Penn State offense too much for Ohio State in NCAA opening round

Photo courtesy of Penn State athletics

Cole Bogner walked back to the service line in game three, and instantly the Ohio State bench began to heckle the setter about needing a toupe.

Bogner didn’t need to say anything back. Instead, the All-American simply delivered an ace to extend Penn State’s lead.

There was just no getting the EIVA Player of the Year out of the zone.

Bogner guided the offense to a .359 attack percentage as Penn State defeated Ohio State 25-22, 24-26, 25-13, 26-24 in the NCAA Tournament opening round on Tuesday in Fairfax, Virginia.

Opposite Cal Fisher led Penn State with 18 kills on a .533 attack percentage, including having a combined nine kills in the final two games. The All-American also had three aces with his final ace coming in the fourth-game overtime to set up the match-point.

Fisher was one of three Nittany Lions with more than five kills against the Buckeyes.

Outside attacker Michal Kowal had nine kills on a .500 attack percentage, while outside attacker Brett Wildman added nine kills.


Kowal also had three aces as the Nittany Lions finished with 10 aces – six more aces than the Buckeyes.

Ohio State finished with a .256 attack percentage but was hit less than .200 in each of the final two games.

Freshman opposite Shane Wetzel in the loss led all players with 20 kills on a .484 attack percentage. Ohio State middle attackers Justin Howard and Cole Young also each had seven kills and zero attack errors.

All-American outside attacker Jacob Pasteur had 16 kills but was limited to a .043 attack percentage.

Pasteur entered the NCAA Tournament in the MIVA’s top 10 with both a 3.86 kills per game average and a .320 attack percentage. The outside attacker also had at least 14 kills and a .400 attack percentage in three postseason matches.

Penn State in the victory out-blocked Ohio State 11 to 4 highlighted with middle attacker Owen Rose having a match-high eight blocks and Fisher having seven blocks.

The Nittany Lions overcame a three-point deficit midway through the fourth game and then fought off a game-point to force overtime. The team in the overtime secured the win on an attack error from Pasteur.

Penn State hit a match-best .562 and committed one error in its third-game win. In addition, the Nittany Lions ended on an 8-1 run that featured Kowal having a block, kill and an ace.

Wetzel in the second-game led all players with seven kills, including having a kill to set up a game-point for the Buckeyes.

The Nittany Lions fought off two game-points to force overtime. However, the Buckeyes responded and ended the overtime with a kill from Pasteur on an overpass to even the match.

Fisher closed out the first game with an ace and contributed three kills in the three-point win.

None of Penn State’s pin-hitters in the opening game committed an error as the Nittany Lions hit .450.

Penn State will advance to play the No. 2 overall seed Hawai’i in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Thursday.

Hawai’i earned a top-two seed and bye to the NCAA Tournament semifinals after winning the Big West Tournament championship.