Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Sydney Snider, OCJ FFA reporterAs a student who grew up around FFA and agricultural education, Luke Jennings knows the impact the organization has on students and communities.“I have been around FFA my whole life,” said Jennings, a freshman member of the Felicity-Franklin FFA Chapter. “And I have seen how it has changed so many lives.” Jennings’ mom is the FFA advisor and agricultural education teacher at Felicity-Franklin high school, located in Clermont County. The impact of FFA is what led Jennings to apply for the 2018 Culver’s essay program. The program asks students to explain what the most recent National FFA theme means to them. This past year’s theme was “I Can. We Will.”In his essay, Jennings wrote, “If we believe in the future of agriculture, then we must become advocates for agriculture. As the world’s population is rapidly growing and is approaching 10 billion people by 2050, we agriculturists must feed and clothe these people. It is estimated that less than 2 percent of the population are involved in the production of food. To end world hunger, to feed the world and to put agriculture back in the spotlight, we must raise agriculturists. Maybe I can feed 50 people as a single farmer, but together we will feed the entire planet.”Each year, Culver’s selects three essays to receive award money: $7,500 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place. The money goes to the student’s chapter to support FFA trips and event costs.Jennings was named the first place winner this year and was overwhelmed with joy. “When I found out I won I was actually in the car on the way to an orthodontist appointment and my mom got a call saying that they really, really liked my essay,” said Jennings who was shocked that he won. “When I submitted my essay I did not really think I had much of a shot. Besides I was only an eighth grader and there were hundreds of submissions from across the country written by people of all ages. I was just at a loss of words.”The award money will help cut down costs for the chapter to attend the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis this coming October. Jennings is proud that his essay will help more students from his home chapter expereince national convention.“In my small community, the poverty line is very high. I wanted to participate in this essay contest to hopefully allow more students to experience the things they normally wouldn’t have been able to do. Last year, my chapter took over 60 students to national convention for a five-day trip. I hope my contributions will be able to increase this number,” said Jennings, who added that the goal is for his chapter to take 80 members to national convention.Jennings believes more students should participate in the Culver’s essay program because of the lasting impact it can have.“First of all, I would like to say how thankful I am for Culver’s support of American agriculture and FFA. Secondly, I would like to say that anything can happen,” he said. “Even if you don’t think you can win, anything is possible. I was so honored to win this contest as an eighth grader against so many older participants. Even though personally you don’t gain any money from this contest, the money your chapter receives will benefit so many more people.”Jennings ended his first place essay by stating that the essay theme, “I Can. We Will.” is more than a theme, “it is a mindset and attitude that everyone across the world needs.”The Ohio FFA Association congratulates Jennings on his first place essay! If you would like more information on the Culver’s essay program, visit www.culvers.com/essaycontest.
