COLUMBUS, Ohio --- The Lees-McRae men's volleyball team fell behind early in each set of its season opener and dropped a 3-0 decision to No. 15 Ohio State, 12-25, 12-25, 14-25 at St. John's Arena in Columbus, Ohio Friday evening.
The Buckeyes (1-3) picked up their first victory of the year in their home opener after hitting an impressive 40.7%. The Bobcats (0-1) dropped their season-opening match to OSU for the second time in three seasons.
LMC kept it close early in the first set when it a service error from Buckeye freshman Driss Guessous made it a 7-4 match. OSU would rattle off a 7-0 run to put create some breathing room.
The Bobcats put up a battle following a Brady Markle kill (York, Pa.), but consecutive kills from Andrew Lutz gave OSU the set win, 25-12.
In the second set, a pair of Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) kills followed by a Lutz service error made it interesting as the Buckeyes clung to a 13-10 advantage. OSU would clamp down and finish the set on a 12-2 run to win it, 25-12. The Buckeyes hit 50% in the frame while holding LMC to a -.134 mark.
The home squad jumped out to an early 14-3 lead in the deciding set, but a Markle kill and Kevin Morrison (Norfolk, Va.) ace cut the deficit to eight, 18-10. The teams would exchange blows before OSU sealed the set and match, 25-14.
Senior Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) paced the Bobcats with nine digs while Markle collected seven. Freshman Gabriel Rivera (Cupey Bajo, Puerto Rico) impressed in his LMC debut with 15 assists.
OSU was led by Lutz with 11 kills while Danny Baker amassed eight digs. Michael Henchy enjoyed a solid night with nine kills, seven digs and two block assists.
The Bobcats seek their first victory of the season when they make the 106-mile trek across the state to Cincinnati to battle Mount St. Joseph at 1:30 p.m.