Road Proven: No. 13 Loyola on road beats No. 7/7 Ohio State in five games

Photo by Vinnie Lopes

Parker Van Buren as teammates were jumping up and down celebrating seconds after the match-winning kill calmly walked onto the court to congratulate everyone.

The excitement was evident from the All-American, but there was also that same level of poise Van Buren showed throughout the match.

It was yet another big performance from Van Buren in a big conference match.

Van Buren finished with a team-high 19 kills on a .405 attack percentage as No. 13 Loyola defeated No. 13 Ohio State 25-22, 20-25, 30-28, 15-25, 15-12 on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

Van Buren led all players with five kills in the decisive fifth game to help secure the road win against the first-place Buckeyes (14-4, 8-2 MIVA). In addition, the pin-hitter had a block on the opening point of the final game to jumpstart a 3-0 run.

Loyola (11-8, 6-3 MIVA) had three players finish with more than five kills playing in front of a road crowd of 1,591 people.

Freshman outside attacker Daneil Fabikovic had 15 kills, including the match-winning kill that went through an Ohio State triple block. Middle attacker Nicodemus Meyer added seven kills and zero errors on a team-best .583 attack percentage.


Meyer also had a match-high seven blocks with two blocks coming in the final game and a game-winning block in the third-game overtime.

Despite the loss, Ohio State out-hit Loyola .366 to .339.

Ohio State opposite Shane Wetzel led all players with a season-high 24 kills on a .391 attack percentage. Outside attacker Kyle Teune contributed 12 kills and hit .556, while outside attacker Jacob Pasteur had 19 kills.

Pasteur added a match-high six aces and delivered back-to-back aces during the fourth game. This serving performance also came after Pasteur had a season-high seven aces in a sweep against No. 14 Lewis on Thursday

Ohio State finished with 10 aces – seven more aces than Loyola. However, the Buckeyes doubled the Ramblers with 24 service errors.

The Buckeyes committed three consecutive errors to start the decisive fifth game. The team was able to rally to tie the game 9-9, but then committed back-to-back errors.

Loyola closed out the match on a 6-3 and limited Ohio State to a match-low .182 attack percentage in the final game.

Ohio State opened the fourth game on a 5-1 run and led by as many as 10 points to force a fifth game. The Buckeyes hit a match-best .714 attack percentage in the game with Wetzel leading all players with six kills.

Wetzel and Pasteur in the third game each had kills on Loyola game-point opportunities to force overtime. The Buckeyes fought off three more game-points in the overtime and even had their own game-point opportunity that ended with a Wetzel service error in the net.

The Ramblers following that service error converted the next two points to close out the 10-point overtime, including having a game-winning block from Meyer and Fabikovic.

Loyola lost the second game despite committing one attack error.

Ohio State finished the game with a .483 attack percentage and had multiple kills on overpasses. In addition, Wetzel opened the game with an ace from Wetzel and the Buckeyes had three aces in the win to even the match.

Loyola and Ohio State were tied at 18-18 in the opening game before Van Buren and Fabikovic had back-to-back kills as part of a 3-0 run to give the Ramblers a lead they would not relinquish. Van Buren added another late-game kill to set up a game-point and then on the next play had a game-winning ace.

The Ramblers with this victory complete the two-series sweep against the Buckeyes. This is the first time Loyola has won both regular season matches against Ohio State since 2019.

Loyola with this victory moves into a tie for third place in the MIVA and is now one-match behind first-place No. 12 Ball State.