German shipping major Hapag-Lloyd has added a new 15,000 TEU containership Afif to its fleet, strengthening its presence in South Korea.The company informed that the 150,800 gross ton vessel “was delivered in perfect condition to Hapag-Lloyd and is already making its way to Pusan.”Featuring a length of 368 meters and a width of 51 meters, the new ultra large containers vessel (ULCVs) is the first ship of this class painted in Hapag-Lloyd colors and design, according to the company.By merging with Dubai-based United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), Hapag-Lloyd is strengthening its position as the fifth-largest liner shipping company in the world.Its 230 vessels sailing across the world have a total transport capacity of approximately 1.6 million TEU. The average capacity of the ships is thereby growing by roughly 1,000 TEU, from 5,860 to 6,839 TEU.With the merger, Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet was strengthened with 15,000 TEU+ ships. Before the move, the largest ships in Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet were the ten Hamburg Express-class vessels, each with capacities of around 13,200 TEU.Image Courtesy: Hapag-Lloyd
The modern Champions League has not been a hospitable competition for underdogs. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have won the last four trophies, and the closest thing to an upset winner in recent years was Chelsea in 2012. This season, though, might be different.Sure, Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid are all still in it. But no team left in the Champions League is historically dominant. Expected goals, a statistical measure of the quality of scoring chances a team creates and concedes, rates Barcelona as the top team in this year’s competition, but one with only a 28 percent change of winning the tournament.1All of the data in this article is current through April 10.This year’s Barcelona, however, does not make the top 10 list of expected goals difference for clubs since 2010-11. With fewer truly great teams in the mix, an upset winner is that much more likely. Here’s what to expect.Borussia Dortmund (60 percent chance of advancing) vs. Monaco (40 percent)With a position atop the Ligue 1 table, an impressive defeat of Manchester City in the round of 16, and an incredible 103 goals scored between Ligue 1 and the Champions League, Monaco might appear to have the resume of a quarterfinal favorite. However, Monaco’s numbers require some caution. Despite leading to 90 nonpenalty goals this season, the chances Monaco has created have been worth only about 58 expected goals (xG), according to the soccer stats-tracker Opta. Scoring 33 more goals than expected is unprecedented in the last few years. No other club has even beaten expected goals by 20 or more at this point in the season since 2010-11. While it is not terribly unusual for top teams to outperform their expected goals — top teams tend to have better finishers — Monaco is finishing chances better than any of Lionel Messi’s teams ever did.If Monaco’s goal scoring falls off, Dortmund should be well prepared to take advantage. Since returning from the winter break, Dortmund has been dominant, collecting 1.2 more xG per match than their opponents, compared with only a +0.7 margin before the break. With underlying numbers to match its goals difference and a recent spike in performance, Dortmund looks like the more likely semifinalist.In either case, this should be one of the most exciting matches of the round. Both Monaco and Dortmund depend on pace and quick-hitting attacks — both clubs lead their respective leagues in shot attempts following moves of two passes or fewer. While Thomas Tuchel may attempt to impose more control on the match than Pep Guardiola did against Monaco in the round of 16, the game is likely to be a fast-paced and attacking affair.Barcelona (65 percent) vs. Juventus (35 percent)This rematch of the 2015 Champions League final features the best attack-vs.-defense matchup of the round. This season Barcelona has created the second-most clear scoring chances (116), as defined by Opta, in the big five leagues, while Juventus has conceded the fewest clear scoring chances (20).Barcelona is well known for an attacking style that favors making the extra pass to create the highest-quality scoring chances, rather than trying to shoot the ball from far out. Juventus, under managers Max Allegri and Antonio Conte, has developed a defensive strategy that mirrors Barcelona’s attacking play. The Italian side focuses on defensive structure in order to prevent the same kinds of clear chances that Barca aims to create. A list of the best defensive seasons since 2010-11, judging teams by the number of quality chances they concede, shows Juventus dominating. And this year Juventus is preventing clear chances at its best rate ever, allowing only about one every other match.Barcelona was able to break through Juventus’ defense in the 2015 final just as Bayern Munich did during last year’s knockout stages. But in both of those cases, it took a top performance from one of the world’s best attacks to win the tie. Barcelona is rightly favored, but any slight drop-off in execution could see the Catalan side stymied by Juventus’ defense.Bayern Munich (71 percent) vs. Real Madrid (29 percent)ESPN’s Soccer Power Index rating gives a big boost to Bayern Munich based on the German side’s