COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 13th-ranked Ohio State (10-5 overall) men’s volleyball team defeated George Mason (4-7), 3-0 (30-12, 30-16, 30-25) in the first semifinal of the 23rd annual Volleyball Hall of Fame/Morgan Classic at the Blake Arena in Springfield, Mass. Ohio State’s John Klanac posted a match-high 22 points with Shawn Sangrey adding 20.5. Klanac had a match-high 16 kills (.483), four ace serves, a solo block and two assist blocks. Sangrey contributed 14 kills (.360), four ace serves and five assist blocks. Defensively Buckeye Grayson Overman collected 15 total blocks in the match with a solo and 14 assist blocks. The 14 assist blocks is an OSU match record. The previous record was 13 held by five players. His 15 total blocks tied the Buckeye match record held by three others. George Mason’s Shaun Sibley recorded a team-high 6.5 points with four kills (.286) and five assist blocks.
George Mason opened game one with a Sibley-Javier Perez block for a 1-0 lead. A Sangrey kill tied the game at one. A Sibley-Perez block and two Sibley kills gave the Patriots a 4-1 lead. Trailing, 5-2, OSU kills from Klanac, Steven Kehoe and Mike Berzins and an ace serve from Klanac gave OSU a 6-5 lead. A Buckeye error tied the game at six. Tied at 10, an Overman-Sangrey and an Overman-Klanac block along with a Sangrey kill gave OSU a 13-10 lead. An Andrew Dentler kill stopped the run at 13-11. OSU scored the next seven points to open a 20-11 lead. The run included three ace serves and a kill from Sangrey, two Klanac kills and a Patriot error. A Buckeye error made it 20-12. OSU used a 10-point run to close out the game, winning 30-12. The run included kills from Sangrey, Klanac and Overman, four Buckeye blocks and three ace serves from Klanac including the game winning point. The Buckeyes hit .444 in the game to -.095 for George Mason.
With game two tied at two, kills from Sangrey and Berzins and a Sangrey ace serve gave Ohio State a 5-2 lead. A Lance Rogers kill made it 5-3. Kills from Overman and Berzins, an Overman solo block and a Berzins-Overman block opened a 9-3 Ohio State lead. Leading 14-8, a seven-point Buckeye run expanded the lead to 21-8. The run included three Patriot errors, blocks by Overman-Sangrey and Overman-Klanac, a kill by Klanac and a Kevin Heine ace serve. Ohio State held the lead reaching game point at 29-16 with a Heine kill. The Buckeyes took a 2-0 lead in the match, winning game two, 30-16, with an Overman-Mike Stefani block. The Buckeyes hit .280 for the game to -.152 for George Mason.
A Brandon Joyner kill gave the Patriots a 1-0 lead in game three. Two kills from Sangrey and one from Klanac put the Buckeyes ahead, 3-1. A kill by Rogers and a Rogers-Joe Norton block tied the game at three. Two Klanac kills, a Patriot error and a Kehoe-Overman block gave Ohio State a 7-3 lead. At 11-7, a Heine kill gave Ohio State a five-point lead. Two Michael Kvidahl kills, an OSU error and a Rogers-Kvidahl block cut the lead to one at 12-11. Leading, 17-16, two kills from Sangrey opened a 19-16 Buckeye lead. The squads exchanged points reaching, 28-25. A kill from Klanac gave OSU match point at 29-25. A Kehoe-Overman block gave the Buckeyes the game at 30-25, and a 3-0 win in the match. Ohio State hit .459 for the game to .226 for George Mason.
Ohio State hit .404 for the match to .000 for George Mason. The Buckeyes had a 47-23 advantage in kills and a 41-21 margin in assists. Kehoe recorded 39 assists for OSU while Joyner had 17 for the Patriots. OSU had nine ace serves to one for George Mason. OSU’s Klanac and Sangrey each served four aces in the match. The Buckeyes gave up 18 service errors to 10 for the Patriots. Defensively, OSU had a 32-23 margin in digs. Joe Norton collected a match-high 10 digs for George Mason. At the net, the Buckeyes had a 17 to eight advantage in team blocks. Overman posted a match-high 15 total blocks (one solo, 14 assists) for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes will face the winner of the second semifinal between UC Santa Barbara and Springfield at 8 p.m. Saturday.
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