No. 4/5 Ohio State ties school record for aces, beats No. 13 USC

Photo by Vinnie Lopes

There was no letdown from No. 4/5 Ohio State.

Ohio State less than 24 hours after upsetting No. 1/1 UCLA continued to extend its season-opening winning streak as it defeated No. 13 USC 25-20, 25-21, 20-25, 18-25, 15-13 on Saturday at the First Point Collegiate Challenge in Austin, Texas.

The Buckeyes in the victory tied a single-match rally scoring era school record with 15 aces – 11 more aces than the Trojans.

Four Ohio State players had multiple aces to help the team remain undefeated.

Outside attacker Jacob Pasteur and setter Michael Wright each had a match-high four aces. Both opposite Shane Wetzel and middle attacker Justin Howard contributed two aces.

Wetzel also finished with a match-high 17 kills.

Pasteur coming off of a 23-kill and .500 attack percentage performance against UCLA was limited to less than a .100 attack percentage for the majority of the match. The Preseason All-American still had 13 kills, including four kills in the decisive fifth game.

Despite the loss, USC out-hit Ohio State .330 to .228 and had a match-best .917 attack percentage with zero errors in the fourth game. That also was the second consecutive game the Trojans hit more than .600.


Jack Deuchar led the Trojans with 14 kills on a .357 attack percentage, while Preseason All-American outside attacker Dillon Klein had 12 kills.

USC in the near upset ended with a season-high 15.5 blocks – 9.5 more blocks than Ohio State.

Middle attacker Kyle Paulson finished with a match-high 10 blocks against the Buckeyes. Klein contributed seven blocks, and Deuchar had six blocks.

Ohio State used multiple setters in the victory. Platfoot started the match and was replaced by setter Michael Wright with the Buckeyes trailing midway through the third game.

Wright had back-to-back aces late in the third game and played in the final two games.

Ohio State in the decisive fifth game held USC to a negative-.067 attack percentage.

The final game was tied at 9-9 before the Buckeyes went on a 3-0 run to take a lead that they would not relinquish. Middle attacker Ben Putnam had a kill and a block during that run and later delivered the match-winning kill.

Paulson had a game-high five blocks in the fourth game to help the Trojans force a decisive fifth game. The Trojans also held the Buckeyes to .083 attack percentage in the fourth game.

USC led by as many as seven points in the third game and hit.636 in the game to avoid the sweep.

Ohio State in the second game committed two errors and had a team-best .500 attack percentage. In addition, Wetzel led the Buckeyes with four kills as the team took a two-game lead.

USC held Ohio State to less than a .100 attack percentage midway through the opening game and had back-to-back blocks from Klein to take a one-point lead. The Buckeyes responded and retook the lead with a 4-1 run that featured an ace and a kill from Pasteur.

Pasteur finished the opening game victory with three aces and Buckeyes had six aces.

This victory extends Ohio State’s winning streak against USC to four matches dating back to 2020. The Buckeyes have eight of nine meetings against the Trojans during the 25-point rally scoring era.

The Buckeyes will now wait until Tuesday to see how high it could climb in the national media poll following its two wins this weekend.

Ohio State has not been ranked No. 1 in the national media poll since the final poll of the 2017 season when the team won the NCAA championship.