superior defensive numbers. Bayern has conceded just 23 goals in 36 matches between the Bundesliga and Champions League, while Real has conceded 43 in 38 matches. Some of this difference disappears when you look at expected goals, which drops Real’s total to 37. But it is not enough to erase it all.The two sides not only see different defensive outcomes, but they also play significantly different styles when out of possession. Carlo Ancelotti has his Bayern squad playing the high-pressing style preached by Pep Guardiola. When Bayern turns the ball over in midfield, it breaks up their opponents’ next possession within three passes about 55 percent of the time, the second-highest rate in the Bundesliga. Real Madrid, by contrast, defends much more passively, breaking up opposition possession in only about 45 percent of cases, 12th in La Liga.It is not that Real Madrid has been particularly poor defensively, but its more passive defensive style seems like a major risk against Bayern. Under manager Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid has been an outlier among top clubs in not embracing the new, analytics-minded strategy of pressing on defense. It will be interesting to see if Real’s more old-fashioned defensive style can work. If Real fails to unsettle Bayern early in a possession, that would give time on the ball to central midfielders Arturo Vidal and Thiago Alcantara. That outcome would be risky at best for Real. Thiago in particular is having a great season, leading the Bundesliga with 96 progressive passes and runs. (These are defined as passes which advance the ball through midfield over 10 yards beyond where the possession had reached, or runs which progress similarly while eliminating a defender on the dribble.) Real Madrid may need to adjust its pressing rate to protect the defense from Bayern’s passers if it means to make it to another Champions League final.Atletico Madrid (75 percent) vs. Leicester City (25 percent)Leicester City presents something of a conundrum to any projection system, having won five of six league matches since sacking manager Claudio Ranieri. The club’s performances under new manager Craig Shakespeare have not been quite as good as its unbeaten record suggests — despite outscoring opponents in the league and CL by a combined 17-8, Leicester’s expected goals difference is just 10.3-9.1. But Leicester has produced more expected goals than its opponents in five of its seven matches after running negative in expected goal difference under Ranieri. It is certainly possible that Leicester will continue performing at this higher level under Shakespeare.However, it is hard to identify any key changes Shakespeare made. Leicester City remains the highest-tempo team in the Premier League, with more possessions per match than anyone else. The Foxes still work best without the ball, managing the same 42 percent possession rate as under Ranieri. What seems to have changed is not Leicester’s style of play, but the effectiveness of it. This is the sort of change, not linked to any obvious tactical shift, that analysts tend to be skeptical of. It might just be form, in which case the large SPI advantage to Atletico Madrid may be correct.For Atletico, this persistent Leicester style may present a problem. Atleti prefers to concede possession and play off the ball, especially against top opponents. But while Atletico is unusual in the Champions League for its roughly 50 percent possession rate, Leicester at 42 percent is more extreme. Atletico will likely need to adjust its typical knockout strategy and make use of ball possession to get past Leicester, even if the Foxes’ current run of form may not be entirely sustainable.Check out our club soccer predictions.
The 51 receivers on the chart above average a scoring strike every 157.1 yards. Jones averages a TD for every 262 yards he accumulates, which is the third most extreme discrepancy in the sample.2Only Vincent Jackson and Willie Snead have Jones beat here, with 343.6 and 270 yards per touchdown respectively. The Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant, meanwhile, leads all receivers in fewest yards per touchdown, 92.7, but that’s probably no accident: Bryant has long made it clear that he expects a big portion of the touchdown glory — or someone, possibly everyone, is going to hear about it.Jones’s scoring woes almost defy explanation. Receivers who thirst for touchdowns are generally undersized players who do their damage between the 20s. But Jones is one of the game’s largest targets at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. He’s also one of the position’s best athletes, crushing his scouting combine in speed, jumping ability and agility. It’s tough to imagine a better receiver his size on the NFL boundaries when it comes to getting both feet down inbounds and defying gravity in the process. If an NFL quarterback were to design a perfect red-zone weapon in a lab, he would look a lot like Jones.Incredibly, Jones’s lack of scoring seems to be by design. His percentage of QB Matt Ryan’s targets drops steadily the closer Atlanta gets to the goal line: from 32.8 percent of passes when the Falcons are at least 80 yards from the end zone to just a little more than half that — 16.7 percent — when they’re in the red zone. Julio Jones is unlike most other star receivers. He doesn’t scream at his quarterback or sulk or throw a tantrum