot put with a score of 18.73 meters. Ohio State had five of the top nine finishers in the event alone. Sade Olatoye threw 16.30 meters for second place in the women's shot put after throwing 20.65 meters for second place in the weight throw the night before. Aaron Zedella led the men in that event with a second place finish and a 21.59 throw.

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