No. 15 Ohio State shocks No. 1/1 Penn State with walk-off ace in fifth game

Photo courtesy of Ohio State athletics

When Cole Young arrived at Ohio State, the highly touted recruit did not have a wealth of experience serving.

Most middle attackers like Young during club volleyball matches would often be subbed out for a serving specialist. With the substitution limitations in NCAA men’s volleyball requiring middle attackers to serve, though, Young has spent the last two years crafting an effective jump float serve.

All that work resulted in a new iconic moment in the Penn State and Ohio State rivalry.

Young with the decisive fifth-game tied at 13-13 delivered back-to-back aces to complete the upset as No. 15 Ohio State defeated No. 1/1 Penn State 25-21, 18-25, 22-25, 25-21, 15-13 on Tuesday in University Park, Pennsylvania.


Ohio State (13-9, 5-3 MIVA) rallied from a three-point deficit midway through the fifth game en route to its first win against a No. 1 ranked team since 2016. The Buckeyes also trailed the finale 13-12 before a kill from outside attacker Jacob Pasteur tied the game and brought Young back to the service line.

Pasteur finished with 12 kills and was one of three Buckeyes with double-digit kills.

Opposite Shane Wetzel had both a team-high 15 kills and three aces against Penn State (18-3, 4-0 EIVA). Outside attacker Jack Stevens contributed 12 kills on a .375 attack percentage, including three kills in the final game.

Along with the late-match serving performance, Young had eight kills and hit .308.

Penn State in the loss out-hit Ohio State .342 to .314 and had more than a .350 attack percentage in three of the four final games. The Nittany Lions also limited the Buckeyes to a team-low .176 attack percentage in the fifth game.

Penn State opposite Cal Fisher led all players with both five aces and 19 kills on a .500 attack percentage. Fisher, though, was the only Penn State pin-hitter to have double-digit kills or hit more than .200.

Middle attacker Toby Ezeonu had 10 kills on a .692 attack percentage, while middle attacker Owen Rose had nine kills, zero errors and also hit .692.

This loss for Penn State comes a day after it jumped to No. 1 in the national coaches poll for the first time in 14 years. Penn State for the second consecutive week was ranked No. 1 in the Off the Block National Media Poll that was released Tuesday before the match.