when passes don’t come his way. He’s happy to share the wealth with his teammates. In short, he’s no diva.But if any NFL wide receiver has earned the right to complain on the sidelines, it’s Jones. The Falcons star hasn’t scored a touchdown this season — and in fact has underperformed his whole career when it comes to scoring. His touchdown rate has never come close to matching his outsized production everywhere else on the field. So maybe the Falcons — who have scored just 17 points in each of their past two games (both losses) heading into their Super Bowl rematch with the Patriots on Sunday — would actually benefit from Jones flipping a Gatorade cooler or two.Since 2014, Jones has been nothing short of unstoppable. He’s been the NFL’s most productive receiver when measured by yards per game, the second best in terms of receptions per game and the third best in yards per target.1Among all wide receivers and tight ends who have averaged at least 50 yards in at least 25 games since 2014. In those three-plus seasons, he’s averaging 104.8 yards but a ho-hum 0.4 touchdowns per game, which is roughly the same as less-heralded wideouts such as Allen Hurns, Emmanuel Sanders and Jordan Matthews. For an elite receiver, Jones is solidly middle-of-the-pack in touchdown production: Last Sunday, Atlanta lost to the Dolphins in the final minute when Ryan forced a pass in double coverage to second-year tight end Austin Hooper (36 career catches) instead of giving Jones a chance to make a play. The result was a game-ending interception at the Miami 6-yard line. While Jones said nothing, head coach Dan Quinn made it clear that he wasn’t pleased with bypassing his team’s best weapon.Atlanta’s strange unwillingness to use its best receiver has now spanned three offensive coordinators. When the current one, Steve Sarkisian, was handed the keys to the offense that in 2016 led the NFL in scoring, he saw one major area where the unit could improve.“Is there a way to get Julio more touches in the red zone and finding those matchups?” Sarkisian said at the time.The answer, apparently, is “no.”Check out our latest NFL predictions.
CHICAGO – How does the Big Ten regain the respect of the rest of the college football nation? First-year Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said it’s pretty simple. “(We) have to win bowl games,” he said. “That’s the bottom line in all of this is to win.” The Big Ten’s bowl record in the last decade, however, would suggest that it’s something easier said than done. With a 34-51 bowl record since 2000, the conference has struggled to assert itself on the national scene while Meyer’s former league, the Southeastern Conference, has flourished during the same period. Nationally, the reality of bowl wins and losses may be fueling the idea that Big Ten football is – and has been for some time – an outdated art; a mired, old approach to football, and has been surpassed. And, despite its efforts, the Big Ten’s recent bowl performances hasn’t helped matters. In last season’s bowls, the conference recorded a 4-6 mark that watched traditional powers OSU, Penn State, Wisconsin and Nebraska all lose in their respective bowl games. For the SEC, however, last year was its sixth consecutive national championship and it’s eighth since the inception of the Bowl Championship Series in 1998. Locally, OSU has historically struggled in battling against its southern brethren -especially on the sport’s biggest stage. The Buckeyes are 0-8 against the SEC in bowl games – a lone victory came in a 31-26 triumph in the 2011 Sugar Bowl against Arkansas. That game has since been wiped from the record books in accordance with an NCAA-ordered vacation of wins from OSU’s 2010 season. Meyer said in his own experiences now at OSU, he’s noticed that the SEC may have an advantage in overall team speed. “I notice it on special teams. In spring practice I noticed that,” Meyer said. “So I just think overall athleticism right now we’re a little bit behind.” That need for speed, though, is something Meyer said he is addressing. “We’re recruiting with that motive, with that intention and I’m real proud to say it’s going very well,” he said. Michigan coach Brady Hoke, who will open this season at defending national champion and SEC powerhouse, Alabama, said it’s hard to paint the entire conference as inferior to the speed and athleticism of the SEC. “I think it’s a hard question, really, to even answer. Because I think everybody’s different. I think when people make the mistake of lumping the conference in not having speed or whatever it might be,” Hoke said. “When we’re playing the reigning national champion, they’re a terrific football team and they’ve done terrific things. We’re excited about the opportunity to go into a great venue, different venue, obviously, and go line up and see what happens.” Similarly, while Meyer said he would benefit from another year of familiarizing himself with the teams and players in the Big Ten, the former Florida coach said he anticipates that “winning is not that far off.” “The coaches in this conference would know much better than I would. I’ll know more obviously next year when you ask that same question. I’ll have a much better understanding because I’ll be in the stadiums and I’ll know the teams much better,” Meyer said. “But I know one thing: I’ve watched enough film this summer, there’s some very good teams in this conference.”
