It took more than two years and a breakout offensive performance to put an end to No. 4/4 Ohio State’s conference winning streak.
All-American outside attacker Ryan Coenen had a match-high 21 kills and hit .514 as No. 9/8 Lewis swept Ohio State 25-18, 25-22, 25-23 on Thursday in Romeoville, Illinois, to end the Buckeyes’ 38-match MIVA winning streak.
“He’s been steady good for us all season, but hasn’t had a match like that,” Lewis coach Dan Friend said in a postmatch interview with Off the Block. “[Coenen] just keeps staying the course and we keep working on little things to make him better.”
Coenen, who is third in the MIVA with a 3.66 kills per game average, was the only Flyer to have more than eight kills against the two-time defending NCAA championships.
All-MIVA setter Matt Yoshimoto guided the offense to out-hit Ohio State .373 to .338. The Flyers (10-4, 4-1 MIVA) also had a match-best .632 attack percentage and committed zero attack errors in the second game.
Ohio State (11-3, 4-1 MIVA) and Lewis entered this match leading the MIVA and in the nation’s top 10 with team each having more than a .310 attack percentage this season.
Freshman opposite Jake Hanes in the loss led Ohio State with 16 kills, while All-American outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen added 12 kills on a .500 attack percentage.
Ohio State finished with 17 service errors — five more than Lewis. In addition, the Buckeyes following a Flyers timeout and trailing 24-23 in the third game had a chance to force an overtime but committed a service error on match-point.
This was the first tim Ohio State lost a MIVA match since losing to Ball State in February 2016. Ohio State during that winning streak had defeated Lewis five times.
With this victory, Lewis now moves into a tie with Ohio State for first place in the MIVA.
Ohio State will continue its Illinois road trip as it plays No. 8/7 Loyola on Saturday. Lewis will resume its home stand with a match against McKendree on Saturday.