OSU men’s basketball coach Thad Matta in an Oct. 8 interview with The LanternCredit: Franz Ross / Lantern TV station managerThe NCAA and Big Ten are undergoing major changes, and Thad Matta has taken notice even though he has just over a month to prepare his team for its season opener.The Ohio State men’s basketball coach sat down with The Lantern on Wednesday to discuss his thoughts on paying players, the strength of Big Ten basketball and the upcoming Buckeye basketball season.Players ‘given a lot,’ but still deservingWhen the Ed O’Bannon trial — which went up against the NCAA’s use of student-athlete likenesses — ended over the summer, one thing was clear: student-athletes will be paid in the future.With the decision, players could earn up to $5,000 a year based off the athletic department’s income, which would be a significant change. But for Matta, “it is what it is.”“I understand where the players come from, I think that it’s probably a good thing in terms of what these guys are asked to do,” Matta said of the potential for paying players.He said student-athletes have different expectations that average students wouldn’t necessarily need to worry about, especially when it comes to start times for games running late at night.“So these guys are asked to do a lot that … a normal student isn’t,” Matta said.While student-athletes do not earn a salary or receive pay from their universities, most — especially at a Division I school like OSU — receive extensive financial aid and support, including coverage of the school’s tuition costs.“Now, they’re given a lot, don’t get me wrong on that,” Matta said. “But I think from the standpoint of trying to help these guys out a little bit, I’m all for it.”The O’Bannon decision came just weeks before the Big Ten proposed changes to the NCAA that would include schools being required to cover the full cost of attendance for student-athletes. It would also require schools to guarantee scholarships for a full four years and allow players to return to the university later on to complete their degree if they leave school before graduating.On Wednesday, the conference released a statement saying the decision to guarantee scholarships through degree completion had become official.Matta said he’s found it amusing to hear about other schools announcing they would guarantee scholarships because “Ohio State’s being doing it for years.”“I think that’s kind of the beauty of what this university stands for, where they want to take care of those that have given to the program,” Matta said. “I laughed when I saw schools announcing that and I’m reading it and I’m saying, ‘We’ve been doing this for 10 years and nobody ever knew about it.’”‘Now they’re getting like college basketball’In recent years, football in the Big Ten has not been at its peak.The same can’t be said about basketball, and said he’s perfectly aware of how strong the conference is on the hardwood.“It is what it is, and going into my 11th season now, the one thing I’ve learned about being in the Big Ten is there’s no game on your conference schedule that you look at and say, ‘I know we’re going to win this game,’” he said. “But I think that brings out the best in coaching. I think that brings out the best in your players.”In most years, the teams playing for the NCAA football championship will have no losses, or at most, two. In college basketball, that is rarely the case as the rankings flip-flop throughout the season and teams rise and fall.Over the weekend, the landscape of college football took a shift when five of the top 10 teams in the Associated Press top 25 poll lost, making for an almost completely new set of teams slotting in at No. 2 through No. 5 — and Matta took notice.“I thought it was funny Saturday when I looked at the college football scores, I said, ‘Ahh, now they’re getting like college basketball,’” Matta said. “When (five) of the top 10 teams lose, the competitiveness across the country is becoming what we deal with on a daily basis.”He also said the strength of Big Ten basketball in the collegiate landscape is — at least in part — because of the locations of the schools in the conference compared to where the hotbeds for basketball are throughout the country.“Some of the all-time greatest players are from the Midwest,” he said. “Well, that’s where the Big Ten’s located and I think that’s something a lot of people forget about.”For OSU, being located in the Midwest can be a plus when it comes to recruiting, even in the Buckeyes’ own backyard.There are currently four Ohio natives listed on the OSU’s men’s basketball roster — freshman forward Jae’Sean Tate, sophomore forward Marc Loving, freshman center David Bell and senior forward Jake Lorbach. Aside from Lorbach, each of those players were recruited by Matta to OSU from in the state, but the OSU coach said he doesn’t necessarily focus on recruiting Ohio players unless they are a good fit.“Would I like to recruit inside 270 every year? Yeah, it would save my body a lot of wear and tear on travel,” Matta said. “But you have to go find the players that are going to fit the university, that are going to fit your system and are going to fit the needs that you have.”OSU is scheduled to begin its season Nov. 14 against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell at the Schottenstein Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Ohio State then-freshman safety Isaiah Pryor (14) takes down UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers in the third quarter of the Ohio State- UNLV game on Sep. 23. Ohio State won 54- 21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThere’s safety in numbers.Or at least, there should be. Ohio State has an opening in its defensive backfield at the field safety position opposite junior safety Jordan Fuller. Despite having three people competing for the position, head coach Urban Meyer said he views the position battle as the No. 1 concern for his team exiting spring practices because no one has made any noticeable separation to this point.“We’re just not quite sure who that is,” Meyer said after the Spring Game. “[Defensive coordinators Greg] Schiano and Alex Grinch, we’re going to meet probably next Wednesday and they’re going to give me a depth chart and we’ll go from there.”One of the many positions vacated by a senior from last season, safety has not been a major debate for Ohio State in past seasons. Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell, both now in the NFL, held the roles in 2015. Damon Webb and Malik Hooker were viewed as the clear starters in the 2016 season, and while Fuller split snaps with Erick Smith across the field from Webb in 2017, Fuller soon overtook Smith. Now, there’s three players — sophomores Isaiah Pryor and Brendon White, as well as redshirt sophomore Jahsen Wint — battling against one another for the opening. Pryor, the No. 8 safety in the 2017 recruiting class according to 247Sports composite rankings, entered the spring considered by many to be the favorite to grab the position. Meyer said on March 26 those were the only three competing for the spot, but also suggested freshmen Marcus Hooker — Malik’s younger brother — and Josh Proctor could put themselves into the fight as well.Almost three weeks after that, Schiano still refused to rule those two players out.“Around here, there’s no freshman, sophomore, junior. I mean, if you’re the best guy, you’ll play,” Schiano said after the Spring Game. “There’s a guy by the name of Hooker too that’s coming to town. Who knows? Somebody in his family played that position pretty well.”Hearing the coaches talk about the position battles for the upcoming year, it becomes apparent that the second safety position could be the last decided on defense. The coaching staff appears to have several players in mind for the two linebacker openings.But safety, a position that had an early frontrunner in Pryor, now might not have an answer until the end of the summer.“I know we [won’t] come out of spring with a clear-cut guy,” Schiano said. “The competition will continue into training camp and I’m confident we’ll have two guys that start that game that will be game-ready. It’s developing depth behind it that will be the challenge.”It remains to be seen how that depth will shake out. Even if Pryor separates himself from the rest of the pack, it is unknown how White and Wint will be as backup options.White was burned several times in coverage during Saturday’s Spring Game. And while Wint appeared to have a solid Spring Game performance, he is the only former three-star recruit of the group. There also is four-star safety Amir Riep, who despite coming in with lofty expectations, has not been mentioned as someone ready to start.Part of what has made Ohio State successful in the past with developing young members of the secondary was the ability to plug incoming freshmen onto special teams and have them gain in-game experience while waiting for their chance to shine. If Meyer’s concern over the group of safeties is warranted, some of the freshmen might be in a position where one injury could force them to play meaningful snaps, which is a less-than-ideal situation.But Schiano did not seem worried after the Spring Game. “I do feel we have guys that can play, but you would always like — it’s cleaner if you come out with a guy that established himself,” Schiano said. “It’s not that none of them show things. They did. It’s just none of them showed it that much more than the other that you can say, ‘That’s the guy.’”Regardless of if the talent necessitates the concern, it is not an optimal position for Ohio State. The Buckeyes will leave spring camp unsure who even the top two people are at a key position on the defense. Ohio State’s track record of developing players in the defensive backfield should provide belief that the void will be filled. There is typically safety in numbers. Yet, Ohio State will find more safety if it can narrow that number down to one sooner rather than later.
Then-junior setter Sanil Thomas sets the ball during the second set of No. 3 Ohio State’s match against No. 8 Penn State on Jan. 28, 2018 in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes defeated the Nittany Lions in straight sets (25-19, 25-15, 25-17) to pick up their fifth win of the season. Credit: Aliyyah Jackson | Senior ReporterSeason-high offensive production was not enough for the Ohio State men’s volleyball team on Friday night, falling to Lindenwood in four sets, 25-21, 30-28, 17-25 and 25-20. The Buckeyes (7-16, 2-7 MIVA) used the return of senior setter Sanil Thomas and junior outside hitter Reese Devilbiss to attain a season-high 65 kills on the night, but their 42 total errors compared to 23 by Lindenwood (8-15, 4-6 MIVA) kept the Buckeyes from establishing a rhythm and winning more than a single set. “I thought at times our offense was really, really good,” Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson said. “But it just seemed like there were crucial moments where an error would pop up when we could really separate ourselves from [Lindenwood].” The Buckeyes opened up an 8-5 lead early in the second set thanks to a three-point run, including a kill by Devilbiss, a combined block by Devilbiss and redshirt senior middle blocker Blake Leeson and an ace by freshman middle blocker Ethan Talley. Ohio State extended its lead to as many as five, but a late 6-1 point surge by the Lions tied the match at 23. A kill by redshirt sophomore outside hitter Jake Hanes gave Ohio State set point, but a kill by Lindenwood freshman outside hitter Phil Swartz took the set to overtime. The Lions and the Buckeyes traded single-point leads, but an Ohio State attack error and a kill by Swartz pushed Lindenwood over the Buckeyes in the second set, 30-28. Swarts led the Lions with 14 kills and three aces, also contributing three digs. As a team, Lindenwood mostly had their way offensively tallying 47 kills on .404 hitting. Hanes led the Buckeyes with 17 kills, adding two digs, while Devilbiss finished with 14 kills and two aces, adding three digs and a block assist. Thomas accounted for 60 assists, a kill, two aces, three digs and a block assist. His 60 assists tie his career high for the Buckeyes, which he set in a four-set win over Loyola Chicago during the 2017-18 season. Thomas said the offensive production has a lot more to do with the hitters than his own play. “The 60 assists is a lot on the hitters,” Thomas said. “It’s a testament to them. I have good hitters around me.” Kills by Talley, Hanes and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Tyler Alter gave Ohio State a 13-9 lead early in the third set. The Buckeyes extended their lead to as many as eight points leading to a 25-17 third set victory, forcing a fourth set. The Buckeyes were firing on all cylinders in the third set, hitting at a .818 clip with zero attack errors and five service errors, their lowest error in a set all night. But the fourth set led to relapse, as Ohio State committed six attack and six service errors. Lindenwood jumped out to a 20-16 lead in the fourth set thanks to a four-point run including kills by Swartz and senior middle blocker Connor Hipelius. The Lions rode the four-point margin to match point, at which point Leeson committed his first and only service error, handing the Lions a 25-20 set victory and a 3-1 match triumph. Ohio State will try to split the weekend against Quincy at 7 p.m. on Saturday at St. John Arena.